Rainwater Harvesting and Treatment System for the Delmas 30 Neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti

EPA Grant Number: SU834770
Title: Rainwater Harvesting and Treatment System for the Delmas 30 Neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Investigators: Colosi, Lisa , Foster, Benjamin , Henriques, Justin
Current Investigators: Colosi, Lisa , Andrukonis, Megan , Foster, Ben , Henriques, Justin , Jones, Kendra , McNally, Taylor
Institution: University of Virginia
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: August 15, 2010 through August 14, 2011
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2010) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Built Environment , P3 Challenge Area - Water , P3 Awards , Sustainability


The goal of this project is to test the components of a rainwater harvesting and treatment facility that will provide drinking water for a neighborhood in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Preliminary design work has been completed, and the proposed system comprises a series of inline filters and a basic chlorinator. It is currently unknown what quantity and quality of water this system will provide since the filters have been sized to exclude Cryptosporidium parvum but filtration will occur primarily via gravity-induced flow. During prototype testing, the design team will actively engage local stakeholders to determine: 1) how the proposed water delivery system might be best integrated into Delmas 30’s unique community healthcare program; and 2) what the environmental, economic, and societal benefits of this system will be.


For stage one, we will construct and operate a prototype of the preliminary design. We will measure flow rate under various design storms and also assess the quality of the drinking water produced against US Primary Drinking Water Standards. This will enable us to refine our estimate of how much high quality water can be produced and stored in our system. This work will be completed in the United States because travel to Haiti is difficult at present. To ensure that our system is relevant and useful to the community for which it was designed, we will interact and partner with on-the-ground stakeholders via email and telephone. This interaction will be facilitated by a local non-profit agency which will also provide input on construction, maintenance, community education, and technical training. Collaborations with local stakeholders will specifically focus on development and implementation of educational programs to supplement their current community health work in a way that emphasizes interconnections between water and health for families in the Delmas 30 community.

Expected Results:

The proposed design is estimated to provide 125,600 gallons of clean drinking water for use in the Delmas 30 neighborhood. Since current access to clean water is roughly 10 L/capita/day, the system is expected to have profound social, economic, and environmental benefits for at least 100 people. First, access to clean water is expected to significantly reduce community illnesses, thus provision of clean drinking water is a form of preventative social healthcare. This benefit will also engender economic benefits in two ways: 1) an increase in the number of healthy working days per person per year,and 2) direct creation of 1-2 maintenance and operation jobs. Finally, with regard to environmental benefits, collection and consumption of rainwater will reduce stress on the natural Haitian aquifers, which have been extensively depleted and are not being refilled because of dramatic deforestation across the country.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 2 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

human health, community-based, public good,

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report