Sunday, June 4, 2017

Noble School--Sakhinetipalli

Noble School in Sakhinetipalli is a small school of 150 students.

Noble School 1987

Thirty years ago Mr. B. Raja V. Prasad realized that there was no school available to many of the children in Sakhinetipalli.  He and his wife knew that the poor would always be poor without an education, so they opened a school.

Noble School offers free education to the children of physically handicapped and the poor. They offer classes from lower Kindergarten to tenth class. They teach English medium, even to the lower Kindergarten (3-year olds).

They teach what they call "Socially Useful Productive Work" as a part of school life. The teachers work with the students and villagers in the construction of houses, community centers, sanitation systems, self-employment and AIDS awareness.

Noble is a three story building. The bottom floor has the school office and storage room. The rest of the lower floor is rented out to small businesses. The rent from these shops provides the funding for the school.

Classrooms are on the 2nd and 3rd floors--a total of eleven classrooms. There is no wiring on these two floors and therefore there are no lights or fans.

The children take their lunch outside under what they call a "dining shed."  

The roof of this shed, and the roof over an area the teachers use, is full of holes and pieces of metal are missing. This is the only place with any shade.

Lights and fans were installed in all the classrooms.

Children and staff celebrated their new light and cooler classrooms!

The metal roofs were replaced as we finished our service. We are happy to provide a more educational friendly space for these children of a rural village in India.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Tumkur, Gubbi Taluk Well Water Project

On 1 Sep 2016 our very large Tumkur District, Gubbi Taluk (about 3 hours outside Bengaluru) water well project was approved by Headquarters in SLC. This project was given to us on day two of our mission, 7 Sep 2015. It is a very large and complicated project that will provide water for over 18,000 people (about 5,000 families) in eleven different villages. There are six new wells and three rehabilitation wells--all three need to be re-drilled to a deeper depth to find reliable water.

First Week of Work--3 to 8 October:

Excavation of the first of three 50,000 liter water tank towers begins at Ganeshpura near the high school. The hole is about five feet deep and about 20 feet in diameter.

Rebar is cut and bent to go in the footing and for the core of the six risers for the tower.

This tower will be 81 feet tall.

"When I nod my head, you hit it with the hammer."

Few power tools are used.

These workers are cutting the rebar using a hammer and rock.

A hand-mixer is on site. As well as one gasoline-powered mixer.

50 Kg (110 lb.) bags of cement are stored in a tent nearby to keep them out of the weather.

It can rain lots during the monsoon months of  August to September.

The power mixer is  put into service to mix the gravel, sand and cement to make the footings concrete.

Workers carry the mixed cement using shallow stainless steel pans to locations in the hole to begin covering the rebar.

Notice that there are no long-handled shovels.

All movement of gravel, sand, dirt and cement is done with a short-handled wide mouthed hoe-looking tool.  It is the standard tool of choice in India.

There is no evidence that the hole was dug with any power equipment: picks, steel bars and short-handled shovels.

The inspection team

By late October it was time to select well drill points. First a geologist set six points.

Marking the drill point.

Then the "Coconut Guy" came and verified four of the six drill points.

A "wire Y-Guy" also verified the same four drill points.

So, it was set: four points to start the drilling.

The borewell and support trucks arrive at Ganeshpura High School on 24 Oct 2016.
There is excitement in the air as villagers gather to see the heavy equipment.

The support truck gets in position with the drill stem, bits and a large air compressor to flush out drill debris and to signal when the water aquifer is reached deep in the ground.

In our case, we are prepared to drill down to approximately 1,200 feet--through the underground granite that seals the water from contaminants.

The drilling started at 4:47 p.m. on 24 Oct 2016.

First water was hit at 750 feet late into the night.

The well finished at 850 feet with over 10,000 liters per minute gushing back from the air forced into the ground: Great quantity!!

For the next three days and nights they went from drill  point to drill point--four in all.

Madlapura 24 Oct--950 feet; 10,000+ liters/hour

Hunagnala 25 Oct--1,000 feet; 
4,500 liters/hour

Hoskere 26 Oct--850 feet; 
10,000+ liters/hour

Families from the villages came--deep into the night to see the new water as it gushed up over the crowd. Children squealed, fathers and mothers cheered at the sight of their new water.

Women of the Hosakere village sector celebrate with traditional Hindu blessings of the new water well.

