Just a Drop's water, sanitation and hygiene solutions take into account a community's local water availability, geography, infrastructure, economic conditions and culture. Solutions are identified which will best serve the community's specific needs.
Their solutions to the global clean water crisis:
Wells are dug by hand, to reach the water stored in the aquifer below, at a depth of no more than 15 meters. Hand-dug wells, or shallow wells, are the most common way of extracting water in rural areas of the developing world.
Machinery is used to drill down into the aquifer to extract water stored many meters below the earth's surface, and a pump is fitted for the community to bring this water up through the well.
Rain falls and is directed into a sanitary water tank, usually by guttering. Find out more about how rainwater harvesting tanks work here. Rock catchment systems operate in the same way, on a larger scale, with the rainfall that flows from a steep rock face directed and collected.
A dam is built across a river, and during the rainy season water flows, bringing with it sand which collects behind the dam. Water is then stored in the sand which acts as a natural filtration. The water can then be extracted through a well and handpump at the side of the river.
Water Distribution Systems
Work by distributing water to locations through a system of pipes. Gravity Fed Water Systems use the pull of gravity to direct the flow of water to a sanitary storage tank. Piped Water Systems work by distributing piped water to a series of taps in a community.
Biosand filters remove pathogens and other contaminants which are harmful to human health from water using layers of sand, covered with a biofilm.
A system is built to capture water from a naturally occurring spring source, and the clean water is stored.
Covered shelters with a pit below provide privacy and safety for toilet users.
Vary from a simple pit latrine - a hole in the ground with a covered shelter - to a flushing toilet, depending on the country.
Communal latrine blocks
These are gender sensitive and feature washrooms. Where possible consideration is made for people with disabilities. School latrine blocks are essentially the same, are gender sensitive and feature washrooms for girls. Teachers have separate latrines.
Function effectively to prevent latrine pits filling up too quickly. Urinals are necessary when there is a high volume of children in a school or community using a latrine.
Community training in the construction of soak pits and proper drainage channels. Village drainage is often left to nature and this causes contamination of water sources.
Waste management training
Communities are trained in recycling, rubbish disposal, keeping the village clean, and the hygienic and safe disposal of human waste.
Communities are trained in the importance of hygienic practices, to prevent diseases and contamination of clean water sources. As part of our projects we support a variety of hygiene training and practices including: handwashing & tippy tap construction, personal hygiene, menstrual hygiene management, environmental and domestic hygiene, understanding of the safe water chain from collection to consumption, food hygiene, soap making, disease awareness.
Blockages are a part of bathroom and kitchen nature, but there are steps you can take to avoid them (and the stink they can create)!
Showers & Baths:
When brushing your hair, try to collect the hairs in the brush and dispose of them in a bin rather than washing them down the drain.
When your soap has come to the end of it’s little life, throw it in the bin rather than squish it down the plughole!
Of course, there will still be hair in the drain so regularly remove hair or purchase a hair trap if your plug hole can fit one.
As tempting as it may be to flush everything down the toilet, your toilet is only supposed to flush human waste, tampons and toilet tissue.
Things that cannot be flushed include kitchen roll, baby wipes, cotton wool, Q-tips, nappies, sanitary towels, hair, fish, etc!
Do not place foreign objects, e.g. your phone, where they risk falling into the toilet bowl. (Not only could you block the toilet, but you could damage your phone or at least make it pretty gross!)
Do not pour fat down the sink. However, if there is no alternative, then make sure it’s mixed with plenty of very hot water as it goes down.
Get a drain mesh that catches any large chunks of food, and empty into the bin regularly. Do not be tempted to smush the food into the plughole until it disappears down the pipes!
If you have discovered a lingering smell emitting from a sink, bath, shower or basin, there’s a good chance you have a blockage. If your water is very slow to drain away, then there’s also a good chance you have a blockage.
Sometimes the problem is not what has been put down into the pipes, but rather the way the pipes have been installed in which case they will need correcting for a long lasting solution.
In the case of a blockage or slow draining, you can always call on us!
Unless you're a school student, the "snow day" is actually not that fun!
We have had several calls regarding boilers that have suddenly stopped working. It is very possible that you have a frozen condensate pipe.
Not all boilers have a condensate (a white, plastic pipe that leads to outside) however if you do have one, you may be able to help yourself by following the steps below. If you are unsure, we advise you contact a competent engineer.
If this does not solve the error code or noisy boiler, then you've done your best and need to call us! If it HAS helped, then drop us a line and let us know you are warm again!
1. Open all doors and windows The first task is to open all of the doors and windows in the house to try to clear some of the deadly gas.
