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Big Picture


  • Determine if a tank is needed
  • If needed, provide the documentation needed for assessment and construction of any tanks.


  • Have members read EWB guidelines on structures and cement. (Tanks members)
  • Find tank members. (Charlie & Becca). Do after deciding if tanks are needed.
  • Decide if tanks are needed (Agua Group)


  • Do they want tanks?
  • What benefits will a tank provide?
    • If they only run their ram pumps during the day, then running them during the night to fill tanks would increase their supply.
    • Scott Nelson has proposed an idea using a control valve, manifold, and drip irrigation that would negate the need for storage. The system would direct water to different zones in a given field removing the need to shift sprinklers around.
    • Tanks will be needed to lower the pressure for drip irrigation.
  • Does the project meet the folowing?
    • Benefit the entire community and will not discriminate against members of the community.
    • Meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
  • How often do they run the ram pump?
  • How long does it take to water a unit area with a ram pump?
  • Where can a tank be placed?
  • How much head will be needed for any irrigation system, standard or drip?

Other Questions, not necessarily related to tanks

  • Ask Gregorio, the co-ops and families if they think the manifold option would work and if they would support it. If not, find out what they envision would work best.
  • Request tours of farms that already have micro-irrigation systems in place.
  • Visit micro-irrigation vendors in Chimaltenango/Guatemala City to see what equipment is available and get prices.
  • On testing ram pumps
    • Will either Don Gregorio or Don Guyo be able to work with us while we are doing the testing?
    • Can the pump owners be notified in advance before we start working on their pumps? Can we work on their pumps without them being present?
    • How do you stop and start the pumps?
    • What size is the outlet check valve and pipe -1/2 inch, 3/4 inch or 1 inch?
    • How are the delivery hoses attached to the pumps? What problem would we encounter removing them?
    • What kind of hose connections are there at the field sprinklers?
    • Can the ram pump be adjusted or tuned when we test them at a higher pressure?
    • Are there any parts that could potentially break when we test the pumps?

Potential mentors

  • John Buzek, jrbuzek@comcast.net. Structural engineer. Note: Will be leaving in May for two years.
  • Peter Daniels, civil/environmental primarily in wastewater. pdaniels99@gmail.com. Note: Cannot attend Tuesday until mid-March.

The Details




Site Prep





Valve Box




Materials for Concrete Tank



Operation and Maintenance



Mix Design





  • Simajhuleu-PBTank Design. The wiki paged used for the design of pressure break tanks in Simajhuleu.
  • Water Quality for Agriculture. "Peter Waugh suggested during our conference call that we checkout "Water Quality for Agriculture," FAO irrigation and drainage paper #29 document for our water assessment. It appears to be a very comprehensive document that covers soil toxicity and drip irrigation clogging. He brought up a salinity/sodium absorption ration, SAR, as one parameter to measure. I've read in other literature that salt is very damaging to agricultural soil."
  • Free AutoCAD Tutorial. The team will use AutoCAD and Pro/Engineering to illustrate the designs for the dams. This is a Free Tutorial they will use to learn the CAD software.