Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ipalamwa Pump Installation

The crew did not leave for Ipalamwa until about 1 PM after arranging a 4WD pickup truck to haul a 5000 liter Polytank.  Fortunately, the roads are good right now with only a few bad spots.  We had Engineer Byemerwa, Fredy the Hydrotech well man, a plumber, electrician, and driver using the government car.  Once in Ipalamwa, the students started digging a trench from the well site to a raised location for the Polytank and we started connecting 100 meters of wire from the generator to the well site with the students putting in poles to suspend the wire.  The polytank and pipe got there after an hour or so and we started setting up the pump.  The well is 100 meters deep (we must have had our test bottle wedge when we measured it less deep at the site visit) and from the drill report we set the pump at 70 meters in a layer of fractured granite.

It was getting dark by the time we were ready to power the pump.  The students, in their haste to do things, had filled in the trench with the pipe before we made connections and of course we were about 6 inches short on pipe and had to splice in a section.  The generator was producing a wide range of voltages from 180 to 340 but the pump is supposed to operate over a wide range so we connected it up and after some stops for under voltage started pumping water to the polytank.  The students started collecting some water from the outlet and were screaming with excitement to see clean water that they did not have to carry from a couple kilometers away.  Then the flow started surging and we went through a process of checking connections and eventually had to leave because it was 10:30 PM.  We hadn't eaten since breakfast and as we were getting ready to leave we were brought in to a room lit by the generator for dinner of chicken and boiled plantains.  We left about 11 and the crew dropped me off at the next village of Kising'a for the night so I could visit my partner village.  The crew headed into town to pick up a better main switch for the generator house, a switch for the control panel, and wire for tensioning the utility poles.

The crew must have gotten to Iringa around 1 AM and were back to pick me up a little after noon.  We went out to Ipalamwa and added the switches, finished the utility poles, and started pumping again with good flow at first, then surging with flow followed by 2 to 12 second breaks with no flow.  Eventually we got a No Contact error indicating the control box was not communicating with the pump and flow stopped.  It was 8 PM and we were pretty discouraged not knowing if something was wrong with the pump or what the problem was.  We had pumped 1000 liters the first night and this had met the schools needs for the morning and pumped about 800 liters this night.  We went in for dinner again of rice, chicken, and bananas.  I anticipated a second dinner in Kising'a and ate lightly.  The crew dropped me off in Kising'a for the night again and I took the bus back to Iringa in the morning, leaving Kising'a at 5 AM.

The next day Byemerwa called and said we had to go back.  The control box has so many error events that if the pump was burned out we should have seen other errors.  Since Byemerwa had to leave Saturday for meetings up north, I called Dennis and arranged a vehicle to go back and double check the pump installation.  Leo came with the car and Fredy and I went back to Ipalamwa.  We pulled the pump and inspected the entire length of wire, taping a couple nicks, and redoing the splices.  We started the pump up again and after a couple No Contact readings, it started up.  Fredy brought a "Deeper" which is a lightweight tape with meter markings and a heavy probe on the end that beeps when it is in water.  We used this to watch the top of the water column while we adjusted the flow from the pump by changing pump speed and turning a check valve.  The water column stabilized at 47 meters from 26 meters leaving quite a bit of water above the pump.  Flow rate was about 1000 liters per hour and the water was crystal clear.   We felt good until the No Contact message came back again.  The second master had pointed out to me that the pulley on the motor had a lot of play and it seems that the generator is not able to sustain driving the pump.  We left feeling confident that the pump is installed correctly and is working but the generator needs to be overhauled or replaced.  This was verified when we got back to the Lutheran Centre and I spoke to Brian from Lake Park who had big generator driven irrigation pumps on his farm and he told me he sees similar problems including No Contact errors when the generators are not stable.  The electronics in the control panels expect stable voltage and will shut down to protect the system.

Loading up the 5000 liter Polytank
Football game next to the well with a Barack wannabe.

