San Juan Water Filter Project – Dominican Republic
16 communities in the San Juan Province, Dominican Republic, as set forth below
San Juan is a Dominican province, in the western part of the Dominican Republic with a population of over 232,000. San Juan de la Maguana is the capital city and the largest city in the province, with a population of over 169,000, and is the 10th largest city in the country.
The Dominican Republic is one of the highest consumers per capita of bottled water in the world, where people depend solely on bottled water for their drinking water consumption. In areas where there is no bottled water people drink “raw” untreated water.
For several years there have been attempts to provide safe drinking water to people in rural communities in the Dominican Republic using filters that range from slow sand filters to ceramic filters lined with a colloidal silver coating. In most cases, these filters have been very successful and have had an impact on reducing the gastrointestinal diseases caused by contaminated water. However, these filters use technologies that are often ineffective in removing all contaminants, may be difficult to install in isolated areas, are subject to breakage during transportation, have a limited service life, and require difficult maintenance.
This project is to implement a clean drinking water filter project, to reduce gastrointestinal illness, in ten communities in the Dominican Republic. Fifty Sawyer PointONE filters will be installed to start the program.
Sawyer Products, Inc. has developed an innovative water filter that uses blood dialysis technology to filter water. They produce several models of which two, in particular, could provide a low-cost, dependable and sustainable solution for filtering water for drinking purposes; the Sawyer Point ZeroTWO and the PointONE Bucket Purifier Assembly Kits.
Both kits come with the filter and accessories to install a system in a five-gallon bucket. They also include a syringe that serves to backflush the filter when it clogs up. The filter can provide 170 gallons (560 liters) of drinkable water a day. It is expected to last ten years with proper backflushing.
There are two organizations (among others) in the Dominican Republic that have been working for more than 30 years with water programs in rural communities, MUDE (Mujeres en Desarrollo), and INAPA (Instituto Nacional de Agua Potable y Alcantarillado).
MUDE is a private very reputable NGO that has been working in the rural areas of the Dominican Republic for the past 33 years. They work in promoting women’s sustainability projects such as micro-financing, health, water sanitation, and income-generating activities. They have a regional office where the filter project will take place.
MUDE’s role in the project will be to select the communities, and the potential beneficiaries, collect an initial one-time fee, purchase the five-gallon buckets, deliver them to the communities, teach beneficiaries on how to put the valve on, and do the follow up for each filter.
INAPA is a government agency that manages most of the rural water systems in the Dominican Republic. With their main office in Santo Domingo, they have regional offices that provide technical support throughout the area.
INAPA’s role in the project will be to provide the laboratory facilities to test the water going into the filters as well as the filtered water. By having the INAPA monitor the filters, they will validate them to be used in future projects in the Dominican Republic.
Both organizations have development promoters living in communities throughout the country and have the infrastructure and logistics to implement and support the project.
Both organizations will select 10 communities where the drinking water quality is deficient or not available from the following 1ist of 16 communities:
Canoa, Los Bancos, Cayucal, Sabana Alta, Guanito, La Zanja, El Cacheo, Hato del Padre, Punta de Caña, Arroyo Loro, Loma de Babor, Babor, El Hato, Cuenda, La Culata, and Perpetuo Socorro
In each one of those communities, they will install one filter in the local hospital or health post, two filters in the local schools, and two filters at a private family level.
After installation, the project will be evaluated to ascertain how the beneficiaries are using the filters during a three-month period, determine the quantity of water being filtered, the care and maintenance they provide to the unit, the effects in reducing gastrointestinal illness, and the potential the communities have to be self-sustainable in managing a larger project if it would be implemented.
To participate in the project each beneficiary will need to provide a one-time fee of $US 5 (RD$ 210), which will cover the purchase of a 5-gallon bucket, initial training costs, and follow-up.
The project is being implemented as part of Water Charity’s Filters for Life Program – Worldwide. Water Charity is providing the filters, delivered in Santo Domingo.
The project will benefit over 500 people.
Timothy McFarren will manage this project. Tim has previously worked with Water Charity in his former position as Associate Peace Corps Director in both Bolivia and the Dominican Republic. He was instrumental in the implementation of the Ferro-Cement Tanks for the Dominican Republic and Haiti Program.
This is an excellent project to address the health problems of 10 communities caused by contaminated water. It embodies state-of-the-art technology with ease of installation, long-lasting benefits, and ease of maintenance. This project falls under our ongoing Filters for Life Program – Worldwide, in which we are trying to make sure these high-quality Sawyer filters make their way into as many hands as humanly possible. While not as flashy as drilling wells, water filters are probably the single most effective way to prevent death and unnecessary suffering due to unpotable drinking water (the leading cause of preventable death worldwide).
The project is carried out by two respected local organizations and incorporates a detailed evaluation process. In the event beneficial results are achieved, it can serve as a model to be replicated.
Dollar Amount of Project
Donations Collected to Date
Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 – This project has been fully funded through the generosity of Michael and Carla Boyle of Nelsonville, OH, USA.
We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify the Program Director, Timothy McFarren of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next projects in the Dominican Republic.
This project has been completed. To see the results, CLICK HERE.