Yes! Last week an agreement was reached with the Technical University of Panama. They will help us investigate the water quality of the water in the tanks and all close by water sources the people in El Progreso use.
It is very important to know whether the rainwater in the tanks is completely suitable as drinking water. Since water enters the tanks through the roof and gutters system, particles can enter the tank which endanger health. In order to ensure that the tanks function correctly and do not contain contaminants, it is necessary to carry out microbiological research. However, this can only be done in specialized laboratories. We travelled to the civilized world, Panama City, last Wednesday to discuss the details. As real Dutchies we were present at the laboratory already an hour in advance and we were allowed to wait in the room with the best air conditioning system (goose bumps all over). Fortunately, the people with whom we had the conversation were present early too and we were able to start immediately. During the round of introductions, the Dutch names turned out to be very complicated. That's why we made some adjustments: Joris is Jorgé, Jeroen is Juán, Swaen is Swanita and Vita is Bita. This is a lot easier and a nice start of conversation. Shortly after the discussion turned to water quality analysis and they reacted very positively to our question for help. After we had drawn up a whole list of the parts to be investigated (water parameters such as pH, nutrients, minerals, metals, etc.), we also talked for a while about the quality of the cement. One of the professors (a civil engineer through and through) became very enthusiastic about the research on the cement strength. After the conversation we immediately prepared a document to make the request official, signatures and stamps there (nice!) and we were done! If all goes well, they will soon come to El Progreso to take samples of all built water tanks and also of the water sources that are currently used. Follow our blog for updates. Hasta Luego!