October 25, 2014
This particular project is unique, and has taken longer than we expected, because the first borehole needed to filled in and a second borehole had to be drilled.
The company contracted to drill the first borehole completed drilling and installation of the casing, or the concrete lining, in early July. Soon after, we learned that, although drilling went well, there was a problem with the quality of the water. When the contractor flushed, or cleaned, the borehole, they discovered silt and sedimentation in the water. Sedimentation is problematic for solar water systems because the sediment gets lodged in parts of the pump, and wears out the motor, eventually breaking it.
GF&H requested a third party carry out a borehole assessment. The third party sent a team of engineers to GF&H who flushed the borehole for 24 hours to see if the silt and sedimentation would clear with more time. Unfortunately, the silt remained so they sent a camera into the borehole to locate the source of the problem. Photographs, pictured left, revealed that the casing cracked during installation and had holes that allowed dirty water and other contaminants into the borehole.
GF&H was not only attentive, but also transparent. They told us about the problem immediately and kept us abreast as the assessments progressed, which allowed us to work with them find a solution. Several recommendations were presented and, with the help of the contractor and the pump supplier, together we decided the best option was to drill a new borehole to make sure that the children at the orphanage and the members of the community would have a safe, sustainable water supply for years to come.
We are fortunate that our Give A Drop partners understand that unforeseen issues sometimes arise, despite careful preparation and assessments. (This is not the first time that we have to work through a problem with one of our partners, and it probably won’t be the last.) Give A Drop generously agreed to support the drilling of a second borehole with a new drilling company.
Drilling started again for the orphanage borehole in early October. Although we’re still waiting for the results of the water quality and pump tests, which measures how much water the borehole can produce per hour and how much time it takes for the water level to recover after pumping stops, drilling and installation of the casing is complete. They plan to do another camera scan this week and complete a second pump test.
According to Viera, the Founder of GF&H, “when the contractor conducted the pump test the yield seemed excellent, and the water [appeared to be so clear]that it looked the same as a bottled, purified water. The children, house mothers, and the community members freaked out. They filled all the jerry cans and pots they found, and the joy was so great!”
If the results of the various tests are favorable, implementation will continue with installation of the solar pump and the solar panels. Thank you to our Give A Drop partners, Jewel’s Project Clean Water and Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Unite for their support. We are also extraordinarily grateful to GF&H for the detailed progress reports. Check for additional updates in the coming weeks.