2. Turn off all fuel-burning appliances and leave the house Once you’ve done what you can to ventilate your home, turn off all of your fuel-burning appliances, such as boilers and fires, and leave the house. Regardless of whether you feel ill or well, remain outside until you've spoken to a doctor or called the emergency advice line.
3. Don’t switch on the lights, smoke or strike a match Once the alarm has sounded, if there are gas appliances in your home you should avoid switching on the lights, smoking or striking a match (to light a candle for example).
4. Seek medical advice If you feel ill or exhibit any of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning after your alarm goes off, contact your doctor immediately or call 999 for an ambulance.
5. Call the emergency advice line If you believe your carbon monoxide emergency was caused by a gas appliance, call the Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999. If you use oil to heat your home, call Oftec on 01473 626 298.
Arrange to have your appliances serviced If your boiler, heater, stove or fire is producing dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, there's something wrong with it, and it will need to be serviced by a professional. For boiler services, call us!
As it’s Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week, it’s the perfect time to tell our customer all about how to install their alarms!
What is a CO2 alarm?
Simply put, it’s like a smoke alarm, but for the potentially deadly Carbon Monoxide instead of smoke. THESE DO NOT REPLACE SMOKE ALARMS!
What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon monoxide (CO2) poses an invisible threat. It's a gas that is both colourless & odorless. It’s produced by any fuel-burning appliance or fixture — such as a boiler, water heater or fireplace. CO2 can build up in the home from malfunctions or poor ventilation in those devices. It can also accumulate if the home is improperly ventilated for the exchange of inside and outside air. Running a vehicle in an attached garage can also allow carbon monoxide to enter the home. Carbon Monoxide when inhaled creates a toxic compound in your body. If you suspect inhalation or a leak, open all windows and doors, get fresh air in you lungs, do not light an open flame and call the emergency services immediately. If you need your appliances replaced of fixed, call us!
Where to install the CO2 alarm:
1) Every Floor of your Home
If your home has several levels (including basements used attics), then you will need detectors on each level as the gas can often be trapped within a single level and you wouldn’t know it without an alarm on that floor.
2) Near Bedrooms
You want the alarm to wake you at night, just as you would a smoke alarm, so keep it nearby where you and your family sleep. If bedrooms are more than 30 feet apart you will need more than one detector.
3) Homes with attached Garages
If you have an enclosed garage directly attached to the house, then you should also place a CO2 detector within 10 feet of the internal door to your garage. You should also place a detector in any room situated directly above your garage.
You should mount your detectors securely on the walls at least a couple of feet below the height of the ceiling. If your detector has a digital read-out, then it would make sense to install it where you can read the display.
5) Locations to avoid
Keep your CO2 alarm away from:
These alarms are so easy to fit and cheap to buy. They could save lives. If you’d like us to supply & fit one for you, please contact us now!
Warm Water Underfloor Heating Vs. Electric Underfloor Heating
Underfloor heating is a surefire way to ensure your family’s feet are toasty warm when walking on tiles, stone, wood or even carpet. It can be used as an alternative your radiator heating or a complimentary floor warmer for those chilly mornings and nights! How do you decide which one to go for?
ELECTRIC UNDERFLOOR HEATING
With an electric underfloor heating system, a series of electric wires or electric heating sheets are installed beneath or within your flooring. This is usually fit over screed and floor insulation. It has it’s own thermostat to determine when it comes on and turns off.
There are lots of options for each floor type and is less expensive to install than the Warm Water systems.
You must consider the cost of the electric bills compared to the cost of the gas bills in order to help make this decision.
WARM WATER UNDERFLOOR HEATING
With a water-based underfloor heating system, a series of pipes connected to your gas boiler circulate warm water throughout the floor to heat the space. It is essentially part of your gas central heating with it’s own thermostat.
Warm Water underfloor heating could be more energy efficient than radiators as the heat is distributed more evenly, and therefore potentially less expensive to run (according to The Energy Saving Trust).
It is more expensive to install that Electric underfloor heating as it’s more complicated.
There will be quite significant upheaval when installing any underfloor heating as the floor will need to come up, new floor may need to be laid down before the installation and you need to factor in the added height of the floor with the prep work involved.
Make sure you don’t compromise on quality and that your kit is complete and all components comply with European standards.
Underfloor heating is a modern and high-spec feature that allows you to enjoy the luxury of warm floors during cold winters. It could be a more energy efficient way of heating a room as the heat rises slowly around the whole room, rather than the isolated areas of radiators.
To find out more, contact us anytime!
Toilet Twinning provides people in the poorest communities on the planet with a decent toilet, clean water and all the information they need to stay healthy. It’s the key to helping whole communities break free of the poverty trap.