Followup water test.

With the water purification system in place and functioning for a few weeks, we performed two water tests.  One on the water coming through the installed system and another from the normal kitchen faucet.

These tests proved two things.  First, the system works a charm.  The test showed ZERO coliform bacteria in the sterilized water.  PERFECT.

The second thing we proved as a result of the test on the normal kitchen water is that the entire system, not including the water we diverted from the well for the sterilization system, is catastrophically polluted.  Westfalia has a systemic fecal bacteria problem with test results of 553 colonies of fecal bacteria per 100ml of water. This test is actually much higher than the original test result of 300.  200 is the regarded safe limit for such bacteria for bathing.  These children are showering, washing their clothes, brushing their teeth and washing dishes with this polluted water.

This result is surprising only in the sense that at this time they are pumping only well water into the main cistern.  The cistern is therefore so polluted that it totally contaminates the well water that enters it and goes from there to every building on the property.

The photo below shows the test medium for each water sample.  On the left, the sterilized water with no bacteria and on the right the contaminated water from the normal kitchen faucet.  You can clearly see the hundreds of bacteria colonies.

test results

I am now adamant that they MUST stop using river water.    Randy is equally convinced that we need to root out the problem and cure it.  We know that it will  be extremely expensive.  Converting the well power supply to solar, to eliminate the $1,000 per month fuel bill, cleansing the entire water system of the orphanage, cisterns, pipes, roof tanks and plumbing and installing a purification system at the main cistern are the three elements of the plan.  We hope that we can bring it off, with a lot of financial help.

I confess that I never imagined, when I started down this path, that it would end up such a serious overall problem that I am incapable of ignoring it.  None of us involved are willing to ignore it.  Es la vida.


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