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Sunday, August 14, 2022

How A Favela In Brazil Got Its Clean Water Back, $42,300 . for

Butterflies and wax burrows fly in the Enchanted Valley just outside Rio de Janeiro’s Tijuca Forest National Park. There are fruit trees, a waterfall nearby and a commanding view over the Atlantic Ocean. But for decades something had been tainting the statue: the stench of raw sewage.

Electricity reached the low-income Enchanted Valley community in the late 20th century – which took its name from a nearby residential project – but the utility never connected it to the city’s sewage network. The waste was contaminating the local environment and endangering the health of the residents.

So the community set out to solve the problem by building a biodigester and artificial wetlands to process all the sewage generated by their 40 families.

Starting full operation in June, it is the first independently built biosystem for the entire Brazilian favela, according to Theresa Williamson, executive director of Catalytic Communities, a non-profit that supports underserved neighborhoods. And it can serve as an example for rural settlements throughout Brazil. According to official statistics, 45% of Brazilians do not collect sewage.

The Enchanted Valley project took years to build. The president of the residents’ association, Ottavio Barros, brought a group of tourists to a downhill waterfall in 2007. When they wanted to bathe in its water, he told them that they could not; The sewage of the entire community used to flow from that spring. However, the seed of an idea was sown, and he began drumming up support.

“It was hard at the time to make people aware, to show that everyone would benefit,” he told the Associated Press while walking through the community.

Residents’ Association President Otavio Barros works at the gas outlet of the Enchanted Valley Sustainable Community’s sewage treatment biosystem on the outskirts of the Tijuca National Forest on June 6, 2022 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

He found collaborators among researchers from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, where he was working as an administrative assistant. They received funding from the Rio state foundation to support research to complete the first phase in 2015, and more recently the German and Brazilian non-profits Viva con Agua and Instituto Clima e Sociedad with additional funding from Catalyst Communities. Received funds for connecting every house with

Barros worked with five other residents for months, including some three weeks breaking rocks to make way for the new pipe. They lead to the domed biodigester, where sewage is ingested by anaerobic microorganisms. The remaining fluid then moves to serpentine beneath the created wetland, purged by composting the plants above.

Houses In The Enchanted Valley Permanent Community Stand On The Outskirts Of Tijuca National Forest In Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, June 6, 2022.

Houses in the Enchanted Valley Permanent Community stand on the outskirts of Tijuca National Forest in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 6, 2022.

The full cost of the system was approximately $42,300 (220,000 reais). According to Leonardo Adler, founding partner of Taboa Engenharia, who oversees the technical side of the works, it would cost one-quarter the cost to run pipes through the forest to the existing sewage network at sea level.

The federal government has plans to improve sewage treatment throughout Brazil, which it is pursuing through private concessions to large urban areas. But that approach doesn’t help small, isolated communities like Enchanted Valley, where the sewage smell is now gone and the spring near it is clean for bathing.

“I’m very happy because it was a very difficult phase to bring in the partners, get the community to capture sewage and manage to get it back into the clean environment,” Barros said. “It’s part of a dream becoming a reality. We have others for the Valley.”

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

World Nation News Desk
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