Four CU engineering students are travelling to eastern Nepal this summer to complete a reed bed wastewater filtration system for a municipal hospital in the Ilam District. The project, which was made possible through private fundraising, is one of the largest and most complicated projects undertaken to date by the CU chapter of Engineers Without Borders.
CU engineering students Arista Hickman, Marika Meertens, Taylor Pearce, and Michael Fend, along with the team's technical mentor and professional engineer, Mike Gill, will install a septic tank for a new wing of the hospital scheduled to open in September. The septic tank is the final component of the reed bed system, which is desperately needed as the hospital has been dumping wastewater into a gully that runs to the Mai Khola River, affecting thousands of people downstream who use the river as a water source.
EWB-CU Team Nepal spent the winter/spring semester at CU designing the septic tank system, planning its construction, and working with EWB-USA to certify the design for safety and engineering accuracy. This work was made possible in part by CU students who traveled to Nepal in December and worked on finalizing the reed bed structures and surveying the hospital property for the best location for the septic tank.
In addition to the construction work on the septic tank this summer, the student team plans to provide final training to hospital workers, the reed bed maintenance team, and employees of the Namsaling Community Development Center who will provide year-round oversight of the system.