Some twelve years ago, the church in Villavo purchased the first church camp facility for our brotherhood in Colombia. They have managed it quite well every since. But it was so popular, they had to limit attendance at camps because of room. About three years ago, at their request, we began to partner with them in expanding the camp facility. That project is now well under way, as we have secured additional land and begun to expand the facilities. But we still had one major problem; we had bad water from a very shallow well. We considered improving that by digging a new and deeper well and laying water lines all along the church property. The problem was expense, so we kept using the bad water from the only source we had.
IDES Clean Water Project
We presented the project to our supporting churches, but the cost of some $21,000 made it prohibitively expensive. At the encouragement of a friend, I submitted the project to the great people at IDES. Since the camp is used for evangelism and the water would be available to neighbors as well, we met their criteria and to my delight, it was quickly accepted and we began the design and development stage. It took nearly a year to get everything in order. The first step was to have a local water expert guide us in water source selection. After that, we designed the entire system. This February, we began the actual work. It was a major project and much was involved.
IDES Clean Water Project
The first step was laying more than 1,200 feet of two inch high pressure water line to connect the entire camp facility and make water available to neighbors as well. That involved ditch diggers and plumbers as we laid the water line. The next step was running a #6 electric cable some two hundred feet to the selected well location. Electric would be needed for digging the actual well. Once this was done, we hired an expert local well digger and the digging began. It was recommended that we hand dig the well because of mineral problems with deep drilled wells. Local water experts assured us that about twenty one feet we could find a vein of very good water that would be pure, clean, and good tasting.
IDES Clean Water Project
The actual digging took nearly a month as each day they excavated a four foot wide hole a foot or two deeper into the ground. They used a sump pump to keep the water level down after they hit the first veins of water. Earlier veins of turbid water were plugged and digging continued. About twenty one feet the diggers hit a strong flow of crystal clear water. A two inch sump pump could not keep up with the flow and so digging was stopped. We had found and abundant source of good water!
IDES Clean Water Project
At the point a three foot diameter concrete liner was installed in the well. About four inches of fine gravel was poured in around it as a preliminary filter. A heavy concrete lid was used to seal it off from the air and dirt. The well was now completed but it would still be a while before it could be used. To insure that no surface water intruded into the well, we needed to build a pump house around it. So an 18 foot by 18 foot pump house was built over the well to protect it and house the pump, pressure tank, and any water treatment system needed. This process took another month as the building was build and a floor installed. At this point, the pump technician arrived and installed eighteen feet of pipe into the well and a two horse power three phase pump pressurizing a fifty gallon pressure tank that fed the twelve hundred feet of two inch high pressure water line. We had a strong source of good water for our camp at last!
IDES Clean Water Project
There is still some work to be done, as we need to monitor the well and water purity for clarity. We made use of the slab roof and began a tool storage room up there which will need to be finished later as funds come in, but for the clean water project, the high pressure lines, the pump and pressure tank, and the pump house are all complete. We have a source of crystal clear water that is good tasting and checking clean available to the camp and to our neighbors. We thank our good friends at IDES and all of you who support this great ministry. You have partnered with us through IDES to help the growth and development of the Colombian church. We thank you so much and and may God richly bless all of you!

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