Clean, safe water made accessible to children of Toledo’s hinterlands

By: PR March 24,2019 - 12:04 PM

Pupils of Buswang Elementary School in Barangay Cambang-ug, Toledo City now enjoy clean, safe water with the installation of the Aqua Tower in their school, a partnership project between Carmen Copper Corporation and Planet Water Foundation. /Contributed Photo

TOLEDO CITY, Philippines – Where there is clean water, there are healthy children.

Clean and safe drinking water is now accessible to children of Toledo City’s hinterlands through the Ultra Filtration Aqua Tower system installed in four elementary schools where access to clean water used to be scarce.

Carmen Copper Corporation (CCC) made potable water available to pupils of the Bagakay Elementary School in Barangay Bagakay, Buswang Elementary School in Barangay Cambang-ug, Magdugo Elementary School in Barangay Don Juan Climaco Sr., and the Old Bucao Elementary Schoolin Barangay General Climaco, all in Toledo City. This project is in partnership with Planet Water Foundation and Xylem Watermark.

It only took four days, from March 13 to 16, to install four aqua towers by Carmen Copper and Xylem Watermark employee volunteers under the supervision of the Planet Water Foundation technical team.

The Aqua Tower does not only provide drinking water for the children, but also encourages them to wash their hands frequently for proper hygiene.

Ultra Filtration Aqua Tower System

The Aqua Tower can produce 10,000 liters of clean water per day that can serve 1,000 individuals. It is more than enough for the population of the four schools, thus this can be shared with the rest of the community.

Pupils of Bagakay Elementary School flock the newly-installed Aqua Tower to wash hands. The Aqua Tower now provides clean and safe water for drinking and handwashing.

The Aqua Tower is a sustainable water solution as it does not need power to operate. The only power needed, in few instances, is to pump the water up the holding tank. The pressure, created by the gravity, forces the water from the elevated tank to the ultra filtration system where sediments, bacteria, pathogens, protozoa, viruses and other microbiological contaminants greater than 0.1 micron are removed.

The resulting product is a safe, clean and crystal clear water that passed World Health Organization standards and far superior in quality than well water.

The Aqua Tower features nine faucets around it and liquid soap dispensers for hand washing. Volunteers conducted hygiene education to teach the children the importance of frequently washing their hands to improve their health and prevent the spread of diseases.

It is simple to operate and maintain. Teachers and caretakers were given instructions on how to operate and maintain the facility.

The Aqua Tower can last up to 5 years before the filtration system would need to be replaced. Planet Water Foundation will also conduct regular project monitoring. Another remarkable feature is its simple, turnkey installation. Volunteers need only about two to three hours to assemble the tower and complete all the piping works.

Making clean water available for all

Carmen Copper, under its Social Development and Management Program (SDMP), is committed to help its communities, especially the hard to reach areas, get access to clean water.

In 2017, Carmen Copper, in partnership with Planet Water and Xylem Watermark also installed Aqua Towers in PandongBato Elementary School in Barangay Media Once and Biga Elementary School in Barangay Biga. The project has benefitted not only the school children but also the neighborhood.

The Aqua Tower encourages children to come to school without worries of dehydration after a very active day. Washing hands was made easy so they can avoid acquiring communicable diseases such as coughs and colds.

“This project has involved the whole community, from the school to the parents, the barangay local government units, non-government organizations and the private sector. By providing our children access to clean water, we are improving their health and their education.  Therefore, we are investing in their future,” said Carmen Copper Community Relations Superintendent Joemar V. Pritos.

Planet Water Foundation, the creator of Aqua Tower, has established its presence in more than 1,000 communities around the world. Operations Manager for the Philippines Engr. Dario Operario said they have installed 270 Aqua Towers across the country since 2012, 41 of which are in Cebu. /dcb

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