25 March 2015

Support AguaClara and help create a new lab space!

This summer Cornell AguaClara will be moving all of our project teams into the project lab space in the basement of Hollister Hall. This is an exciting opportunity for us. We are currently 60 students spread across 5 lab spaces on 2 floors. In this new lab, we will be in one contiguous space and sharing ideas (and tools and lab supplies) between teams will be easier than ever. The new lab will have space for 15 new workstations.

Donate today to make this new lab a reality! (Select other and designate AguaClara!)

Project lab space showing our planned new Lab Workstations.
AguaClara project teams are creating new solutions that provide safe drinking water on tap. The 12th AguaClara water treatment plant is under construction in San Matias, Honduras, a pilot scale foam filter is being tested in a village in the mountains above Tegucigalpa, and stacked rapid sand filters are being tested in two villages in Jharkhand, India. Our globally engaged work relies on the Cornell student project teams that are inventing the technologies. Our partners, Agua Para el Pueblo and AguaClara LLC, are deploying those technologies in communities on two continents. It begins with AguaClara supporters who donate to make it possible!

The AguaClara project teams are an amazing educational experience. The best way to learn how to be an engineer is to do some real engineering. Student teams Research, Invent, Design and then Engage with our partner organizations. Cornell students are taking full advantage of this opportunity to learn and to change the world. 
"The best part of this course is that we are able to make it our own, and guide our learning towards research that interests us (within the broader, common goals of each subteam, of course). I have never taken a course that has allowed me this much freedom, and it has really challenged and excited me to go to the lab each day. Plus, there's nothing like a real world application of your work as a motivator." - midterm feedback from a current student
"This course is awesome and has significantly improved my skills and qualifications as an engineer. It is perhaps one of the best courses I have taken at Cornell. I have learned so much about working in groups, designing experiments, being accountable for work, etc. This class deserves all of the praise in the world." - midterm feedback from a current student
We've been designing mobile lab workstations for the new laboratory. The lab stations will enable computer controlled experiments in a wet environment. Those of you who have worked in the AguaClara labs know that sometimes the agua doesn't go where we want it to go. The new lab workstations will have work surfaces connected to a drain. All electronic equipment will be kept off of the workbench surface on a customized shelf system. The shelves will hold the experimental apparatus, including the computer controlled pumps and meters. The stations will be mobile, so we can easily reconfigure the lab space to accommodate pilot scale testing or apparatus that doesn't fit on one workstation. These workstations are designed to make the AguaClara RIDE more efficient and even more fun for students.
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Lab workstation. We will be adding a shelf system
 for pumps, meters, and computers.

Donate today! (Select other and designate AguaClara!)
  • $45,000 provides 15 Lab Workstations for all of the AguaClara project teams
  • $3000 provides a complete Lab Workstation for one AguaClara project team
  • $500 provides a stand up, adjustable-height computer station for a Workstation
  • $300 provides the customized shelf system built using 80/20.
  • $100 provides a lab stool

Thank you for all that you do to make the world a better place!

24 January 2015

Inauguration in Jesús de Otoro

January 21st, 2015 was the inauguration of the AguaClara treatment plant in Jesús de Otoro, Intibucá, Honduras. Now having operated for 2 months, the water treatment plant is part of a larger development project in the town that has also improved the sewer system and roads. These parts of the project were also inaugurated along with the plant. The entire project was funded by  the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (COSUDE) as well as the municipal government of Jesús de Otoro. COSUDE works on development issues throughout Central America and has previously assisted in the funding of AguaClara plants in Alauca, San Nicolás, and Morocelí. They will soon be funding a future AguaClara plant in San Matías in the department of El Paraíso.
A representative of COSUDE addressing the audience at the town center to formally inaugurate the Jesús de Otoro project
During the morning of the inauguration, representatives from all involved parties met at the town center for a celebration. The successes of the project were announced and a local high school band showed their own prowess, playing songs to celebrate the improvement of their town's infrastructure.
APP Civil Engineer Santiago Garcia (center, purple) explaining the treatment processes in the Jesús de Otoro plant
In the afternoon, everyone toured the new roads before making their way up to the AguaClara plant, where Agua Para el Pueblo Civil Engineer Santiago Garcia led a brief tour of the water treatment processes used there. The plant was packed with supervisors of the different aspects of the project, members of the local water boards, and representatives from COSUDE. Santiago and one of the plant operators, Carlos Maldonado, answered a whirlwind of questions over the sound of water exiting the plant before the procession quickly returned to the town center. It was a long day for everyone at APP and in Jesús de Otoro, but we are more proud than ever to say we are helping to supply the people of Jesús de Otoro with clean water 24 hours a day!

10 December 2014

Jesús de Otoro, AguaClara's 10th Plant

The AguaClara program is proud to announce the operation of the full scale water treatment plant in Jesús de Otoro, Intibucá, Honduras. This plant is the 10th to come on line in Honduras in less than 10 years and provides clean drinking water to more than 4,000 people. This means AguaClara technologies in Central America supply potable water to more than 40,000 individuals!

Construction of the plant began in May and Agua Para el Pueblo has been training local operators from Jesús de Otoro in the theory and practice of water treatment since August. These operators, for their part, have been working hard to not only learn about water treatment, but also to build and install the hydraulic components of the plant. Their hard work is finally paying off as they can now see the clean water they are helping to supply to their families and neighbors.

Over the next two months, Agua Para el Pueblo will transition complete control of the plant to the local water board, JABASCO.  The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (COSUDE) funded the construction of this plant, but the local water board and users of the water system will pay for the sustainable use of this water for years to come. We have been working closely with the members of JABASCO throughout the construction and training process and know they will sustainably provide clean water to Jesús de Otoro. The people of Jesús de Otoro will officially inaugurate the plant in January, 2015.
Agua Para el Pueblo Employees along with the plant operator candidates outside the completed plant in Jesus de Otoro

24 November 2014

Team Spotlight: Ram Pump

The main purpose for the Ram Pump is to provide AguaClara plant bathrooms with clean water. This semester the Ram Pump subteam will be focusing on deciding whether or not the Ram Pump should be a stand alone entity or a part of the plant itself. Ultimately, deciding whether or not to include the Ram Pump as a part of the plant is a cost consideration. The pump could be sold separately to reduce construction costs.

Ram Pumps are not an AguaClara innovation and are sold commercially. Past Ram Pump subteams have tested the AguaClara design for the Ram Pump to commercially bought Pumps and discovered that the AguaClara design performs just as well as the commercially bought product but costs significantly less.
“The cost of the AguaClara Ram Pump design is probably under $100,” Abby Brown ‘17 said.

The Ram Pump design was implemented into the San Nicholas plant during the Honduras trip this past winter break. The pump initially worked great but has since stopped working. The current team is attempting the accurately model the actual plant design in order to work out the kinks in the system.

“the pump itself is doing what it needs to be doing.There’s not enough head loss,” Brown said.

In order to increase the head loss the team would have to raise the system which has proven difficult.

“Overall the problem is we can’t simulate the environment accurately because we’re just in room and can’t raise the bucket as high as it would be in the field,” Kadambari Suri ‘17 explained.