NPH Honduras – Water Management Plan

The NPH home in Honduras, Rancho Santa Fe, is a sprawling complex of buildings located about 36 kilometers north of the capital city, Tegucigalpa. Nearly 600 children live in the campus dormitories, attend Preschool through 8th grade in the Rancho’s school, and help operate the farm and vegetable gardens. Older children move into group homes in the city while attending high school and college classes.One of the many challenges the Rancho contends with is meeting its needs for water. The Rancho currently operates two separate water systems. The “filtered” water system provides large quantities of poor quality water used for bathing, washing clothes, and flushing toilets. The “potable” water is less plentiful and reserved for drinking. Each year the Rancho struggles with capacity and reliability issues of these two antiquated, but essential systems.NPH survives on philanthropic grants and individual sponsorships of the children, so funding is a constant struggle. One reflection of this is the tiny staff tasked with the operation and maintenance of the Rancho Santa Fe compound. Just two employees, along with two student helpers, maintain and operate the water systems, as well as, tackle the seemingly endless list of plumbing, electrical, structural, etc. repairs requested by the 600+ residents. There is no time, money, or staff available to properly manage the water system and, as the years have passed, it has grown “organically” into an interwoven puzzle. The distribution system is largely undocumented and no monitoring equipment is installed to measure the quantity or quality of water. Without these important tools, planning for the future and addressing large leaks in the system is all but impossible. In addition, the organization does not have the expertise necessary to improve the quality of the water or plan for the future-demands of a growing resident population and added facilities.

Einhorn Engineering employees, and longtime Rancho child sponsors & on-site volunteers, Mike Einhorn and Carl Stevens, with the Rancho’s enthusiastic endorsement, would like to develop and implement an NPH Honduras Water Management Plan. Components of the first phase of the plan would include:

  • Creating a Computer Aided Drawing (CAD) of the water system. A 2006 sketch of the plumbing will provide an excellent starting point. The plan would then have to be updated with piping details (pipe diameter, in particular) and connections added since 2006.
  • Developing a plan for monitoring the quantity of water delivered to different sections of the Rancho compound. The primary focus of this effort would be to identify water meters suitable for use in the Rancho water system and to select locations for the meters that would give the most useful data.
  • Organizing an “engineering brigade” to visit the Rancho. The volunteers who make this trip will inspect the two water systems and note all updates required to the CAD plan, install the new water meters, and repair leaking plumbing. If time permits, the crew will also collect data on the existing water treatment facilities.

Subsequent phases of this project will build on the data collected and ultimately result in a water management plan which allows Rancho staff to confidently discuss how much water they are producing, the quality of the water generated, the water use of different Rancho activities, and sources of water that may be developed to meet future needs.

Related Information:
NPH Honduras

GOAL: $10,000


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