[fsf60k] Re: Solution/good news

  • From: joshanley@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: fsf60k@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 22 Jul 2009 12:59:57 -0400

Peter, I agree with you and  I strongly urge retesting the water to make 
sure the tests were done right. If they were, the water can still be used 
as you pointed out. I want to reraise the possibility of using a wind mill 
to power the well if it can not be used for human consumption. The upfront 
cost and maintenance would be lower. John

Peter White <pedro831@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
George Pardo <pardo123@xxxxxxxxx>, Michael AR Cipoletti <ikecip@xxxxxxx>
richard wiltamuth <dwiltam@xxxxxxxxx>, billcpf@xxxxxxx, 
lisapflanagan@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, fsf60k@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, skornblatt@xxxxxxxxx, 
kelleystanford@xxxxxxxxx, abbyfl57@xxxxxxxxx, tlog0201@xxxxxxxxx, 
clubgomes@xxxxxxx, jzima28@xxxxxxx, nycus@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
07/22/2009 11:58 AM
[fsf60k] Re: Solution/good news
Sent by:

Hola George. I will be with Mike for the next few days, and this NA water 
problem will be one of our major tasks. Bill spoke of making sure of the 
"replenishment" factor in any new water area. We're not buying anything 
until all facts have been found and all agree that it is the next best 
step. I still think there must be some utility for the present well in NA, 
even with 40ppb. I don't know how they tested the well to get that count, 
did they purge the well like we had done when we got a reading of 12ppb 
last year or two years ago? I don't know. Also, the water with the 40ppb, 
if it is that, can still be used for crops and bathing and maybe even 
animals, just not human consumption. Maybe a smaller generator, not the 
big $4000 Pedro Lopez generator that Monica and Glen bought in July 07, 
might get the water up for local use by biointensive gardens, other 
fields, and other uses. And maybe the new site can provide the drinking 
water. We'll get all the facts we can and return with hopefully plenty of 
info before any money is put forth. Please ask any questions or make any 
comments over the next few days to Mikes email so we can use them while 
there. I'll be returning on Monday July 27. Lisa and Mike will be 
returning that day also. Lisa left today for Nica, I leave tomorrow. PW
-----Original Message-----
From: George Pardo [mailto:pardo123@xxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 12:29 AM
To: Michael AR Cipoletti
Cc: richard wiltamuth; Peter White; billcpf@xxxxxxx; 
lisapflanagan@xxxxxxxxxxxxx; fsf60k@xxxxxxxxxxxxx; skornblatt@xxxxxxxxx; 
kelleystanford@xxxxxxxxx; abbyfl57@xxxxxxxxx; tlog0201@xxxxxxxxx; 
clubgomes@xxxxxxx; jzima28@xxxxxxx; nycus@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Solution/good news

are you referring the existing well?  Maybe a test can be done to 
determine what is the max gallons per day that it can sustain.  that is 
what we did with the other well.  We should really do this before we buy a 
parcel of land.   don't know if you were already panning to do this but a 
reminder, just in case.


On Sun, Jul 19, 2009 at 3:13 AM, Michael AR Cipoletti <ikecip@xxxxxxx> 
Well has a depth of 220 feet (approx)

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 17, 2009, at 8:22 PM, richard wiltamuth <dwiltam@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

the well in cortizal seems to offer many advantages---less or no arsenic, 
cooler, cheaper equipment and promise of longer equipment lifespan.  what 
is depth of water? is this the well with the wheel where we drew water for 
nuevo a few years ago? would need to have the water tested several times 
to make sure of arsenic and other potential contaminants. would need the 
government to test and approve the water before we sink money into this 
project. if this source is technically feasible, given the longer distance 
the water has to travel, would be a good solution. maybe we could buy the 
rights to pump a certain quantity of water rather than buying the land 
where the well is located. easements would have to be arranged for the 
am concerned about the nuevo community's ability to use the arsenic 
filters as intended, given their track record with the diesel generator 
and lack of literacy. the less equipment involved, the less that can go 
mike, thanks for your tireless work on this; am glad you're on the scene 
like an agua machine. you and the others will make a solution happen much 
dick w.

On Fri, Jul 17, 2009 at 7:57 PM, Michael AR Cipoletti <ikecip@xxxxxxx> 
I met with Salvador Mora the gentleman from ENICAL that informed us of the 
issue. I also spoke with several folks from the public health center in 
UNAN LEon.. There seems to be a trend of rising arsenic levels in this 
watertable due to a variety of factors. They forsee the problem worsening 
over time.. There is however a good potential solution. In the community 
of Cortizal located about 1000 meters from the location of the existing 
well with clean cool water. The temperature of the water is under 80 
degrees and has tested clean for several years. Salvador conchita Marco 
and a couple of the students will be driving to nuevo tomorrow morning to 
assess the possibilities of the location and look into the 
land/ownership/selling price..
This site if viable would enable us to use the solar pump we originally 
were going to purchase (half the price/easier to obtain) and could 
potentially benefit more people.... 
Salvador also said there is the possibilty of an electric generator being 
wired in or a standard generator with a solar invertor to pump the water.
Additionally the existing tubing tanks seem as if they would still work 
all we would need to do is connect the tanks to the new water source.
I am happy with todays findings and the students and I will be making this 
task a priority over the coming week.
I will send an update tomorrow afternoon. Wish us luck.

