Water Group

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Water Group Fall 2013


The Water Group, comprised of students from a variety of majors and backgrounds, works in teams on projects pertaining to water access, purification, and education. Utilizing our skills and educations in areas such as Engineering, Biology and Education, we strive to fulfill the necessary water needs in regions where those needs are not sufficiently met, including Burkina Faso, Mali, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

We meet Monday nights after Collaboratory Chapel in Frey 243 (7 p.m.) for project planning and fellowship. If you would like to join us, please stop by during that time or contact the group leader or any of the project leaders for projects that you are interested in. We would love to have you as a part of our team regardless of your major or background.


To develop and provide sustainable irrigation, well water access, purification technologies and practical education for communities that lack the resources to meet their basic water needs.


To give hope to communities around the world by enabling them to provide for their basic water access and quality needs.

Short Term Goals

March 31st

Village Water Ozonation System (VWOS)

  • Install new ozone generator
  • Build and install new serpentine loop
  • Clean water test

Water Testing Project

  • Compile a physical testing kit
  • complete second round of bacterial testing for VWOS
  • Perform arsenic test on samples from Managua, Nicaragua (from May 2013 site team)
  • add expiration dates to inventory on dropbox

Sawyer Filter Research and Evaluation (SAFIRE)

  • Do initial test on the Sawyer Mini filters
  • Write up a formal document with our test results

Hollow Fiber Membrane System (HFM)

  • Obtain feedback for the demonstration system
  • Creating HFM 2.1

Filtration and Purification Applications (FAPA)

  • Generate a rough draft of the revised curriculum book for use this summer.
  • Add crossword puzzle and word search activities to the curriculum book.
  • Coordinate with HFM about additions to the Sawyer Flipbook.

Handpump Sustainability Studies (HSS)

  • Assuming successful field test, begin production of poppet valves
  • Static/Dynamic Analysis of the Afridev pump
  • Create functional system for measuring forces on Afridev and MK II
  • Widen bushing diameters to allow pin to rotate (They currently too tight)
  • Send modified bushing kit to Africa for field test

Garden Water Access Project (GWAP)

  • New Equipment for percussion drilling
  • Complete conceptual model of pump
  • Preliminary auger testing research

Intelligent Water Management System (IWMS)

Determine the following:

  • How long can we run the system on its battery?
  • Will text message signal pass through pump head?
  • Whether our initial prototype works in the field?
  • Can it run on solar power?
  • Is the water presence sensor able to survive corrosion?

Rainwater Harvester Project (BOB)

past goals

Village Water Ozonation System (VWOS)

  • Prepare for testing
  • Order new ORP meters
  • Write first draft of Operations and Parts sections of Manual
  • Redesign small system
  • Determine testing procedures for small system

Water Testing Project

  • Compile a physical testing kit
  • complete first round of bacterial testing for VWOS
  • Perform arsenic test on samples from Managua, Nicaragua (from May 2013 site team)
  • add expiration dates to inventory on dropbox

Sawyer Filter Research and Evaluation (SAFIRE)

  • Assemble testing apparatus
  • Do initial test on creak water to ballpark amounts needed for proper pH, turbidity and total carbon

Hollow Fiber Membrane System (HFM)

  • Assemble HFM 2.0
  • Run 3 tests for fiber cut consequences
  • Assemble and mount HFM in Frey
  • Update Operating Manual as needed
  • Prepare presentation for symposium
  • Publish the manual on the Collab Wiki
  • Obtain parts for mounting a demonstration system in Frey basement
  • Get parts to Andrew Betteridge to fix systems in Ouaga
  • Complete broken fiber testing
  • Mount the demonstration system in Frey
  • Determine flow rate of HFM 2.0
  • Determine if backwashing procedure works with HFM 2.0
  • Start documentation on HFM 2.0

Filtration and Purification Applications (FAPA)

  • To print a copy of the flipbook in English.
  • To finalize and translate the flipbook and get some printed copies.
  • To collaborate with FAPA-E to complete the curriculum book.
  • To adjust the survey as needed for this summer.
  • Review text, add pictures and re-design parts of flipbook to make it more visually appealing and cohesive.
  • Add background sections to six activities of the curriculum book that FAPA-E is working on.
  • Design a formidable template for activities in the curriculum book
  • Create a black-line drawing for coloring that can be used in the curriculum book
  • Improve introduction of curriculum book to make more relevant
  • Discuss and brainstorm potential improvements for the flipbook
  • Add/create additional activities for curriculum book
  • Collect and format remainder of curriculum book from FAPA-E

Handpump Sustainability Studies (HSS)

  • Prepare prototypes for shipping
  • Complete assembly of Testing Machine
  • Monitor prototypes in use

Garden Water Access Project (GWAP)

  • Complete all parts and prepare for welding
  • Hardface rock bit
  • Gain permission to drill on campus
  • Hold design review for bailer

Intelligent Water Management System (IWMS)

  • Create a driver for using serial communication on the PIC24FV micro.
  • Complete Project Outcomes Document.
  • Complete Project Management Document.

Summary of Projects




Current projects


Future projects

  • Future projects are upcoming.

Past projects


The Water Group was one of the first groups formed at the beginning of Dokomoi Ergatai, The Collaboratory’s predecessor. Working with the Handicapes en Avant, a center operated by Serving in Missions (SIM) in Burkina Faso, senior project workers and other volunteers recognized the need for a stable and reliable pump and irrigation system for the center’s garden. Team members accomplished a large amount of work and made significant, albeit not well documented, advancements in designs and implementations. Most of the work revolved around needs seen during trips to the center. The full history of the project can be found under the “Past Projects” heading. In 2004, work began in two areas, the Modified Rower Pump, and Percussion Well Drilling. The well drilling project saw completion in 2006, but was never implemented. The Modified Rower Pump project lasted until about 2011, at which point the project was redirected towards a “Single Family” pump and was renamed the Garden Water Access Project, or GWAP.

After a trip to Guatemala in 2003, the Village Water Ozonization System, or VWOS project was implemented to bring water purification systems to Central American and other regions. The VWOS project is currently working on a full scale system. The Filtration and Purification Alternatives (FAPA) project, was created in 2009 out of a desire for the VWOS principle of village level purification to explore other methods of purification as well as provide valuable education for communities using VWOS or similar systems. FAPA was instrumental in planning the 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 site team trips to Nicaragua.

The Hollow Fiber Membrane (HFM) project was picked up in 2011 as a continuation of an IPC project started the previous year. The project aims to improve, test, and define the operating parameters of a hollow fiber membrane system. Today these projects work to bring clean, plentiful, and economically viable water to regions in need.

A timeline of the Water Access team history



Member records


Nicaragua Su10 Site Team Proposal - FAPA & VWOS

Nicaragua Su11 Site Team Proposal - FAPA

Site teams

Nicaragua Su11 Site Team Main Page

Nicaragua Su12 Site Team Main Page

NicaSu12 Site Team Blog - Nicaragua Su12 Site Team Blog

Nicaragua Su14 Site Team Main Page

IPC courses

Current courses

Past courses

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