Implement a Water Distribution System in Los Gonzales, Guatemala
Community members in this mountainous area currently get bacteriologically-contaminated water from an intermittent stream 1500+ meters from the community. They have dammed the stream to provide more water for longer periods of time. In the dry season, there is much less water, if any. Women and children spend lots of time getting water for all needs, including drinking, cooking, sanitation, bathing, and minimal irrigation of household garden plots.
We have implemented water similar systems in four neighboring or nearby communities over the past 5 years, all of which are well-maintained and properly operating through the fees charged and maintenance provided by the communities. The Los Gonzales community members want to replicate these successes, as they have seen the beneficial effects of their neighbors’ water systems.
LocationLos Gonzales, Central America, Guatemala
Primary Focus: Drinking Water - Households
Secondary Focus: Drinking Water - Community
People Getting Safe Drinking Water: 239
Females – 0-5years, 16; 5-15years, 30; 16-49years, 28; >49years, 47
Males - 0-5years, 19; 5-15years, 31; 16-49years, 32; >49years 36
From San Jacinto municipality five year plan.
School Children Getting Water: 0
People Getting Sanitation: 0
People Getting Other Benefits: 0
Start Date: 2014-02-01
Completion Date: 2015-02-28
Municipality and community members have built a horizontal well (normal hand-dug well with concrete casing and horizontal infiltration galleries) close to the intermittent river. They need to build a concrete storage tank near the well, electrically pump the water to the storage tank, gravity feed the water via PVC pipe to a concrete distribution tank (1500 meters away), chlorinate the water, and then build a PVC distribution system of 1800+ meters in five sections to the homes in the community. Chlorination will be done using hypochlorite tablets in a float within the distribution tank.
We helped design and build a similar well-based, chlorinated system in the neighboring community of El Carrizal 5 years ago, and the system is operating properly today (water tested yearly by a local university lab that was funded with another project). The municipality partnered in the start of the Los Gonzales project by constructing a copy of the horizontal well we designed for El Carrizal as the water source. The new well in Los Gonzales is operating effectively and will be able to meet the community’s water needs year-around. The community members provided the manual labor for the well construction.
The community owns the land. The community will own the system. The community has a trained community development council (COCODE or Consejos Comunitarios de Desarrallo) and a womens organization. The community members will provide all non-technical labor for the project and each family will pay a monthly fee for maintenance of the system. Community members will be trained in how to maintain the system. This includes taking free chlorine measurements (with Hach Chemical Kits) periodically to set the proper chlorine level.
The San Jacinto municipality leadership and staff are very supportive of the community and of this project. Their personnel will be actively involved in the implementation of the project, as they have been with the three previous systems we helped install in nearby communities.
Training for current and future water testing to make sure that the system is working as planned were explained above as well as training for maintaining the system.
Community members will contribute monthly to a fund to maintain the system. This is similar to the what has been done with prior systems that are working well. The community will own the system. The water at homes will be tested yearly at a lab in the department capital funded with a previous grant. The chlorination level will be tested periodically with free chlorine test kits supplied by Hach Chemical.
Maintenance Cost: $200
The treated water will be tested yearly for harmful biologicals. The water samples will be collected by trained CUNORI University staff. The chlorination level will be tested periodically with free chlorine test kits supplied by Hach Chemical. Community members will be trained in the free chlorine testing.
Co Funding Amount: $10,394
Water for the Americas $3,394
Rotary Clubs and Rotary Foundation $7,000
Community Contribution Amount: $1,356
Fund Requested: $5,000
Implementing Organization: Rotary Club of Chiquimula de la Sierra
The Rotary Club of Chiquimula has implemented four previous water projects in this municipality starting in 2007 worth over $100,000 and additional non-water projects worth over $150,000. All of these systems are still working as planned. Water testing is done yearly on each system in a lab at the local university that was funded by Rotary for the expressed purpose of testing the water of the projects. Since each system uses chlorine to decontaminate the water, Water for the Americas has obtained free chlorine measuring kits from Hach Chemical so that the proper level of chlorine can be administered. Community members will be trained in the maintenance of the system and how to measure the free chlorine level.