Students develop safe-water system for dominican republic community

Jul 30, 2014 by Jessica Eise

A group of Purdue University students and faculty members have completed work on a system that makes safe drinking water available to a community in the Dominican Republic sickened by poor water.

About 40 percent of illnesses in Las Canas were due to poor-quality , and half of the female patients suffered from rashes linked to water exposure. The completed water treatment system uses a sand filtration, low-pressure membrane filtration and chlorination process.

To address the water-quality issues in developing nations around the world, Purdue launched a service-learning class in the fall of 2012. The class has operated as a hybrid learning setting involving conventional classroom lectures, laboratory-based experiments, field measurements and surveys, and construction and implementation of the system.

The six students and faculty members returned from their fourth and final trip to Las Canas this summer.

"We are very proud of our students and their hard work and innovation," said Ernest R. Blatchley, a professor of and environmental and ecological engineering who is the project's director. "Alongside our coalition partners, they've learned leadership, development and how to work hand-in-hand with a local community.

"When properly operated, the system we developed and installed in Las Canas will yield water that will consistently meet the World Health Organization's standard for E. coli and other potable water indicators."

The School of Civil Engineering, Departments of Agricultural Economics and Food Science in the College of Agriculture, and the School of Nursing collaborated in the initiative.

Work involved coordination with the nonprofit Aqua Clara International of Holland, Michigan, which works to provide affordable and safe solutions for communities in developing countries.

Rotary International helped to identify communities to work with and in connecting the project team to community leaders in the Dominican Republic.

Las Canas was selected as the location for a pilot system based on communications with project partners. It is expected that the lessons learned in implementing the system there will allow for similar systems to be designed, built and implemented in other communities in the Dominican Republic and perhaps additional countries.

Lack of access to is a chronic problem for 800 million people around the globe - about one-ninth of the world's population - leading to increased rates of morbidity and mortality among people of many developing countries. These effects tend to be most pronounced among women and children, leading to significant developmental and educational setbacks.

Explore further: Student develops filter for clean water around the world

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Dominican Republic, Haiti in 10-year cholera fight

Oct 08, 2012

(AP)—Officials in Haiti and the Dominican Republic are preparing for a long campaign against cholera, the water-borne disease that has sickened tens of thousands of people in the two neighboring Caribbean countries.

Student develops filter for clean water around the world

Jul 23, 2014

Roughly 780 million people around the world have no access to clean drinking water. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 3.4 million people die from water-related diseases every year. ETH student Jeremy Nussbaumer ...

Australia placed to be world water leader

Jun 11, 2014

Improved water productivity and increased export incomes are at the heart of a new National water management blueprint launched at the University of Melbourne today.

Recommended for you

Coal-rich Poland ready to block EU climate deal

2 hours ago

European Union leaders meeting in Brussels to set their new greenhouse gas emissions plan are facing staunch opposition from coal-reliant Poland and other East European countries who say their economies would ...

EU leaders seek last-minute climate deal

7 hours ago

European Union leaders came under pressure Thursday to strike a deal aimed at bolstering Brussels as a trailblazer in fighting global climate change as negotiations went down to the wire.

Research team studies 'regime shifts' in ecosystems

9 hours ago

The prehistory of major ecological shifts spanning multiple millennia can be read in the fine print of microscopic algae, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

User comments : 0