The Marcala water treatment plant construction was initiated as a joint project of ADEC and the municipality of Marcala in 2007 and place in operation in May 2008. The design of the plant was assisted by the University of Cornell’s AguaClara program. Financing of the project was provided through the National rural Water Association and the Municipality of Marcala. The original plant which produces 525 gallon of water per minute utilized two tanks from a failed filtration system that had been constructed in 1997 .The water source for the plant is the Chiflador River which is a highly turbid source during the rainy season, however the treatment plant has been successful in consistently meeting the Honduras turbidity standard of 5 Ntu and frequently produces water in the 1 Ntu range. ADEC supervised the construction of the project with the technical assistance of Fred Stottlemyer from the National Rural Water Association.
In 2010 the Italian NGO ACRA undertook expansion of the treatment plant by adding a 350 gallon per minute AguaClara modular and a 150,000 underground storage tank. In addition ACRA constructed new 10 and 8 inch conduction lines to Marcala’s two water storage tanks which made it possible to provide an additional 1200 families with treated water. Currently the treatment plant provides safe drinking water to 2400 families and 12,000 people.
The Marcala treatment plant is unique in that it operates totally on gravity and requires no electricity or expensive pumps. This treatment process which is based on early 20th century water technology from the rural United States has been renewed an improved through the AguaClara research program at Cornell University. This proven but abandoned technology was brought back to life beginning with the collaboration between the National Rural Water Association and Cornell University beginning in 2004. ADEC’s construction supervision experience and its follow up tec