- The community of about 1,300 people had an intermittent, unpredictable, and unsafe water supply
- The existing disinfection system was chlorinated only by dumping bags of chlorine in the water storage tank
- Improvements have been made to the disinfection process and the distribution lines.
- There still remains much work to be done to ensure the water will be safer for years to come
The Carlos Pinto Community
Carlos Pinto is a community of about 1,300 residents, located on the southern coast of the Dominican Republic, about an hour away from Santo Domingo. Of these residents, about 500 are children.
The community originally approached EWB-USA with a request for improved water distribution reliability, water quality, long term public health programs, and solid waste disposal. The community also demonstrated that they could provide support for projects by EWB-USA.
Existing Water System
The water system originally installed by the federal government (INAPA) provided intermittent, inadequately disinfected water. Water was only available to residents about every other day. Community members reported dermatological and gstrointestinal diseases as a result of consuming and bathing with water from the distribution system.
One functional groundwater well supplies water to a large 80,0000 gallon concrete water storage tank. The water distribution system from there is gravity fed and is not closed, pressurized, or continuously available.
Due to the intermittent nature of the water supply, residents often store water in personal 50-500 gallon tanks. These tanks weren't always adequately cleaned, which likely contributed to disease.
Community members must choose between purchasing drinking water or risking their health by drinking water from the community water system.
We adopted the Carlos Pinto Water Supply Project in June 2012. On several trips between October 2012 and the present we accomplished the following:
- Repaired leaks in the distribution system
- Collected topographical information and conducted inorganic, physical, synthetic organic, and biological water quality tests
- Installed air release valves to improve water flow in the system
- Initiated a pilot program to encourage and educate the community on point-of-use filters.
Installed Disinfection System
In 2014 our chapter installed a disinfection system to offer an improvement over the existing disinfection system, which consisted of dumping slow-dissolving chlorine granules into the water storage tank. The system chlorinated the water using a chlorine solution mixing tank with a venturi valve and rotameter for dosing a chlorine solution.
The system uses solid chlorine granules (calcium hypochlorite) provided by the government. The operator must mix calcium hypochlorite granules and water then the valves to dispense chlorine through the venturi valve.
Although there are some areas for improvement, the community members report fewer infections and better water quality with the new system installed.
Carlos Pinto, DR, Water System Improvements Project
From October 2012 to December, 2019, the EWB Phoenix Professionals Chapter assisted Carlos Pinto with water system improvements. Carlos Pinto is a 1300-person rural community located approximately 25 miles southwest of Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic (DR) federal capitol. The water system consists of Well No. 1, Well No. 2 (never operational), 80,000-gallon water storage tank, manual chlorination, and a gravity distribution system. While the water system was located in the community, the DR federal government owned, operated, and maintained the facility. The Phoenix Professionals assisted with the following:
- Assessment of the water system and preparation of a simple water system map.
- Correction of several leaks in the distribution system pipelines.
- Water sampling and water quality testing by a laboratory in the federal capitol.
- Installation of several air release valves at high points in the distribution system.
- Preparation of a technical memorandum evaluating potential power options for the well pump, as a backup to the electric grid. At the time, the community was experiencing multiple brownouts of the electric grid daily. All of the options were deemed too expensive for the community.
- Investigation and identification of the cause of low water flow to several houses in the community.
- Training for water system operators and community leaders on how operation and maintenance impacts water quality and public health.
- Preparation of 30% design and construction drawings for the addition of a chlorination system at the inlet to water storage tank.
Due to lack of response from the DR government during the latter part of 2019 regarding the proposed addition of a chlorination system, the Chapter terminated the project at the end of 2019.
This project is only made possible though the generous donations of people like you. Donate now today towards a better future for Carlos Pinto.