Students Help Improve EOS’ Water Testing Capabilities
EOS has been working diligently these past eight years to provide Nicaraguans with clean drinking water, improving the health of entire communities. This year marks an exciting advancement in EOS’ ability to expand its work.
In January, five students from the University of Nevada, Reno traveled to San Isidro to help EOS improve it’s testing, tracking, and reporting of the life-changing clean water work taking place every day. As part of this effort, the students raised money prior to their trip to Nicaragua allowing them to purchase and donate a Wagtech Potakit.
This portable water quality lab was designed for use in developing countries to measure over twenty physical and chemical characteristics of water. This new testing kit provides high quality results inline with the certification levels of Nicaragua’s National Ministry of Health. Prior to this high-tech testing kit, EOS relied on a simpler presence/absence test, which identifies the existence of bacteria.
Wes Meier, CEO and Co-founder, explained, “EOS is now able to provide high-quality and certifiable water quality measurements to all of the communities that EOS is currently supporting. This will both strengthen our relationship with the Ministry of Health as well as with the communities we serve.”
While the students were in Nicaragua, they worked closely with our water team members to teach them on the proper performance of these tests. The students created manuals, developed standard operating procedures, and undertook intensive training to ensure the success of the water program.
Graduate research assistant, Zack Arno, helped lead the team in Nicaragua. “The decision for the type of kit was based on an extensive planning phase where both short-term and long-term goals for EOS were considered. The strengths of the equipment stems from the low cost per test after initial investment, the availability of reagents locally in Nicaragua, the diverse range of parameters of human health concern which can be tested, and the credibility of its results within the international WASH sector,” Zach said. “We are excited to see how EOS develops the new water quality laboratory. We hope that the equipment and training we provided brings new opportunities and improves the lives of rural Nicaraguans.”
In addition to advancing EOS’ water testing capabilities, the students also spent a significant amount of time helping EOS improve it’s Geographic Information Systems database. Several of the students were equipped with a GIS background and were eager to dig into applications to streamline our existing data collection process, some of which still included paper and pencil. The students setup a mobile survey that was loaded onto the cell phones of our Nicaragua team for easy entry and storage on the cloud while in the field. The students were also able to map several missing GPS coordinates of previous EOS installations increasing the online installation tracker to over 1,000 points.