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Over winter break, the Cal Poly Engineers Without Borders (EWB) team visited the small Nicaraguan village of La Rinconada to begin plans for a water purification and distribution system for the 300 residents.
Most of the residents rely on natural spring water that flows through a pipe that is subject to cracking because of its shallow burial. In addition, the pipeline doesn’t reach all 87 homes. Some homes have wells. The water is often polluted by livestock manure, however. Illnesses have been attributed to the lack of clean water in the community.
Cal Poly EWB has been working with local community leaders and a non-governmental organization since October 2017. More than 30 Cal Poly students have been working together to design the water process system. The final design will take about six months to complete and will be approved by a professional engineer.
The water distribution and purification system will provide clean water for all 87 homes and will completely cut off the old water source. The students plan to drill the well in spring 2018 and hope to be done with the entire pipeline distribution system by summer 2019.