Community Plumbing Challenge 2017: Day 3

Community Plumbing Challenge 2017: Day 3

Editor’s Note: Randy Lorge is one of the coaches for the Community Plumbing Challenge team, which is currently in Indonesia doing a project for a school in a small village. It’s the third year for the program that aims to bring together plumbers and engineers from around the world to help regions that still lack basic sanitation and access to clean drinking water. Lorge will be blogging each day during the team’s time in Indonesia, detailing the work that they are doing.


Today was an incredible day. The Community Plumbing Challenge team was greeted by the school children with a special welcoming ceremony.

After the cultural dances and display of martial arts from the kids, the team was beyond energized to get to work.

We broke up into our groups — two plumbing teams, one masonry team, one welding team, and one carpentry team got right to work starting the projects they were assigned. The masons started by creating two extra openings in an existing wall, which will allow us to create two new restrooms. The carpentry team began the framing of the new handwash station and briefly started the new door frames that will be needed for the additional openings that the masons created. Plumbing Team 1 worked on the drainfield prep and installation of a new gravity fed distribution box. The work was slow going as they only had shovels and wheelbarrows to work with. There are no backhoes and excavators for this job. All the work has to be done by hand. The welding team started work on the water tank stands and helped lay out the footings that the new stand will rest on.

The group I’m leading, Plumbing Team 2, started the water distribution piping from the water service to the new water tanks. The first 12 feet will be galvanized pipe and the remaining 40 plus feet will be PVC. The galvanized pipe has to be threaded by hand, and let’s just say the pipe threader is not “RIDGID” quality to say the least. The water service from the city is on approximately two to three hours a day. That gives the new system enough time to fill up the tanks, which are controlled by float valves. The new system is designed so that the school should have enough water to use in the event the water supply is lost to the school for up to two and a half days.

The temperature today was over 90 degrees and the humidity was out of this world crazy. At about 3:30 in the afternoon, the skies opened up and an incredible rain storm dropped on us which shut the job down for the day.

Tomorrow will be another great day.



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