Bolivia: Waste Water
Founded: Spring 2005
Project: Bolivia Waste Waster Project
NGO: Etta Projects
Location: Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Majors: 8 Engineering Majors and 5 Non-Engineering Majors
Grades: Freshman to Doctoral
Project Objective and Overview:
The original Bolivia Project designed and installed a septic system at an elementary school in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. This project included a toilet house and septic tank. The project encompassed structural design of the toilet house and excavation of the septic tank and drain field trenches.
Foundations for the toilet house were constructed first while the septic tank was excavated. Concrete was mixed by hand and poured to create walls and a base for the septic tank. Brick was also used as a subbase for the septic tanks and toilet house walls. Four reinforced concrete septic tank lids were constructed. A baffle wall was constructed out of brick and lined with concrete between the sedimentation tank and clear well.
The drain field had to be carefully construction to ensure adequate gravity flow through the three parallel drain pipes. Gravel was graded to create a base for the drain pipes and compacted around the pipes for protection and drainage. Bed-sheets were used to serve as a geotextile layer atop the foot of gravel. The fabric was used to minimize the amount of fine soil migrating into the pore spaces in the gravel, thereby maintaining easy draining from the pipes. Decorative brick "flowers" were made to mark the three clean-out pipes (buried about six inches) for the three septic drain pipes.
The travel team also cleaned up the area around the water faucet to help make it more sanitary.
Etta Projects partners with Bolivian communities to identify, prioritize, and implement sustainable solutions to the health, education, and economic challenges of poverty.