Wednesday, February 28, 2018 (Puerto Rico)

(by Jacqueline Glattard and Melanie Holland)

Day 3 for the travel team was focused around testing the sampled water from Los Duros, Orocovis taken the day before. There were 9 samples taken from 3 sites: the spring, the homes in the community, and the Limones water treatment plant. Specifically, we tested for copper, iron, manganese, sulfate, sulfide, iodide, alkalinity, hardness, and pH. These tests require reagents and equipment that are not easily transported to the field, which is why it is lab work. The lab of the day was the hotel room 407.

It was interesting to observe the levels of contaminants in the samples, and note when they exceeded the World Health Organization standards.  This will be useful information for the team to take into consideration when developing our design recommendations.

We had a team meeting to discuss observations and possible project ideas, comparing interview notes and data to gain a stronger understanding of the potential challenges that lie ahead.

We ventured outside for lunch to enjoy the nice weather, ocean views and each other’s company. Tomorrow we will have the opportunity to visit another community in the municipality of Villalba to take samples, interact with community members, and evaluate the potential of a project there.

After two days of strenuous labor, we were able to do much needed loads of laundry, relax, and catch up on homework. For dinner we switched it up and ate seafood in Ponce, at a restaurant that overlooked the ocean. A highlight included the pumpkin and cheese flan, which we all shared and quickly devoured.