Putting up the utility poles
View from Ipalamwa School

Control Panel with switch and lightning arrestor

Fredy with Primary Student audience

Polytank connected in position

Water pumping into Polytank

Kising'a Bus

Flow testing with Deeper and stop watch.
Clear as can be ready to drink
Well Head

Water tap outlet below sim tank by dorms and kitchen

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Image Well Status

Engineer Byemerwa went out to Image again to check the performance of the pump and collect a water sample.  He also needed to check a new water source at the base of the mountain that was to be inaugurated  the next day with a celebration with the Kilolo acting commissioner.  The extra pipe had been sent and used to connect all the way to the 3000 liter tank at the kitchen.  This tank was filled from the well the night before in an hour. 

  We started the pump again and ran at full speed to see if any dry run errors occurred.  It looks like the well can deliver about 3000 liters of water running at full speed.  There is a tee at the kitchen tank that connects to a water system that can fill the 2000 liter tanks at the 6 dorms and also connect to the 5000 liter tank.  Image has an experienced water system technician who can do this work.  The only warning messages we saw were undervoltage readings at 210 V which the generator is not quite stable.  The pump speed was slightly reduced when these warnings occurred (from 10,700 to 10,400) and the motor stop point for undervoltage isn't hit until 150 V.  The pump temperature was running at 56 C (Shut off temp is 85 C and restart temp is 75 C so this is running cool).

We collected a water sample at the end of the pipe using a sterile whirl pack and set up two colilert tubes to test for bacterial contamination.  After 17 hours of incubation attached to my body they show no contamination.  I tasted a little bit of the water and it is not salty but there is some fine silt that makes the water cloudy coming from the well.  This silt settled from the water sample in the whirl pack overnight to leave totally clear, colorless water.
Kitchen Tank has tap in kitchen near by.

Tee at tank, left to girls dorms and right to boys.

Termite mud trail leading up to ceiling, trail to the left had been broken.

Termite damage at window in computer room where control box is mounted.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Image Pump Installation

 We went to Image to install the pump on Saturday(3/19).  Matthew Amani, a recent Tumaini Community Development Graduate, met me at 7 over breakfast and shortly after 7:30 Byemerwa came with a driver, electrician and two plumbers.  The 7 of us packed into the car and hoped that the rain and government vehicle would keep us from being stopped for too many passengers.  The rain stopped as we arrived at Image and the team jumped into action.  The Headmaster arranged to have the students start digging trenches for water pipe to go to the 3000 liter tank at the Kitchen and to lay electrical cable to the nearby computer room.  We were lucky that the Computer lab has a main control box for the generator circuit and we were able to add a circuit breaker for our pump.  The electrician went to work mounting the Grundfoss control box on the wall and wiring it to the main line. Image has a man who manages their water system, Robert Magina, who was excited to see that the pump comes from Denmark.  He spent 3 years in Denmark working with Danida on water projects.  Image is lucky to have an experienced person to manage their water system.

The plumbers assembled the well head with a water meter, shutoff valve and connections to the 1.5 inch pipe. We brought 200 meters of 1.5 inch pipe but were 50 meters short to reach the tank at the kitchen.  We measured the well depth again and got 65 meters so the pump was installed at 60 meters to leave room for sediment.  The pump was assembled and we had to use candles to heat shrink the waterproof splices.  The pump was lowered into the bore hole and connected to the main power.  Engineer Byemerwa hit the on button and the pump immediately started gushing water out of the well.  An initial low voltage warning (190 volts) was corrected at the main control box and we reversed the wiring to make sure we had the correct pump rotation.

