We spent the morning at INSO and sent Nelly feedback (electronically) on the presentation for tomorrow’s Water Forum. We didn’t see Nelly in the morning because she went to El Pedegal with plans to meet us at UABJO in the afternoon to talk to Erik Torres.
When we all met up in the afternoon at UABJO, we covered a number of topics with Erik. He explained how to get a complex water sample from SDBB, if our team needs more water analysis data for the design specs. A complex sample will require taking a one liter sample six times throughout the day, mixing the six samples together and analyzing one liter of the mixed water. Hopefully we will not have to do that.
We then talked about the one piece of missing data: the flow rate. Erik has a broken flow meter that he has been trying to fix for over a year now. He will send us the details on the flow meter model and we will try to expedite a fix or replacement. Care will be taken to make sure the flow rate is measured before the sewage stream breaks up into multiple streams. He also mentioned a ‘rule of thumb’ estimate that is used (170 l/person/day) when the actual rate is not known.
Erik will introduce the Water for Humans team to another professor at UABJO and to one of his students, Pablo. Both have been involved with wetlands and our project. This will broaden our ties with UABJO, so that we will have more contacts than Erik.
The last topic was about future water testing and the possibility of some of his students setting up a certified lab in Oaxaca as a business. As far as we know, there are no certified labs in the entire state of Oaxaca. We would like to see a lab set up so that SDBB and other communities can have the effluent from their waste water treatment plants tested. Erik will provide us with a list of lab equipment that would be needed for such an enterprise and Water for Humans will try to find used equipment in the US for them (we hope as donations). We will also introduce Erik to UMA (Universidad del Medio Ambiente-BGI’s sister school in Mexico), so that an interested entrepreneur can get the proper business training for such a lab. Erik thinks that Pablo may be a good candidate.
Meanwhile, UABJO will be glad to support us in our efforts at SDBB, as long as we can help with the cost of the reagents needed for the testing. We were more than happy to oblige.
When we left UABJO, we had to hurry across town to the INSO office for a creativity session with the staff. The session covered two topics:
1. How can we ensure that operations and maintenance are seriously planned and executed after a waste water treatment system is put in place?
2. How can we get the different organizations in Oaxaca, interested in water, health and the environment, working together for a common goal in SDBB?
Once the staff understood the process, a lot of ideas were put forth. Some were discussed and all of them were written down (we hope). We kept emphasizing that all ideas needed to be written down. We have all of them and will translate, organize and evaluate them when we get back to Seattle