(61b) Producing Clean Water for the Thai Village of Nong Bua

Lash, M. H. - Presenter, Rutgers University
Kretch, J. - Presenter, Rutgers University
Pal, D. - Presenter, Rutgers University
Hughes, J. - Presenter, Rutgers University
Shah, R. - Presenter, Rutgers University
Tomassone, M. S. - Presenter, Rutgers University

The village of Nong Bua, a poor northern Thai village, has historically been plagued with poor water quality and inadequate resources. Currently, their water system has elevated mineral concentrations of manganese and iron as tested in a government laboratory. After assessing the system, it is apparent that iron and manganese precipitate in the water, which leads to sediment buildup, clogging of the filtration system, and discoloration of the water. These contaminants have forced the villagers to obtain other sanitary sources of water and spend 68% of their income on water. Students and mentors from Rutgers University have traveled to Nong Bua to install and renew their piping systems, which allow for clean water to flow into local households. The team spent a month working with local villagers to successfully install a series of new pipes, implement a daily backwash system, and make numerous other alterations, ensuring better filtration and water flow. Analysis of the water confirms that the water is now potable and minerals have decreased from 84 to 16 percent. Future work will allow for additional purification, an automated self-sustaining filter cleansing system that does not require manual labor from villagers who should be working to support their families.