March Travel Team

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This Daily Overview is typed, edited, and re-edited by Isaac Murphy. All mistakes are the result of Joe.

Saturday March 10, 2012

Attained the $2000 cash advance, packed all the equipment, met at the airport, and made it safely to Chicago. Spent the night at Lauren's house.

Sunday March 11, 2012

Due to various human errors, Scott and Isaac missed the flight to Miami and were thus delayed from arriving in Guatemala. The rest of the group toured Guatemala City until Scott and Isaac arrived. The whole group then drove to Comalapa, arriving at Feliciano's around 10:00 pm. The night was spent unpacking and preparing for the next day.

Monday March 12, 2012

1. Liz (from Long Way Home) arrived to drive us to Agua Caliente.

2. We met with the Co-op, including Don Gregorio and other leaders of the dams, and discussed the project with them.

Meeting Summary: File:Leaders meeting Agua 12 March 12.doc

3. After the meeting, Liz drove us to Dam 1 and we began our assessment.

Water Quality Testing

Isaac tested the pH at Dam 1 and found it to be 7.5.


Isaac numbered the pumps at Dam 1. There were nine pumps in total. The pump-rate (in cycles per minute) was calculated for each pump, and the pump inlet diameter was measured. Using the Gamin GPS, the location of Dam 1 was calculated to be N 14°48'32.2” W 90°51'29.0”.

Pump #....Cycles/min....Inlet Dia.







7..........63.5...........3" (pvc)

8..........59.............3" (pvc)

9..........41.5...........3" (pvc)

Ram Pumps

Scott and Manuel took pressure and flow-rate measurements at Dam 1.

Pump 1 Dam 1

Reading Pressure (psi) Flow-Rate (gal/min)

1 90 - 110 1.58

2 55 - 70 2.5

3 55 - 70 2.5

4 35 - 40 3.93

5 35 - 40 3.99

6 100 - 120 1.41

Pump 5 Dam 1 at Sprinkler

Pressure (psi) Flow-Rate (gal/min)

0 3.64

10 1.88

22-23 Shutoff

Pump 1 Dam 1 at Tank

Pressure (psi) Flow-Rate (gal/min)

0 3.07

26 Shutoff

Dam Inspection

This is the information from the Dam Inspection Form. 1. Erosion damage anywhere on dam, abutment and adjacent embankments? Make note of locations and severity. None visible, but there is possibly some under the spillway. (Note, During wet season, re-examine for erosion in the rock bed at the bottom of the spillway.)

2. Check for seepage and “piping” from embankment or abutments. Major seepage on the downstream, left side of spillway. Minor seepage over far left side (when looking at dam from downstream side) at embankment.

3. If seepage is found, is the effluent water clear or cloudy? Clear: seepage over ram pump intersection, and seepage midstream down left side abutment (13' 6” from far left abutment , looking at the dam from downstream. See pictures 8 and 9.)

4. Are there and sand boils at the base or toe of dam? No.

5. Note type of vegetation on adjacent abutments and embankments. Is there brush or trees with deep roots? Ferns on abutments.

6. Is the vegetation abnormally green of lush compared with adjacent vegetation? Same color.

7. Are there any animal holes, depressions, cracking or slides in the abutments/embankments? Downstream left side, 5' crack from top of dam, diagonal. Cracking at ram pump intersection.

8. Inspect and note any cracks inn dam concrete.

9. Inspect for concrete differential movement and misalignment.

10. Check for concrete settlement. Voids present along left downstream side (facing downstream from the dam).

11. Check for concrete damage such as spalling, scaling, efflorescence, pop-outs, and pitting. Negligible scaling and spalling.

12. Check for spillway blockage and sediment on the reservoir side of the dam. Lots of litter.

13. Assess future safety conditions.

14. Depth of water upstream of dam. 3 – 6 ft.

Tuesday March 13, 2012

The dam team assessed dams 2, 3, and 4. Dam 3 is in the worst condition, with major piping (water seepage) underneath the dam. Nails were not hammered into the dam out of concern that they might trip people trying to walk across the top of the dam. The current plan is to drip holes in the top of the dams and then place nails into them only when taking measurements.

Water Quality was tested at dams 2 and 3. The pH at dams 2 and 3 was 7.5.

The community survey team began work. Ten families were surveyed, all of which do not have a ram pump but would like to have one. Surveying was stopped at 1:00 pm for some reason, so if the team is able to work for a full day, more families will be surveyed per day.

The pump team assessed one pump at dam 2 and one pump at dam 3. At dam 3, the pressure reading aparatus blew off and the pressure gage was broken. However, Scott had brought a replacement and it did not disturb our progress at all.

The mapping team took GPS readings with both the Trimble and Garmin units at dams 2 and 3, including some readings at the pump outlets. Outlet readings for pumps at dam 1 were also taken.

Wednesday March 14, 2012

Dam Inspection

Assessed dams 4 and 5. Dam 4 has a large crack that lets 6.66 gallons per minutes through (approx). Dam 5 has a large portion missing out of the middle due to a storm that occurred about five years ago. Also, the total number of pumps counted at the dams was 40.

Comunity Survey

Surveyed five families. Progress was slower than expected due to the extensive input that was given by the community.

Water Quality

Conducted pH tests. The pH at dam 4 was 7.5. The pH at dam 5 was 8.5. This number was confirmed with a second pH test.

Pump Team

Conducted pressure and flowrate measurements at dams 4 and 5. Also went into the fields and conducted pressure and flowrate measurements at the outlets.


Recorded coordinates and elevation at dams 4 and 5, both at the top and at the pumps. Also recorded the coordinates and elevation of the outlets of the pumps that the Pump Team assessed.

Thursday March 15,2012

We had four members of the Florida International University team come with us to Agua Caliente to act as translators. Two went with the Community Survey team, and two went with the Dam Inspection team.

Dam Inspection

Revisited all of the dams and found suitable attatchments for safety harnesses. Sketches were made and labelled with appropriate measurements.

Community Survey

Continued surveys of the community. Lauren had to leave early to tend to a case of hives that was contracted by a member of the Florida team. In all, six surveys were conducted.

Soil Quality

Visited all of the dams and classified the soil types. Overall, the soil in the fields and by the dams was classified as Sandy Loam or Sandy Clay Loam. At dams 4 and 5 there were sandy areas on the river bank.

Pump Team

Finished with pump analysis.


Went into fields at dams 1 and 2. Recorded highest elevation and field size using the Trimble unit.

Friday March 16, 2012

Dam Inspection

Revisited all the dams and drilled holes in order to measure dam displacement.

Community Survey

Seven surveys were conducted.


Went into fields at dams 1, 2, and 5 and recorded high points and field areas using the trimble unit.

After we had completed our days work in Agua Caliente, we went to Simahulejuh to check on the Rain Water Harvesting system. The solenoid switch was not working properly and the system had to be manually activated in order for water to be pumped up to the tank.

Saturday March 17, 2012

This was our free day. We went to the Mayan ruins and San Pedro. We boated across a flooded volcanic crater. We rode horses up a volcano for two hours.

Sunday March 18, 2012

We met with the leaders of the community for the last time. We explained our project and told them what we had been doing, and we let them now of our concerns for the safety and longevity of their system.

Meeting Summary: File:APROMAC meeting final.doc