Aguayuda’s water journey
Blue Mountain Co partnered with Aguayuda (now part of WaterAid) to help install 3 rain harvesting systems in the remote community of Barra del Colorado in Costa Rica.
The United Nations describes equitable access to safe and clean drinking water as “a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life…”.
Rainwater harvesting is a source of clean water for many people living in urban areas around the world. It is used to supplement centrally-supplied mains water, or as the main source of water in less developed areas.
Unfortunately, access to water of an acceptable quality is difficult or even impossible for many communities in some parts of the globe.
It’s in these places that harvesting rainwater can play a huge role in helping people access safe and clean water. For some remote communities, it can even be the first time that this has been possible.
Finding water balance in Barra del Colorado
We donated some of the essential products for any rainwater harvesting system. The products selected for the systems were:
- Rain Heads
- First Flush Diverter kits
- Monitoring Gauges
The first rain harvesting system was installed at the local kindergarten. This was chosen so that children and nearby families could have a new source of safe drinking water.
The second system was installed at the church. This site was ideal because the building had a large roof area for rainwater catchment. Annual rainfall in the region reaches 6, 000mm, so harvesting large quantities of rainwater with this collection surface was considered to be the best choice.
The third and final system was installed at the home of a family who assisted with the other installations. A reliable water supply is now shared between the family and their neighbours.
These rainwater harvesting systems will benefit families throughout the remote community of Barra del Colorado. The clean water they collect and store will also help them to live healthier and happier lives.
The finer details of the systems
Some extra information about the products chosen for these systems:
Rain Heads protect rainwater by stopping leaves, debris, mosquitos, pests and vermin from entering rainwater pipework.
Our Rain Heads have a 0.955 micron stainless steel mesh screen to block these elements. The aperture (hole size) of the mesh is small enough to keep out contaminants, but large enough to let rainwater pass through.
First Flush Diverters
First Flush Diverters capture and isolate dirty water from the roof/collection surfaces, preventing it from ending up in the tank.
First Flush Diverters are important for capturing smaller particles, like animal matter, paint or dirt. These are elements that can land on the roof and be washed into. the rainwater tank if there is no First Flush in the system.
When First Flush Diverters are used in combination with Rain Heads, large and small pollutants will be captured before they reach the rainwater tank.
Monitoring Gauges give an indication of how much rainwater is stored in a tank or barrel. For areas where rainwater is essential, Monitoring Gauges help to keep track of water levels and how much water is available.
For the systems installed in Barra del Colorado, Monitoring Gauges allow the community to properly monitor their rainwater supply and to make informed choices about their water use.