Conclusion of Las Mercedes Water System Project – El Salvador

This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Jefferson Francisco. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was to construct a gravity-fed water system to provide 6 families in this rural village with potable water.

Jefferson reports:

I completed this water project with the water committee of Las Mercedes in Cerro Segovia, El Salvador.

First, the water committee president and I picked up the project funds in Ahuachapán. Then, after meeting with a landowner who owns the land where the spring is located, we met with all of the beneficiaries of the project.

We designed the water system and made a list of materials and a budget. Then, the president of the water committee and I went to Tacuba, the nearest town, and purchased materials and transport them to the village.

Over a period of two weeks, we built a spring box, laid 2,200 yards of pipe, built a water storage tank, and installed water faucets at each house.

In total, 6 households are taking advantage of this water system. These beneficiaries designed and built the system themselves. Therefore, they have a complete understanding of the water system and how to repair it in the future. But future repairs should be very inexpensive due to the fact that the system is 100% gravity fed and only requires water in the tanks and pipe.

The water is pure spring water and there are not any houses above the spring. So, the water should always be uncontaminated. However, in case of contamination, the families have clay water filters to treat their water. The water filters are supposed to remove 99.9% of all bacteria from the water. We are going to do some water tests this coming week to make sure that the filters work as well as we think they do.

The project will be a great help to the people who were spending more than two hours a day carrying water to their homes. Everyone was excited to work on the project and everyone was especially excited to see it working properly.

There is plenty of water for each family to do all of their cooking, drinking, cleaning, and even watering gardens. We are grateful for your help and participation in the development of basic infrastructure in Cerro Segovia.

We again wish to thank The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing the funding for this project.