Puerto Rican Community Barrio Mamey Recognizes RCAP Solutions for Outstanding Assistance

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 By Josefa Torres, District Director for Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands, RCAP Solutions

Community History

Comunidad Barrio Mamey is a very small rural community water system, located in the town of Patillas, Puerto Rico. When the community was incorporated in 1971, it served drinking water to 27 families with a surface water source.  The water system currently has 96 connections and is run primarily by volunteers. When the government agencies EPA and PRDOH required the Barrio Mamey aqueduct to comply with drinking water regulations established in the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the community didn’t know where to start. In addition to this, they were also confronted with meeting the drinking water demands of a growing community.

Due to community noncompliance of the Surface Water Treatment Rule (SWTR), an Administrative Order (AO) was issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and refers to RCAP Solutions to assist community to reach compliance.  The community contacted RCAP Solutions because they needed to improve their water facilities since they were using an unfiltered surface source and a well that couldn’t satisfy the demand of the community.  They also had to comply with the EPA AO.

After much time and effort, RCAP Solutions was able to provide the community with the assistance necessary to comply with the DW regulations and ultimately allowed the system to meet compliance with the SDWA.

RCAP Staff Members Scott Mueller (far left), Josefa Torres (3rd from left) and Juan Campos Collazo (far right) pose with members of the Barrio Mamey Community

Community Award

Every year at the USEPA, AWWA-PRWEA and PRDOH DW Annual Conference, awards are given to Non-PRASA drinking water systems in three categories.  At different times, Barrio Mamey Aqueduct has obtained an award and actually is the only community that has obtained the award in each category. They received the Non-PRASA third place award for: Work and Community Organization in 2008; the second place award for: Significant Improvements Towards Compliance in 2011 and this year they gained the first place award for: Safe Potable Water.

In gratitude of the assistance provided by RCAP Solutions Puerto Rico staff members Josefa Torres and Juan Campos, the community presented them with a recognition plaque during the Conference Award Ceremony.

RCAP Solutions Acknowledgment

“In recognition for your work and effort performed during this time for our community of Barrio Mamey, Río Chico Sector. Your endeavor and faith do not have limits to reach and achieve success to have quality water. Many thanks and lots of success, given today, May 9, 2012 at San Juan PR Convention Center.”

Barrio Mamey Community member, Mrs. Sharon Kidwell addressed the audience stating, “When RCAP Solutions began assisting us with our drinking water several years ago, we didn’t know how an aqueduct should be run, how to supply safe drinking water, or how to meet local and federal regulations.  Through the years and with Josefa and Juan, the community received drinking water regulatory advice, technical assistance, and the necessary education and trainings workshops.  Their expertise and experience has enabled us to find affordable solutions to our water infrastructure needs that will support economic growth in our community. Our aqueduct has benefited from the knowledge, guidance, and assistance provided by both.  RCAP Solutions assistance has helped our community to gain the knowledge and skills needed to increase and meet the drinking water standards of the SDWA. By receiving this assistance, I have to say on behalf of Mamey community that our aqueduct is actually in complete compliance with the PRDOH, EPA, PRDNR, PRDOS and other government agencies. Josefa and Juan have played a major role in the success of receiving the first place award this year.”

Joesfa Torres at Puerto Rico Water & Environment Association Annual Conference & Technical Exhibition