The well-heads are welded closed to ensure no debris is put down the hole before the water riser pipe and submersible pump can be installed in a few weeks.

Meanwhile, the overhead water tank is rising out of the ground at Ganeshpura-- columns erected, footings concreted with ring beam.

Concrete is hoisted by buckets to the higher levels of the water tank.
A hoist is rigged with a cable attached to a tractor to raise and lower the buckets.

By the last week in November the tank is up, the water container is constructed, and is ready for the water-proofing cement coating.

The pipeline between Shivapura and Madlapura is well on its way to completion.

These wells will be interconnected so that if one is down for some reason, water is still obtainable to the villages. Many of these pipelines are 10 to 15 Km long.

Our Contractor, Arvind Srinivas (left) and Site Monitor, Nathan Arockia (right), with the Madlapura water tank under construction behind them.

By the first week in December it is time to begin to set the rising mains and place the submersible pumps.

Here, the villages of the Hoskere Sector asked for their well to be operational as soon as possible due to the unavailability of water in their area.

The completed pump system is erected and ready to be inserted into the borewell--23 Dec 2016.

By mid-January 90% of the distribution pipelines were completed in Ganeshpura Ballihalla and Yekkalakatte Villages. 

Nearly 80% of the total pipeline and soft square steel for the Overhead Water tanks were on site and ready for installation.

At 2:35 p.m on 11 Jan 2017 a fifth borewell was started at Shettihalli Village--a location where we were replacing a 600 foot deep well that had failed due to the water table dropping.

By 6:30 the next morning and two drill bits later, it became apparent that it was a dry hole...

After 1,100 feet, still no water. The geologist called the drilling off.

Unfortunately, one of the good wells failed after four months. The contractor is looking at remedial actions to get water back. It could mean placing small charges of explosives in the bore to break up the granite rock and allow more water to flow into the borewell.

On February 27th and 28th Elder and Sister Henrie joined us for a tour of the project and inauguration of one segment of the project--the Ganeshpura series of villages.

Here, we see the completed overhead water tank. It stands 81 feet tall and holds 50,000 liters of water. This is the tank that was built on the footings and foundation shown above. 

We looked at everything--

Wells that were just completed...but not connected to a water tank...

Here, a well is turned on the for first time with a temporary control unit sitting on a box.

There were workers nearby mixing up concrete for the final control box location.

Larry grabbed one of their shovels and started mixing the cement right there in the roadway.

We also saw workers assembling the water valve on one of the public water taps in the village.

Water is gathered night and morning and taken to each home for drinking and cooking. 

Here you see a typical village and how the women come to draw water from their old water system.

Notice the woman in the upper right photo carrying the orange water pots. Both pots contain about 20 liters of water...and they are both full of water.

Each new well must have new power service brought wire, poles, transformers and protecting fuse links.

Here, the silver box is the housing for the well control unit. It is temporarily leaning against the power pole.

The well also is pumping directly into an existing distribution system temporarily, while a new water tank is constructed and an improved distribution system is built. The villagers needed the water right away and this was the only way to accommodate them.

A village leader, Contractor Arvind Srinivas, Father Francis from the St. Thomas Mission Society, and Site Monitor Nathan Arockia look on as we inspect.

It is interesting to note that the high school next to the first water tank LDSC installed now has a new solar power system, donated by Hindustan Aeronautics.

This is one of the Hume pipe used to house the water well control units. It is a large concrete pipe-shaped cylinder, placed on a cement platform. A roof is erected and a door with a lock is also installed. 

This is the top of a new well that was  recently drilled and failed within a short time.

The sand-looking substance you see is granite powder. The well was drilled through a long distance of solid granite. Villagers harvest the granite power to use in brick and block mortar.

This well is scheduled to receive small charges of explosives inside the bore to break up the solid granite and allow more water to flow into the well. It is tricky because too much explosive will fill the borewell with debris and make it useless.

The Madlapura Sector overhead water tank is mostly complete by mid-March.

Here is the Madlapura overhead tank valve chamber.

Madlapura overhead tank outlet pipe to distribution system.

Here is the Hosakere Sector pipeline from the borewell to OHT--Mid April.

Hoskere OHT tie Beam at ground level 25 Apr 2017

Construction Water Storage at OHT Water Site

Concrete Forms for Columns at Hoskere Sector OHT 30 April 17

Hoskere OHT Third Brace Forms in Place 5 May 17

Hoskere OHT Bottom Slab of Tank Container is Underway 12 May 2017

The construction site.

