The First Community-Owned Chlorinator Project, Nearly Finished!

November 13, 2015
Newly Installed Chlorination System in the Artibonite Region

Newly Installed Chlorination System in the Artibonite Region

In the Artibonite Region of Haiti, for the first time, we are in the midst of finishing a chlorinator project that we will be able to leave completely in the hands of the Haitian people. 

The Clean Water for the Artibonite Region of Haiti Project —Background

In partnership with Sunrise Rotary (the local Rotary in Haiti) and St. Anne’s church from Hagerstown, Maryland, International Action has installed four chlorinators, water pumps (run on generators), piping systems, and water reservoirs in four communities nearby Dessalines, the center of the Artibonite region of Haiti. For each installation, a water committee of three members has been elected by the communities to operate, maintain and collect the local funds needed to sustain these systems. The most important part about this project is that it allows for a self-sustainable water treatment system after International Action has completed the design and installation. 

Long-term Planning

The ongoing costs associated with the project will be covered completely by the community created funding structure at each of the water stations. For every five gallons of water, people will donate $.01. The amount was changed from $.06 after further community meetings and budgeting allowed for such a reduction. This amount enables the communities to have a clean water program that they can eventually operate on their own, rather than relying on an outside party. The amount chosen allows the chance for an excess of funds of $2,365 for every water station. If the station does not bring in the funds expected, they will still likely break even, which is the main goal. The local Rotary (part of the community) will complete monthly evaluations of each site to see how the sites are functioning and if the fund collection structure is working. International Action will be called in if technical help is needed.




Anticipated yearly operational costs: $4935/system

Anticipated yearly funds from Haitian community: $7,300/system

Excess Funds: $2365/system



Funds Donated per day, per system

Donated Amount for Water (USD per gallon)



Number of Families



Water Usage (gallons per family, per day)



Total Funds Donated per Day

( Cost of water x # of families x Water Usage)

$40 per day

Funds Donated per year, per system

 Potential Total Funds Donated

(Total Funds Donated per Day x 365)

$14,600 per year

Actual Total Funds Donated

(Halved to anticipate poor families who cannot pay)

$7,300 per year


Anticipated Costs per year, per system

Operational Costs:

Component cost per year

Chlorine Tablets



Generator Fuel



Residual Chlorine Test Kits

Donated by IA

Equipment Maintenance



Administration and Staffing



Replacement Costs:









Total Costs

$4,935 per year


Excess Funds Generated

$2,365 per year





Funds Donated – per year, per system

Donated amount for water: 1 US Cent per 5 gallons of water. This price was modified after recent community meetings re-evaluated what was best for the community.


Total Funds Available Each Year:  While every community is slightly different in size, there are seven total water stations that will be operational once the three new water stations are completed.  On average, each station serves 10,000 people (an estimated 2000 families, assuming a family of five). Each family on average uses 10 gallons of water per day (using local information as most laundry in this region is done using surface water – each revenue projection in every International Action project is somewhat different as every Haitian region has different levels of access to other water sources, different community structures and a different purchasing power). This means that on average each water station should receive about $40 a day, or $14,600/year. However, from experience working in many other communities in Haiti, International Action has found that it is best practice to half this number when making projections as many families in Haiti are too poor to pay-in for water. This means that each station will theoretically earn a total of $7,300 each year. The revenue has increased since the previously submitted proposal as it was originally reported that families would continue to use surface water for cooking and dish washing, and only use the potable water from the water stations for drinking water. However, initial reports from the communities in the areas already with functioning water stations show that many families are using the water from the water stations for cooking and dish washing purposes, as well as for drinking water.


Operational Costs -- for each system per year


·         Chlorine tablets:

20 tablets/month x 12 months = 240 tablets/year

96 tablets cost $90 or $.9375/tablet x 240 = $225/year – the amount of chlorine needed has increased since the last proposal due to the unexpected volume of water consumed for cooking and dish washing purposes (as described above).  In addition, committee members have increased chorine residual concentrations due to concerns about cholera (given that the 2010 cholera epidemic started nearby). This increased-level of chlorine residual is completely safe and the extra costs can be easily covered by the revenue at each water station.



·         Generator Fuel:

Price of diesel as of July 2014: With increased water usage, 2 gallons are needed per day on average at $3.33 US/gallon

$3.33 x 365 days = $2,430/year


*A note on why diesel generators are being used as opposed to sustainable power solutions:

When the project began, International Action was going to use solar powered pumps, instead of pumps that operate using generators which require fossil fuels. The reasoning for this was two-fold: 1) to help ensure the sustainability of the project so the communities did not have to purchase fuel, which is the projects biggest operating expense for every water station and 2) be as environmentally friendly as possible. However, because the water stations were going to be providing water to so many people it was too expensive to provide the solar powered equipment.  The communities did not want to use solar powered pumps because they thought they were too complicated to operate and were unsure how to fix them if they were to break. Hand pumps or non-fuel fed mechanical pumps are incompatible with the water treatment systems installed by International Action because they do not provide enough head to pump water to the top of the water tank and through the chlorinator. Usually, International Action installs water systems on pipelines that use gravity to transport the water from a piped system.  This is not an option at these particular sites because there is no piped water system – to create one would be a multi-million dollar project.  The use of diesel powered generators was decided upon by the communities, the local Rotary and International Action due to the availability of diesel in the communities, the ability of the communities to repair the generators or purchase new ones locally, and the savings on initial capital costs.


·         Residual chlorine testing kits:

Donated by International Action

·         Equipment Maintenance:

Pump: no maintenance needed during life expectancy of pump

Generator: The oil will be changed every 100 hours of use, and the spark plugs are only about $1.50 each.  Oil is also very cheap, about $20 a year.  We assumed another $20 will be needed for general maintenance, although will likely not be an issue during the first year of use as the generators are new.

·         Administration:

Each community water station has a committee of three people who are in charge of running the taps at the station, testing water, purchasing and refilling chlorine and generator fuel, maintaining equipment, collection and management of donated funds. The water stations are open five days a week.  There is one water committee member always on duty.  Meetings will be required to discuss chlorine and fuel uses and to check and manage the funds collected from the station. Each committee member will be paid $50 a month. This was changed from $150 by a recent vote from the community leadership, as this will be part-time work and the communities decided to lower the cost to purchase water from the water stations.

($1,800 a year for the entire water committee salary, per system )


Replacement Costs

All of the following costs will be put into a reserve managed by the local St. Marc Rotary Club, which is the main supervising entity for the post-implementation phase of The Artibonite Region of Haiti Clean Water Project – PHASE II. 

·         Generator

Life expectancy: 10 years. Replacement cost: $2,000.

Reserve to be built per year: $200/year

·         Pump

Life expectancy: 3 to 4 years due to Calcium carbonate built-up. Cost: Submersible pump: $880. Surface pump: $470.

Reserve to be built per year: about $240/year