CA high school students traveling to Mexico to improve drinking water quality

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REDWOOD CITY, CA, Aug. 5, 2014 -- During Labor Day week, a group of high school students will travel to Central Mexico to tour local water facilities and help improve drinking water quality for an impoverished district.

The endeavor is supported by H2OpenDoors, the project of Peninsula Sunrise Rotary Foundation based in Redwood City, Calif. According to Jon Kaufman, director of the project, four students and a teacher from Redwood High and six students and a teacher from Woodside High, along with Rotarians and friends, will journey to the location.

"The first three days will be spent in Ciudad Guzman in Jalisco State where we will install a SunSpring water purification system at a community center in a very poor district of the city," said Kaufman. Ciudad Guzman is a sister city to Redwood City. Around 4,000 people receive water from the city water system that is highly chlorinated and undrinkable.

This population center currently spends 10 pesos per liter on bottled water each day. "That is about 77 cents, or over US$1,000,000 per year on bottled water," said Kaufman. "This astounding burden on the very poor will be alleviated with the SunSpring, which can purify over 20,000 liters per day from virtually any contaminated water source."

SunSprings are solar- and wind-powered water purification plants that require no electricity or fuel and remove all bacteria, viruses and other contaminants using membrane technology. With a design life of over 10 years, they require only one hour of downtime for simple maintenance procedures each month. Manufactured in Rocky Ford, Colo., by Innovative Water Technologies, the systems are operational within three hours.

Following the installation, the students will be given a tour of the city government, including the metropolitan water company facilities, which serve over 110,000 residents. Jose Luis Orozco Aldana, mayor of the city, will serve as host for the expedition and has directed a water fiesta to be held to celebrate the installation.

H2OpenDoors installed systems in Northern Thailand and Tacloban, Philippines in 2013, and will be bringing a unit to a large clinic in central Guatemala in December of 2014.

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