Last month, the PWW WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Training Team conducted an Introduction to Drinking Water Quality Testing Workshop. The workshop, developed by CAWST (Centre for Water and Sanitation Technology), was led by the PWW team under the direct supervision of Adele Woolsey, a CAWST Associate Education Program Developer. Adele has worked with the PWW team, through the years, helping with competency validations, setting up lab protocols and procedures, answering research questions, and assisting in Project Evaluations for clients. Adele Woolsey has Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.), Biochemistry, and Microbiology.
Andrew Coco, PWW’s WASH Training and Consulting Services (WTCS) Manager, Haiti, and Junior Seraphin, Assistant Manager WTCS, Haiti, led the workshop and, as a result, received their Certificate of Competency Validation as Water Quality Testing (WQT) technicians. The certificate acknowledges competency and skills across multiple disciplines, including: Contaminants and Health Effects, WQT Options, Methodology and Practice, and Interpretation and Reporting.
By going through this program and leadership process, Andrew and Junior are now certified to conduct the workshop as part of the ever-growing WASH educational training program offered by the PWW WASH Training and Consulting Team in Haiti. Also, as part of this certification effort, Andrew and Junior have officially mastered the essential lab skills and are now formally recognized as certified lab technicians, an important criterion for PWW clients and a required step toward being fully validated by the Haitian government.
“Mwen te trouve fomasyon sa bon anpil pou mwen. Li te pemet mwen genyen plis konesans ak konpetans sou AQEB, mwen te fe yon bon eksperyans ak patisipan yo sou diferan paramet yo epi se fomasyon sa tou ki te fem vin valide kom technisyan laboratwa a. Pou mwen se te youn nan fomasyon ki make lespri mwen anpil.”
– Junior Seraphin (pictured here with Adele Woolsey)
Translation: “I found this ongoing training very helpful. It allowed me to gain more skills and knowledge on DWQT (Drinking Water Quality Testing). It was such a great experience with the participants, with different parameters of DWQ. Also this training gave me official recognition as a lab technician. For me, this training was an unforgettable one.”
The Introduction to Drinking Water Quality Testing Workshop had 13 participants, representing five different institutions. The final day of the workshop was a practical session completed at the office of the Vermont Haiti Project.
Vermont Haiti Project started their BioSand program in 2009 and our educators/technicians have been working in several Port au Prince neighborhoods and communities, in Grand Anse, installing, educating, and doing follow-up for the more than 500 household filters they have installed to date.
The group conducted a mock field visit in which they inspected and took water samples from the BioSand filters, which are used at the Vermont Haiti Project. They also had a few water sources from which participants practiced taking field notes, trying different water sampling techniques, communicating with clients/beneficiaries and conducting in-field analysis (pH, conductivity, temperature, etc.).
The practical field visit is important for the participants because they can see the reality of field conditions and the difficulties that one can find when doing field work, as opposed to working only in the lab. The participants all commented on the value of this visit because it also taught them how to approach community members, conduct household visits, and how to adapt to various conditions in the field.
Following highlights the workshop:
INTRODUCTION TO DRINKING WATER QUALITY TESTING WORKSHOP
LENGTH: 4-5 days
This workshop is designed for those interested in conducting drinking water quality testing as part of the implementation, monitoring, or evaluation of household water treatment and safe storage (HWTS) or small community water supply systems projects in developing countries.
The workshop offers instruction on using portable test kits for testing the physical, chemical, and microbiological parameters of drinking water.
Other topics to be addressed include: health and safety; sanitary inspections; World Health Organization guidelines and national standards for drinking water quality; water sampling; different test methods for physical, chemical, and microbiological parameters; and interpreting and reporting water quality data.
The broader objective of this training workshop is to transfer knowledge and skills for participants to become familiar with different water quality test methods and understand the practicalities of implementing their own drinking water quality testing project.
To learn more or find out dates and locations of upcoming workshops, please contact HaitiWASH@purewaterfortheworld.org.