Students started collecting water right away and the pump was filling a 10 liter pail in 8 seconds.  The water was cloudy but we expect that to clear as we continue to pump out the well.  The headmaster again tested the water for biological contamination by taking the first drink from the well.  Byemerwa cautioned them that the water needs to be tested before it should be drunk but I think they are so happy to have water that it will be used anyway.  Byemerwa has water testing materials for ecoli and had a nice pamphlet from a UN program on how to test.  The materials they recommend are Colilert tubes and 3M Petri film plates, both of which I have used in the past.  I hope to bring back a copy of the pamphlet to 3M to make sure they are aware of it. We left Image just as it got dark (after failing to find the extra 50 meters of pipe in Ilula) and got back to the Lutheran Centre at 8 PM after watching a spectacular sky as the sun set. 
Students digging 650' trench to kitchen.
Control box with main box in center and solar system on right.
Connecting pipe to well head.
Lowering pump, Mathew Amani is facing  in center w striped shirt
First water, everyone wanted to touch and splash their faces
The Headmaster preparing the test for biological contamination.
Byemerwa and Magina discussing final installation details.
The connected well head, they will construct a brick box to protect it.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ihimbo Solar Pump

I visited Ihimbo on Sunday with the Kilolo Star crew. They videotaped at Ihimbo Lutheran parish. Ron showed me the solar pump that Kilolo Star installed at Ihimbo Dispensary for St Paul Partners.  The pump was working well and is connected to a 2000 liter storage tank which is plumbed to a bank of toilets and showers for patients.  The solar panels come from the US and the pump and control box comes from China. Ron said that the same pump is commonly used in the Western US.  The well is 70' deep and they drilled through 30 ' of rock to get water.   There is one water tap that has been used by the village because it is easier than pumping with the adjacent hand pump.  At Church, Kilolo Star was thanked for the wells for the dispensary and a request for more wells was made to serve the 2500 people in the village.  They mentioned a government well which is no longer working and perhaps that will be a well we can restore as part of our well restoration and sustainability program.

The well head with power coming in black tube.

Ron in front of the solar panel.


The well head and the raised storage tank.

The adjacent Kilolo Star hand pump well.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ipalamwa Site Visit

Engineer Byemerwa met me at 7:30 again to visit the well site at Ipalamwa. We first visited the Kilolo Star well drilling operation in Kilolo which Engineer Byemerwa had not visited before.  Then we stopped at the Kilolo District water engineer's office where I found out that the government engineers are surveying all the water source points in Tanzania starting in Iringa Region.  The Kilolo District Water Engineer, Abdi Andalu, showed me an Excel spreadsheet where they are recording gps and functioning status for each well.  They are also taking photos of each source.  These reports will be valuable to us to determine the status of the wells we have had drilled.  I took his email address so I can send him the GOWGOL well logs to add information to their database. The driver stopped at one point to get out and Engineer Byemerwa remarked that he was "Inspecting a Bore Hole".  That is Water Engineer version of "Checking the Tires".   We went through Kising'a, which is my church's partner village and delivered medical supplies purchased by Lutheran Church of Peace for the Kising'a dispensary.  We continued on to Ipalamwa on a beautiful day with dry roads.  This was my first time visiting Ipalamwa and Lutheran Church has sponsored many Kising'a students at the Ipalamwa school.

I first met with the Headmaster, Rev. Ombeni Sawike, and she explained the water situation at Ipalamwa.  They have 300 students and are collecting water from a river source about 1 km away.  Water gets added to a 1000 liter storage tank and many students have been ill from the water.

We then went to the well site and found it capped with a tree stump.  We used a weighted water bottle on a cable to collect a sample of water and measure the depth and water level of the well. We found water at 26 meters and the bottom of the well was at 59 meters.  The 33 meter column of water sounds good but what really matters is the recharge rate.  It was reported to be 1000 liters/hour by the drilling contractor but it appears that the well has not been developed and had a proper pumping test yet.  There was sediment on the bottle when it was pulled up from the bottom.

