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Clean water in Potim

Just over two months ago, the inhabitants of the city of Potim had a surprise: the water coming from the taps in their houses no longer had a bad smell. This was the first result of the project that the Engineering School of Guaratinguetá, of Unesp, has been carrying out together with the city administration since January. “Our water was of a dreadful quality” says the director of the Works Division of the municipality, José Benedito Angeliéri.

The improvement in the quality of the water happened after placing doses of chlorine in three artesian wells, right at the first phase of the project – which will now be completed with the application of fluoride. The original proposal of the FEG, which foresees the creation of methodology capable of evaluating the quality of the water provided by the municipal system, thus had a reality shock. “We realized that it would be possible to immediately improve the water's characteristics”, says the project's coordinator, engineer Herman Jacobus Cornelis Voorwald.

The city of Potim, located in the valley of Paraiba, separated from the Guaratinguetá authority in 1992, has 13,500 inhabitants and is very poor. “I have never seen a project having such an impact by spending so little money”, comments the coordinator. For example, the purchase of a computer and printer has allowed Potim to now print its own water bills, thus avoiding lateness in delivery.

In the second phase, the idea is to expand the network with the construction of two more artesian wells, because the Potim prison whose construction work is ending, will increase the demand for water. Another predicted measure is the carrying out of a campaign to give an incentive to householders to clean their water tanks without which there is no point in guaranteeing clean water coming into their homes. It is also expected to test the control methodology, both of the water's quality and of the operation of the distribution network.