In 2008 the Perú team started a partnership with the small, rural community of Llacamate. Several community leaders came to EWB-CU requesting help building a potable water system. Working with the community, the team conducted a thorough feasibility study, collected community and topographical data and signed several agreements between the community’s water committee, EWB-CU, and the local government. After this process, the Perú team was ready to start designing a gravity fed water system from a clean spring source in the area. The team, consisting of students with the help of professional and academic mentors, came up with a design that includes a spring catchment, 4 km of transmission line, and 3 km of distribution line. The team also took steps to consider the long-term sustainability of the system and included plans for operation and maintenance training. Through recent monitoring trips it is clear that the local water committee is well prepared to continue properly maintaining the system.
After implementation of the water system, the team shifted its focus towards the overall sanitation of the community. In order to discourage the norm of open defecation in the community, the team implemented three latrine designs in Llacamate but the pour-flush latrine proved to be the best option for each household. Through education, training, and working with the local water committee, EWB-CU has done all they can to enable the community of Llacamate to take ownership of their water and sanitation systems.
Now, the team has set its sights on the nearby community of Huacapongo. The current water source in Huacapongo has been deemed unfit for human consumption by the local health post. EWB-CU plans to send a team this coming December to further assess the situation and draft a plan for continued action. The team is focused on finding a sustainable alternative to the current water catchment system.