We next checked out the generator and water storage capability.  All they have for storage is a 1000 liter tank that is set up to collect rain water but right now is used to receive the buckets of river water brought up by the students.  A rule of thumb for water usage at a school with pit toilets is 25 liters  per student day so 300 students should need 7500 liters of water per day.  They need at least two 5000 liter storage tanks mounted on raised supports for water pressure.  Engineer Byemerwa says that a 5000 liter tank costs 600,000 while a 10,000 liter tank is 2,000,000 so two tanks is the best deal and allows water to be pumped to two locations.  If the 1000 liters per hour rate is accurate for the well, they will need to run the generator longer than the current 4 hours or we will need a solar power to pump all day.

The generator they have is a 7.5 KW generator driven by a diesel engine.  This engine is also used to drive a maize miller for making ugali flour.  The headmaster said their fuel consumption is only 3 liters per 4 hours of operation which is much less (1/10) than at Image.  Perhaps because they have shorter distances and are just using it to light a few buildings. We measured the distance from the generator to the bore hole to be 100 meters.  As we left, we saw several students who were ill resting in the shade looking very uncomfortable.  We took four of the students with us to drop them off at their home dispensaries in Kising'a and Lulanzi.
Meeting with the Headmaster

Examining the Bore Hole
The 1000 liter storage tank

The river water in the tank

Generator with maize miller at right
Sick students waiting in shade

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Image Site Visit

Engineer Byemerwa met me at 7:30 this morning with a plumber and driver to go to Image and inspect the well site to determine what we need for installation.  The bore hole is right in the middle of the Image Secondary School campus.  Image secondary school has 850 students, almost half girls, and 36 teachers. Their water now has to come from a town supply about 1 km away.  This means that many students spend what should be class time carrying water.

The bore hole was partially open with just a plastic covering and a few bags of gravel pack around the top.  We were told the well was 100 meters and decided to try to collect a water sample with a plastic water bottle with a rock to weigh it down.

We hit water at about 25 meters and it came up looking clear and clean. The headmaster was eager to taste it because he was worried it might be salty. We discouraged this because the well had not been treated with chlorine and could be contaminated but he tested the water for both salt and bacteria by taking a taste. We are still waiting for the bacteria test results.

The cord pulled up from the bottom measures 33 meters doubled over so the well depth is 66 meters or twice as long as the distance you see in this picture.  Since we hit water at 25 meters, that means we have a 41 meter water column.  The 66 meter depth does not mesh with the 100 meters reported and we still do not know what the replenish rate will be when we start pumping.

 Image school has 10 water storage containers, 2 2000 liter tanks at the admin block, a 5000 liter tank near the football field, 6 2000 liter tanks at each of 6 dorms, and one 3000 liter tank at the kitchen.  Right now all are empty.  The tanks by the dorms are piped to each bathroom stall for wash water.  All the tanks are connected with plumbing so we only have to connect our well to a couple connection points and add valving to control which tanks get filled.

It takes a lot of water to feed 850 students.  The kitchen has huge cooking bowls on a fire hearth for making wali (cooked rice), ugali (maize flour paste) and porridge.

Image school runs a generator from 7 PM to 11 PM so students can study with the lit classrooms. This will also be the source of power for the submersible pump. The generator consumes 8-10 liters/night for 4 hours, 7 nights per week. They pick up diesel in 60 liter drums and a nights consumption costs about $12.

While I was touring the campus to check on the storage tanks Byemerwa went to look at a potential spring source in the mountains nearby.  They also are thinking of bringing water down from this source (like the water in the town) for additional volume for things like washing and irrigation.  The mountains above Image are beautiful.

I also toured the computer and science labs.  I brought DVDs and a flash drive with educational materials but the computers are older with only CD drives.  They do have one good laptop and I demonstrated the 8 GB flash drive that had a collation of Wikipedia articles for the UK syllabus (150,000 files), a medical encyclopedia, several digital science texts, and a collection of audio books including classic short stories, the entire new testament, and Hurlbut's bible stories.  I thought these could be used to practice listening to English as well as being interesting for the students.