Water and Energy at Ak’ Tenamit

Three Ak’ Tenamit assessment teams visited the site to research a design for a sanitation system for the community’s school campus. The community’s needs priorities are Sanitation, Energy and Water.  Several options for resolving the community’s sanitation issues were discussed with the Ak’ Tenamit Board of Directors.  The Board determined that flush toilets with an anaerobic baffled reactor was the best option for the community.  The teams worked with the community to determine the best locations for the new sanitation systems.  They also used GPS to map the entire school and obtain necessary data to design for Sanitation and allied systems of water and energy.

During assessment it was determined that the new sanitation system would require significantly more water than the community currently had available. To resolve this issue, the Sanitation team would need to draw on the resources of both the Water and Energy teams. The Water and Energy teams designed systems to provide the campus with not only current water needs but also the additional water needs required for the sanitation systems chosen by the community.  The newly designed and implemented system incorporates a DC pump powered by a newly designed and implemented PV system. The school campus now obtains over 95% of its water needs without the use of gasoline powered pumps.  It is estimated the new system will save the community approximately $5000 per year.

During an earlier implementation, the Water team designed and installed additions onto the boy’s wash building. Two 2500 liter tanks were used to collect rainwater from each side of the structure’s roof and the water was routed directly into the wash basins. The rainwater harvesting system is currently in use.

The sanitation system will require one more trip to complete implementation and commission the system.  This is planned to occur in mid-August 2014.