Split work / Timeline

Increase utility rate of bio-sand water filters in villages.

Split work / Timeline

Postby H. Timothy Hsiao » Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:29 am

Timeline/Deadline has been asked about.
What do you all think? I was thinking that we could set up milestones for each week, and split the work to all team investigators.
For example, we're in the background research stage:

(1) Background research

(a) What is the biosand filter?
(b) What is the life, schedule like in the villages? Monthly income?
(c) Resources in the villages (including hardware, transportation in the households, and talent pool available? water source, etc.)

A proposed work assignment:
Week 1 (information collection)(Deadline: Nov 7, Sun):
Jay: (a) (Since Jay has done a lot of the background study)
Tien: (b) and (c) (since Tien is calling Daniel, and has already got a hypothesis)
Hong: Hong is not on board yet.. if she joins later she could probably help with (b) or (c)..

Goal: One- or two-page summary listing the "specifically relevant info for our project" in word documents for (a), and (b+c).
On Nov. 7. Jay and Tien could share the summaries. And we're ready to officially move onto
Step (2) Identify the underlying causes for the low acceptance of the bio-sand filters.

Would that work for you?
H. Timothy Hsiao
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:10 am

Re: Split work / Timeline

Postby ciardubain » Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:59 pm

This sounds great Tim. Thank you for proposing this timeline.

I will be meeting with some contacts in New Haven sometime this week to listen to their perspective on working with bio-sand filters and the difficulties encountered. I will put this into part (a) with an outline roughly as follows:
1)How does a bio-sand filter work?
2)what are necessary conditions for optimum performance?
3)what is the lifetime, cost, and what effects these numbers?
4)what are typical difficulties encountered when using the filters?

Tien, I appreciate your questions in a previous post and I think I will be able to cover all of them within this outline. Would either of you like to see additional main points?

Looking forward to making some tangible progress on this project!
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Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:02 am

Re: Split work / Timeline

Postby tienshiao » Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:02 pm

Thanks Tim, the plan sounds great. Jay, outline looks really good. Nothing more I'd like to add. Below are some answers to my questions via my conversation with Daniel today. As you can see, I still have lots of unanswered questions - I may email Daniel to get more information. My outline will be:

1) What is the current lifestyle/jobs of the villagers? What is their income?
2) What are the resources available to them (hardware, transportation)?
3) What is their current water source and how are they accessing their drinking water? How are they disposing of their wastewater?
4) How many people are getting sick drinking untreated water?
5) Is there an sanitation education program?
6) What are the major complaints of the bio-sand filter by the villagers (maintenance, disposal, price, and culture incompatibility)?

Let me know if you'd like to see anything else in the outline!
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Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:24 pm

Tien's summary of info collected so farRe: Split work / Time

Postby H. Timothy Hsiao » Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:46 pm

Hypothesis: biosand filters have not been adopted because of the hassle of maintenance, difficulty to dispose of the filters, and the price.
Contact: Daniel in the Hospital El Buen Samaritano, Director of the Biosand Filter Project. Called November 1, 2010.
General Information:
• Cost of filter: $100
• Rotary pays for the filters
• Daniel’s team makes filters at the hospital site, currently, he stopped making the filters
• What kind of maintenance does the bio-sand filter need?
• How frequent is maintenance needed?
• Whose in charge of the maintenance (head of the household, the women, the children etc.)?
o Tim: Daniel's team is in charge of the maintenance. They make regular visits to the villages to examine the filters and perform needed maintenance. No cost / maintenance obligation is on the villagers.
• Is it easy to get new parts of the bio-sand filter if it breaks?
• Is it easy to get a new one?
• How does one know whether it's time to switch out the bio-sand filter?
• Is it common for villagers to continue using the bio-sand filter even after it has been spent?

• How are the bio-sand filters disposed of, once they are spent? Are there any requirements for disposal?
o Tim: the filters need to be demolished for disposal, so that no village residents would incorrectly use any malfunctioning filters, and blame on the filters if any health conditions arises later. Please also see our "Photo Libraries" - Biosand_Filter. There're pictures of the disposal process of filters. The inner content is emptied. The shell is demolished.
• Do you think the villagers can afford the bio-sand filter if Rotary is not picking up the cost? What is the average monthly income?
o Tim: don't think they could afford if Rotary is not paying for it. Not sure of any precise number for monthly income, but I know the income is very low, and the sugar cane cutting work is only seasonal.
• Where is the water supply?
o Daniel: either groundwater or surface water. Depends. Villagers either have pipes that deliver water to them or have to get water themselves. Depends. Either way, none of the water is treated.
• What happens if there's a drought?
o Daniel: don’t know.

• What are the health impacts from the current water quality, without bio-sand treatment?
o Daniel: Bacterial contamination especially during the summer. There is frequent sickness.

• Why are the villagers not accepting these filters?
o Daniel: culture. The filter is something different and is foreign to the villagers. “Same piece of land but we are different”.
• Have you thought about a central treatment system?
o Daniel: most of the property is private property so we cannot install a bigger system.
• How long has the bio-sand filter been introduced?
• What is the life, schedule like in the villages? Monthly income?
• Resources in the villages (including hardware, transportation in the households, and talent pool available? water source, etc.)
H. Timothy Hsiao
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:10 am

Re: Split work / Timeline

Postby H. Timothy Hsiao » Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:57 pm

For the unanswered questions, since they have been clearly listed, we could also just email either Daniel or Odalis. Odalis is in charge of the social program for the villages, and very knowledgeable. She might have answers for the general living conditions in the villages (bateys).

Also, Tien, I thought previously in your hypothesis you also mentioned that maybe the villagers do not take the filters partly because they are not aware or do not appreciate the benefits of the biosand filters. Would you guys think this is still a worthwhile hypothesis to pursue? To fight against the "culture" in the villages as Daniel mentioned, what do you guys think about educating the villagers about the serious outcome of the bacterial infection for drinking non-filtered water, and tell them how much the filter can improve their health? I think Jay's research will be tremendously helpful to us for information in this regard.

Thanks all for the great progress we're making! It's such pleasure to work with you. Looking forward to the coming weekend! This is exactly the power of team problem solving!

H. Timothy Hsiao
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:10 am

Re: Split work / Timeline

Postby tienshiao » Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:56 pm

Hi Tim, thanks for the feedback! I think you've hit the nail on the head. After I spoke with Daniel, that's exactly what I thought. An education program talking about positive health impacts of the bio-sand filter could really help villagers overcome the foreignness if the bio-filter treatment system. It's not in my notes, but I think Daniel mentioned a clinic that visits the villagers. I think he said you working with the clinic a little bit. Do you recall whether they attempted to educate the villagers on bacteria contaminated water. Also, I'm sending a list of questions to Daniel tonight! Thanks again - I agree with the power of teamwork.

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Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:24 pm

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