MDSE (Maryland Sustainability of Engineers) successful implementation of a rainwater catchment and ultraviolet (UV) disinfection system at the Abigail D. Butscher Primary School in Calaba Town, Sierra Leone. The system was designed by the Maryland Sustainability Engineering student group at the University of Maryland during Fall 2013 and Spring 2014, and then subsequently implemented in June of 2014.

In response to the needs of the Calaba Town community, the MDSE project team worked on designing a water collection and disinfection system for the Abigail D. Butscher Primary School. The team utilized the data collected during the June 2013 assessment trip during the Fall 2013 semester to prepare an Alternatives Analysis report that detailed potential solutions. Between the Fall and Spring semesters of the 2013 – 2014 school year, the project team conferred with stakeholders about the possible solutions and determined that a rooftop rainwater catchment collection system was the most efficient and sustainable solution. Rainwater would be harvested and funneled into a plastic storage tank, which would then be pumped to another [elevated] tank. From there, the water travels through an ultraviolet (UV) disinfection box and out through a faucet tap by gravity-facilitated flow. The installation of the system (tanks and UV box) was to be at the northernmost end of the existing primary school building, which would allow for easy rainwater collection by the gutters that would be installed on the roof.