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 16, 2009, at 11:03 PM, George Pardo <pardo123@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Very bad news indeed.

As far as the arsenic is concerned, it can be taken out of the water.  We 
can get the materials from Dr. Meng to put together the filters, probably 
for about $30 each.  The chemicals I recall to be about $4-5$ per year. 
This is a viable option if we trust the people to operate the filters 
properly.  They do already use a filter for bacteria.  I also looked at a 
point of distribution filter that would be put by the well but that source 
is not yet totally available, although could be developed for the future. 
The Dr. Meng (Steven's) filter is a sure thing.   We could demonstrate the 
filter to MINSA and get approval to open the well.

The water, even with 40ppb arsenic, is still suitable for bathing and 
irrigation if it is not poured on the part of th plant that you eat and 
not rinsed.  If you irrigate at the roots no problem.  Something like 
lettuce or cabbage could be a problem if not watered properly.  Corn would 
be no problem because it is covered by the husk.

Pete I don't think the crushing of the rock has anything to do with the 
arsenic just the depth of the well.  The deeper wells are more likely to 
have arsenic.

According to Dr. Meng there is no way to predict where there will be clean 
water in a region where there is arsenic.  You can have well with 900ppb 
and 30' away have a well that is acceptable.  Drilling is trial and error. 
 The only way to be sure to get clean water is to drill where there is 
already a good well.  One option is to drill in a remote location that is 
known to be good and pipe the water to NA.  This will invlove additional 
costs and additional complexity.  This was suggested by the organization 
that did the water project in Chac.

The main problem with drilling is the cost of drillling through rock.  If 
there is an area in NA, perhaps in the 20's where there is no rock, it 
would be worth the chance to drill several wells to in order to find a 
clean one.  Maybe the water there may not be as hot.

The question in my mind would be, do we want to deal with the arsenic and 
temperature of the water in NA or is it best to pipe the water in from 
somewhere else where the temperature is moderate, letting us use cheaper 
pumps, and without arsenic.  The trade off would probably a high tower 
tower and a larger tank and the possibly a couple of miles of pipe and 
negotiating the rights to lay that pipe, possibly through public and 
private land.

I think I would try to drill in the 20's at least 1 well and test the 
temperature of the water and arsenic.  If there is a lower temperature 
that would enable us to use a cheaper pumping system and we could use the 
Steven's filter for the aresenic.  If we hit rock I would abandon that 
well and perhaps look into piping the water in from a remote location.

Mike and Pete hopefully you can gather some data on the ground in Nica 
that can be used to develop a good direction.  Good luck at the very 

Please comment on the above options.  Thanks.


On Thu, Jul 16, 2009 at 2:59 PM, Peter White <pedro831@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> 
Hola. Brace yourselves for sure. Mike arrived in Nica late yesterday to 
news that the Nica govt. org., Minsa?, tested the water in NA and found it
to be 40 ppb arsenic, too high considering the nat'l standard is now 10 
They suggested closing the well. We have spent a lot of time on this
project, including two years ago educating ourselves about arenic from Dr.
Meng from the STevens Instit. of Tech. in Hoboken, NJ, who believes and 
proven that arsenic can be removed cheaply, safely, etc. However this may 
of no value if the Nica govt orders the well closed. The other bad news is
that the two year old diesel motor is unable to be repaired. So the people
are without water and walking for water I suppose. Mike is going to be
asking a multitude of questions of the MINSA people and others, and 
his head together with Conchita, Martin, and others about what the next
step/s are. Please think about this and get your questions to Mike or me
asap. I am going down to Nica for a quick five day visit July 23-27. This
was supposed to be a joyous visit in part, as we were going to see the
contract for the installation of the solar water project in NA and put up
half the money in order to get the project going. Now we are really set
back. The real problem is the continued suffering of the people.
The good news I suppose is that we aren't going to be throwing more money
into the old generator if it is kaput. Also we are not going to spend 
on a solar project for a well that may be of no use anymore. Mike says 
there is a clean water source about 2K from NA, which we know about (I
think). I beleive it is where the bomba de mescate is located. That's 
the people walk to when there is no water. It is a hand/rope pump that is
cumbersome, tiresome, slow, etc. but it has clean water. Or, maybe it 
clean and no one ever tested there??? Frankly, a good portion of Nica is
with bad water, so what are we to do? I dont' see how La UNion, only 1K
away, has good water (or maybe it isn't either) and NA is bad. We need
everyone to think, suggest, provide ideas, etc. so we can move forward
I remember Dr. Meng saying that the arsenic isn't really in the deep water
naturally but that arsenic is released from the crushing of the rock when
deep wells, where water lies below a level of rock, are perforated. In NA,
the first 40 feet or so was dirt. Then they hit rock which was 60 - 65 
The rate of descent was slow, the big drill bit broke a few times, but
finally the driller struck the water they've been using since Aug. 07.
Problem probably is that the arsenic gets into the water from the crushing
of the rock I guess. I'm not the expert here, but I just hope they can
locate a place where we can begin anew, cheaply, with good water and then
solarize it from the outset. Be well. Pray. PW



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