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San Carlos Hospital Wastewater Improvements

 Total Project Cost: $20,000

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Project Fully Funded

Project Location: Chiapas, Mexico

Community Background

Hospital San Carlos, located in the city of Altamirano, was built in 1969 and serves the indigenous communities living in and around the Central Highlands and Eastern Mountain regions of Chiapas. This nonprofit hospital is run by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul and serves approximately 20,000 people annually.

Prior to 2018, Hospital San Carlos’ water supply, built decades earlier, had been significantly compromised due to unauthorized taps between the source and the hospital.  Working with WEFTA, the Daughters of Charity were able to negotiate an agreement with the municipality of Altamirano to secure a safe and reliable water supply.

Water, Sanitation, and Health (WASH) Concerns

With the water supply addressed, the next area of concern was the disposal of untreated wastewater from the facility. Due to the large patient population, the hospital generates a very large wastewater stream which is currently sent untreated into the local wastewater collection system which discharges directly into the Rio Tzanconejá creating health concerns for communities who access the river downstream of the outfall.

Proposed Project

WEFTA engineers and Daughters of Charity are working with members of the community to seek funds to develop a basic wastewater system to serve the hospital. The proposed system will allow treatment and re-use of the wastewater on the hospital grounds. The wastewater improvement project will consist of an anaerobic treatment system and recirculating filter, and separation of the hospital’s kitchen waste to run it directly to the treatment facility.

Sustainability Considerations

Designated hospital staff and administrators will be trained on monitoring and proper operation and maintenance of the wastewater system. Circuit riders will make semi-annual visits to Hospital San Carlos for post construction follow up and provide feedback to WEFTA on the operation of the system and the health status of the community.

Community Engagement

The Altamirano community members have committed to providing donated labor comparable to 30% of the total project cost

WEFTA Volunteers

WEFTA volunteers will provide engineering design services and project management; local circuit riders will assess and inspect the project during construction.

If you would like additional information about this project, please contact us.

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photo credit: The Mazatlán Post

In Chiapas, the poverty rate is about 75%
and approximately47% live in extreme poverty.

45% of healthcare facilitiesin Least Developed Countries lack basic water services
and 21% have no sanitation services.

Our commitment is to the long-term success of the projects we’re involved with and it doesn’t stop when construction is complete.

Water & Health

Since 2002, WEFTA has been connecting donors, engineers, and communities in Latin America and Africa, all with the common goal of ensuring access to clean drinking water for everyone.

Sanitation & Environment

WEFTA engineers help communities make sound decisions and facilitate the dialog leading to the development of solutions for inadequate sewage treatment, and its associated environmental impacts. 

Development & Sustainability 

WEFTA volunteers work with the communities we partner with to develop the local skills needed to maintain and manage the water and wastewater systems constructed.