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Clean Water for La Ceiba El Salvador - Household Biosand Filters
International Journal for Service Learning in Engineering, Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (2014)
  • Kelly Barb, Rowan University
  • Jess W. Everett, Rowan University
Abstract
Engineers Without Borders (EWB) at Rowan University is a student-led organization that combines skills learned in the university classroom with real world experience, channeling the passion and knowledge of students to partner with communities in developing nations to solve engineering problems. In doing so, students learn civic responsibility, heighten their social awareness, and become actively contributing citizens of communities in both the United States and around the world. Students also learn skills that apply to the workplace, including project and team management, planning and organization, communication, fundraising and budgets, engineering "on the ground," and knowledge transfer. The Rowan EWB chapter partnered with the residents of La Ceiba, El Salvador to construct household biosand filters to achieve the ultimate goal of providing potable drinking water for the community. The purpose of this paper is threefold: (1) describe the Rowan Engineering Clinic course sequence, used to prepare and award credit to students working on EWB projects; (2) describe the La Ceiba project, focusing on the process used to identify and implement the ultimate solution; and (3) provide information on the household biosand filters that could be useful to other service organizations. As of January 2013, 54 filters have been installed. The filter recipients are satisfied and able to maintain their filters, with a notable self-reported decrease in water-related illness. Some filters cracked, and even leaked, but the local concrete vendor worked with residents to make repairs. Iterations in the filter box design have reduced the cracking problem. Community residents are maintaining their own filters.
Keywords
  • El Salvador,
  • EWB,
  • sustainable engineering,
  • water,
  • biosand filter
Publication Date
April 30, 2014
DOI
10.24908/ijsle.v9i1.5259
Citation Information
Kelly Barb and Jess W. Everett. "Clean Water for La Ceiba El Salvador - Household Biosand Filters" International Journal for Service Learning in Engineering, Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship Vol. 9 Iss. 1 (2014) p. 40 - 63
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jess-everett/6/