Cement mixing is in full operation.

Keep it coming, guys!!

No time to let it set up before the entire pour is complete!

By 19 May, the water container bottom slab steel was in place.

The concrete is mixed, hoisted into the bowl and here you see the stinger getting the air holes in the bottom slab pushed out.

Still lots of steel
to install and concrete to place on the bowl sides.

On May 26th we begin a day-long Pre-Final Inspection of the Project.

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We begin with the Ganeshpura Sector Over Head Tank (OHT).

It is 95% complete--

Just a brace on the access ladder, labels on the four cast iron pipes coming out the bottom of the tank, a permanent rock sign affixed to the second cross frame with LDSC's name and logo, and the final testing and flushing of the system left to complete.

The borewell head looks good...

That's Nathan Arockia, our Project Site Monitor, leaning on the well head.

The well is protected and sealed a the top.

The Hume pipe pump house is in place with a roof, secure door and power...

The 240 Volt, three-phase control panel is operating correctly.

The land is parched and the underground aquifers are dropping in the scorching India summer sun.

After drilling a successful borewell in late October 2016, four months later the well failed. The contractor re-drilled the existing bore well down another 250 feet. This achieved a water source of 8,000 to 10,000 lts/hr.  As the monsoon is emerging, the yield is expected to improve above 12,000 lts/hr, which is more than enough for both the Sector of Ganeshpura villages and Shivapura. With this success, the Ganeshpura well rising main is also attached—through pipes and controlling ball-valves—to the Shivapura OHT (left) and distribution system, and will provide ample water to both the Ganeshpura and the Shivapura Villages.

Then it was off to the Madlapura Sector and its four villages. The OHT needs:
Additional support to ladder access.
Placement of labels on the tank Inlet, Outlet, Cleanout and Overflow cast iron pipes shown above.
Rock signboard with LDSC logo and name of the Church to be added to the frame of the tank supports.
Connection of inlet and outlet pipes at the OHT and to already installed distribution lines.

The local Panchayat Pre-sident points out where the inlet from the well head and the outlet from the OHT need to be connected. All other distribution lines are in pace.

Here's the Madlapura well head and Hume pipe pump house. Panel board is set to be installed week of 5 June 2017.

The Madlapura water taps and stands are in place; pipes are located underground; some taps need to be connected. 

Here are quotes from villagers:
“Water is like food to us—we can’t live without it”
“I am very happy to have such sweet water so close now”

Hoskere Sector pump and pump set are in; the distribution system is installed; taps are in place.  The Over Head Tank is about 75% complete. It is interesting that the land that this OHT is located on has been donated by a local farmer. In exchange, the Grand Panchayat is giving the farmer money to build his home. 

This well has been in use for five months. The Grand Panchayat declared a water emergency shortly after the borewell was drilled on 16 November 2016 and asked that the pump set be installed to temporary power to provide needed water to the villages.  The Hume tank pump house is in place, however the top and door are not installed and the controls systems are not installed at this time. A new power source was installed about two months ago (see the new transformer mounted on the concrete pole to the left in the photo).

Elder Newton asks how the supply and distribution lines will connect with the OHT and the distribution system and how the wellhead will be protected. 

The Shettihalli Rehabilitation Sector has been a very interesting problem. When the borewell was drilled in mid-January 2017—following extensive geological testing and work by the Coconut Guy to find the underground water aquifer—the well was dry at 1,100 feet. Not to be deterred by the set-back, the contractor looked to another solution: Blast the extensive layers of solid granite rock at the 750 foot to the 1,000 foot depth with tiny grenades with just enough force to NOT collapse the well, but to create cracks in the rock and allow the water to seep into the borewell through the newly created cracks.

This what the well head looks like today. The Executive Assistant Engineer (AEE) for the Tumkur District has directed that the well be allowed to settle before sending down a camera or pump set to determine the success of the blasting.

If this action is successful, the contractor will need to obtain supplies and equipment from Gubbi Taluk, Tumkur and Bangalore to install the pump set, rising main and the distribution system. If this does not work, it is possible that the contractor will ask for another borewell to be drilled. 

Our Humanitarian Service in India ended on June 6, 2017. We were not able to see the culmination of this massive Clean Water Project, which will serve 14 rural villages with over 18,000 people for generations to come.