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close this bookWater and Sanitation Technologies: A Trainer's Manual (Peace Corps, 1985)
close this folderSessions
View the documentSession 1 - Water and sanitation issues in third world countries
View the documentSession 2 - Introduction to the training program
Open this folder and view contentsSession 3 - Facilitation skills
Open this folder and view contentsSession 4 - Community mobilization
Open this folder and view contentsSession 5 - Math review
Open this folder and view contentsSession 6 - Concrete and reinforcement
Open this folder and view contentsSession 7 - Project documentation
View the documentSession 8 - Field demonstration: Formwork and pouring concrete
Open this folder and view contentsSession 9 - Introduction to environmental sanitation
View the documentSession 10 - Non-formal health education
Open this folder and view contentsSession 11 - Community water supply case study
Open this folder and view contentsSession 12 - Project planning and management
View the documentSession 13 - Community needs and resource assessment
Open this folder and view contentsSession 14 - Communicable diseases and control
Open this folder and view contentsSession 15 - Excreta disposal systems
View the documentSession 16 - Health education presentations
View the documentSession 17 - Basic drawing and blueprint reading
View the documentSession 18 - Field demonstration: block laying
View the documentSession 19 - Project planning: Latrine construction
View the documentSession 20 - Latrine construction
Open this folder and view contentsSession 21 - Women and water
Open this folder and view contentsSession 22 - Hydrology
View the documentSession 23 - Water supply improvements
View the documentSession 24 - Pumps: Installation, operation, maintenance
View the documentSession 25 - Field demonstration: Pump assembly and disassembly
Open this folder and view contentsSession 26 - Field demonstration: Pipework and plumbing
Open this folder and view contentsSession 27 - Principles of hand-dug shallow wells
View the documentSession 28 - Well site inspection and feasibility survey
View the documentSession 29 - Project planning: Well rehabilitation
View the documentSession 30 - Shallow well rehabilitation
Open this folder and view contentsSession 31 - Gravity water systems: Part I
Open this folder and view contentsSession 32 - Survey and measurement
View the documentSession 33 - Field demonstration: Surveying
Open this folder and view contentsSession 34 - Gravity water systems: Part II
Open this folder and view contentsSession 35 - Principles of spring development
View the documentSession 36 - Spring site feasibility survey and flow measurement
View the documentSession 37 - Project planning: Spring development
View the documentSession 38 - Spring development construction
View the documentSession 39 - Ferrocement technology and construction
View the documentSession 40 - Project planning: Ferrocement water tank
View the documentSession 41 - Ferrocement water tank construction
View the documentSession 42 - Constructing projects in a community
Open this folder and view contentsSession 43 - Proposal writing
View the documentSession 44 - Training review and assessment

Session 23 - Water supply improvements


Three Hours


* Articulate basic standards for the quality, quantity, and convenience of a water supply system in a rural community.

* State common techniques used in the field to improve the potability of water in third world countries.

* Describe the basic characteristics and methods of implementation of four water supply sources: well water, rainwater, surface water, and spring water


Water Treatment and Sanitation; H.T. Mann and D. Williamson, Chapters 1 and 3

Wells Construction; Peace Corps ICE, Chapter 1 and 2

Small Community Water Supplies; IRC, pp. 39-48, 59-72, 75-88, 100-131, 137-146, 191-313

Rural Water and Sanitation Projects; USAID, pp. 35-48, 59-129, 143-183


Newsprint and felt-tip pens


One or more trainers and four trainees

Trainer Introduction

This session presents a great deal of information. It is designed for trainee facilitation. During Step 4, trainees should give presentations on the four water supply sources. They should be given ample time to prepare before the session. Trainers should consult with them in the days prior to the session to give advice and guidance. Assist the trainees in gathering any teaching aids they may request, such as newsprint and felt-tip pens. The reading assignment is very long. All trainees should be told well in advance. The assignment in Water for the World is meant to serve as reference information for the trainee facilitators. The other readings should be read by all trainees prior to the session, with the exception of pages 191 to 313 in Small Community Water Supplies, which is intended for future use as a reference on water treatment.


Step 1

5 minutes

Present the objectives and format for the session.

Step 2

45 minutes

Lecturette on the quality, quantity, and convenience standards for a water supply.

Trainer Note


It is difficult to set exact standards for water quality. Different countries, and in fact, different communities within one country, may have varied standards, and it is best to consult local government officials in an area to find out what the standards are. Small Community Water Supplies, on pages 42 to 48, presents some guidelines to follow. Refer the trainees to these guidelines. Discuss the following physical characteristics affecting water quality:


minerals, chemicals, organic matter


toxic waste, minerals (iron), organic matter


chemicals (chlorine), organic matter


suspended matter (clay, silt, iron)


higher temperature means higher bacteria growth


fecal coliform count


high mineral content


low mineral content


As in quality standards, consumption figures vary greatly among different communities. However, when designing a system, 20 liters/per person/per day should be the lowest acceptable standard for consumption. Remember, consumption figures always rise when water becomes more accessible. Refer to the table on page 40 of Small Community Water Supplies for specific consumption figures.


Even more so than quality or quantity, convenience standards vary greatly among communities. When designing a water sys tem, you should set convenience standards that are acceptable by the local community. Remember that the location of the watering points, along with the quantity of water available, will affect consumption figures. Conversely, you can regulate consumption figures by the placement of water points in a system.

Step 3

45 minutes

Describe simple techniques used to improve the potability of water.

Trainer Note

Lead a general discussion about each of the following techniques:

- proper selection of water source
- good construction methods and selection of system components
- provisions for sanitary protection at the water source
- sand filtration; rapid or slow
- aeration
- settling chambers
- coagulation
- disinfection through chlorination

Refer to Small Community Water Supplies for more detailed information.

Step 4

1 hour

Trainees give presentations on four water supply sources: well water, rainwater, surface water, and spring water.

Trainer Note

Trainees should provide a basic overview of the water supply source they present. Some factors to consider are: quality, quantity, convenience, methods of implementation, cost, labor requirements, and implementation time.

Step 5

20 minutes

Review the presentations in terms of facilitation skills of the trainees, and technical content. As a group, fill out the following chart on newsprint.

Well Water

Rain Water

Surface Water

Spring Water




Methods of Implementation

Labor Requirements

Implementation Time

Step 6

5 minutes

Review the objectives and conclude the session.