Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink. - Exodus 17:6


Important Dates

Semester 1

September 18 - Team defined

September 23 - Project defined

October 14 - Website created

October 21 - Oral presentation 1

November 13 - Website published

November 18 - Submit draft PPFS

December 2 - Oral presentation 2

December 11 - Submit PPFS

December 15 - Business plan presentation



January 26 to February 2 - Trip to Cuchiverachi


Semester 2

March 1 - Oral presentation 3

March 3 - Business plan

March 12 - Engineering Friday's at Calvin!

April 19 - Design report for CEAC review

April 28 - Design report for Faculty review

April 30 - Oral presentation 4

May 8 - Senior Banquet and Project Night

May 12 - Final design report due

Trip Summary (Jan. 26 - Feb. 2)

Two members of our team (Hendrik Vanderloo and Drew Johnson) traveled to Cuchiverachi during interim break. Provided below are pictures and explanations that will help you understand our thought process in more visual terms.


This is looking down at the village of cuchiverachi during the hike up to spring 4. The dormitory has the bright (metal) looking roof.



An up close view of the dormitory. At this time the primary goal of the medical missions organization is to provide clean drinking water to this facility.


Original Catchment, Spring 1

This is the original spring catchment system at spring 1. Water was flowing around the box, bypassing the system. This catchment was also built approximately 30 meters downstream of the eye. Evidence suggests it was built in February of 1995. At the top of this picture a 1/2" PVC pipe can be seen. Currently there are 5 users that acquire their drinking water from this spring, this includes the dormitory.


Eye, Spring 1

This is the actual eye of spring 1. Water tests show that here water is very clean, and flows at approximately 2 L/min through sandy soils. The villagers have placed sticks accross the eye to prevent livestock from getting stuck. Sping protection is necessary, as there is no shortage of animal feces in the surrounding area, especially in the flow path of the spring runoff.


Spring 2

A side shot of spring 2. Originally the villagers strategically placed logs in the spring to keep livestock from getting caught in the marshy area. Recently a barbed wire fence has been built to enclose the spring. The soils are very saturated and mostly clays. Flow rates were difficult to determine as the eye of the spring could not be pinpointed. Currently there are no villagers using this spring, as it seems construction of a catchment system would be both more complex and more laborious.



The Copper Canyon region can be a dangerous place. It is uncertain whether or not tainted water was the culprit that lead to this creature's doom.


Spring 3 Spring 3

These two pictures are from spring 3. We could not locate the eye of the spring, as there were some issues in translating from English to Spanish to Tarahumaran. However, we were able to find the location from which several pipes were drawing water (left picture, in the middle of the three people). The picture on the right shows a more ideal location for the construction of a catchment system. Unfortunately, immediately following this picture one of the team members (Drew) dropped the camera into the spring (it turned out to be harmless after letting it dry out). Thankfully we brought a backup!


Spring 4

Spring 4 is located a little farther from the dormitory than most of the other springs. Currently nobody is using this spring for drinking water. Protection of this area would be necessary, as livestock feces can be spotted within a few feet from the spring. It was difficult to determine a flow rate, but our best estimates are about 0.5 L/min. The immediate area has large quantities of sand, gravel, and stackable rocks. These materials would be excellent for construction of a spring catchment.


Water Testing with Drew

We managed to bring down three Hach testing kits. One of the more important tests included the PathoScreen test, which tested for pathogenic indicator organisms.


Ceramic Filter

Ceramic Filter Head

This is a simpe ceramic filter used by some of the villagers and the school. After the implementation of these filters at the school, the cases of diarrhea almost entirely diminished. These filters cost approximately $20 US. Maintenance of the filter can be accomplished by using a fine sand paper to remove the outer builup of grime every few months. The filter should last at least a year if well maintained.


Crossing the River

There was absolutely no way we could have done this trip without the cooperation of the medical missions group "Salud Para Suchil" and the aid of the villagers of Cuchiverachi. A special thanks to Maria (far left), Richard, Timo, Jose, Valencio (far right), Jose, and all of the other kind and hospitable people we encountered during our trip through Mexico!