Water Crisis Infographic

Water Crisis Infographic

Water is the common denominator for every living thing on earth. Without it, we simply cannot survive.

But even though this resource is so critical, 785 million people around the world lack access to safe water. According to a report by the World Economic Forum, the water crisis is the #4 global risk in terms of impact to society.

Learn more about the water crisis in the water crisis infographic below as well as ways in which you can help.

Click here to download the full, PDF version of the Water Crisis Infographic.

Gicumbi: DEFAST and D’Furious

James’ Rwanda Impact Tour Journal
Water for People Impact Tour Rwanda 2019
James Hoyt, P.E.


Day 4

Today is the last day of the tour and we spent the day in the Gicumbi District. Compared to Rulindo, the Water for People Everyone Forever program is relatively new to Gicumbi, but a great deal of progress has already been made.

After our final ‘Coffee Club’ visit to Question Coffee, went set out for the Gicumbi District and were hosted for a Mayoral visit. Although early in the Everyone Forever process, great progress has already been made, and the Mayor was optimistic they could reach every goal ahead of schedule. Once again, it was very encouraging to see the District Government supporting the Water for People work and committing to long term success.

 

Water Treatment Plant

Following our meeting with the Mayor, we conducted field visits to a small rural Water Treatment Plant, a decentralized sludge processing facility, a recently completed water distribution system, and a home visit.

Unlike the large WTF serving Kigali, the WTF we toured today was a small, rural plant that treats approximately 0.4 MGD of spring-fed water. The plant treats the water using lime pH adjustment, aeration, filtration and chlorination. The plant is looking to expand capacity by adding additional spring sources and upgrades to the treatment process.

DEFAST

A highlight for me as a wastewater engineer was touring the Decentralized Fecal Sludge Treatment (DEFAST). As sanitation facilities are installed through Rwanda, there is an increased demand for safe disposal of the pit latrine waste. Historically, when a pit would become full of waste, you would just dig a new pit beside it. With increased focus on sanitary conditions and space becoming limited, there is now a need for improved latrines to be serviced and emptied. The service must be affordable for homeowners. Although Water for People does not fund widespread sanitation infrastructure projects in the same way they fund water projects, they support sanitation improvements through education, technology research and recommendations, establishment of supply chains, and support of local businesses and entrepreneurs.

The DEFAST facility is an example of the Water for People sanitation approach. Water for People has helped a local solid waste business owner expand his business to include pumping, hauling and treatment of latrine sludge waste. A portable vacuum pump is used to empty the latrines, and the waste is brought to the DEFAST plant for treatment. The plant screens large debris and rubbish for onsite incineration. The waste is then stored in a settling tank for separation of liquid and solid waste. The liquid supernatant receives biological treatment in lagoons and filtration though artificial wetlands. The final liquid product is sold as liquid nutrients. The sludge is anaerobically digested and applied to sand drying beds. The dried product is stabilized with charcoal and sold as fertilizer for land application. The ability to sell the end products allows the economics of the process to reduce the price for individual homeowners.

The Impact of Our Dollars

We briefly visited a recently completed water system which provided a fascinating look into the impact our dollars can make in a Rwandan community. The project included new water infrastructure to serve over 33,000 beneficiaries and cost approximately $3.2M USD. The cost to bring water and sanitation to a community for the first time costs less than $100 per person. This is considered an expensive project by Water for People Rwanda standards, who typically target a cost of $65 per beneficiary.

Home Visit

Lastly, we visited another home. This home belonged to a widow who lost her husband to the Rwandan genocide. It was once again heart warming to hear of the positive impact water has had on her life. It was also comforting to see that the Rwandan government had provided her with a cow and that her community supported her by providing work opportunities.

The drive back was long, dark and winding. Driving in Rwanda is an intense experience. Vehicles often pass each other on narrow roads and get close to pedestrians and obstacles as they wind through the hilly countryside. The driving made several people nervous, but we were always delivered safely to our destinations. As we proceeded towards our farewell dinner, we drove through areas not yet reached by Water for People and saw countless school children and people returning from work, walking long distances in the dark, with no lights, often pushing bicycles comically loaded sky-high with goods. It was a sobering reminder of how much work is left to do.

Farewell, Water for People

The farewell dinner was bittersweet. The food and conversation were great. We shared stories and laughter with our new friends, but too soon it was time to say goodbye. We shared one last time our high and low points of the day, and shared our ideas from bringing our experiences home in a meaningful way.

Although the trip had come to an end, I knew that my Water for People journey was just beginning. I am excited to bring all I’ve learned home and to become a champion for Water for People.

High Point: My high point today was the visit to the DEFAST facility. It was fascinating to hear about the approach Water for People had taken to address the emerging problem of fecal sludge in Rwanda. It was also fun to engage with the staff about their challenges and discuss their ideas for improve control and performance of the facility.

Low Point: Saying goodbye to new friends.

Learn more about the Water Treatment Plants here.

Rulindo and the Pump Station with a View

Rulindo and the Pump Station with a View

James’ Rwanda Impact Tour Journal
Water for People Impact Tour Rwanda 2019
James Hoyt, P.E.


Day 3

The partnerships and cooperative spirit of the Water for People Everyone Forever model was on full display today in the Rulindo District. The day started with a meeting at the District Mayor’s office where the Water for People Rwanda staff led a conversation with the Mayor and Vice Mayors.

Rulindo District was the birthplace of the Everyone Forever approach. The community and institution milestones have been met, and Water for People projects that the household milestone will be met in early 2020. The Mayor and his staff were proud supporters of the program and demonstrated a strong commitment to the work being completed as well as sustaining the systems in the future. Most of all, they were proud of what has already been accomplished and how the work in Rulindo now serves as proof that the Everyone Forever model is truly effective.

Prior to the trip, I already had an understanding of the world’s water crisis and I had a high level of confidence in Water for People. My biggest question was regarding the sustainability of solutions and the long-term success of the communities when Water for People’s work was done. Hearing the District staff’s commitment to the Everyone Forever model, and seeing the long-term plans they’ve laid out was exciting. The District has initiated financial strategies to fund O&M of the infrastructure and have prioritized community outreach and education. Leaving the Mayor’s offices, I was impressed and excited to see the Rulindo District system in action.

Field Visits

Our field visits today included a pump station, a water storage tank, a school, and a private home — all of which provided a great cross section of the impacts that water and sanitation projects are having throughout the community. The pump station had the best view of any pump station I’ve been to — sitting atop a hill, overlooking countless acres of farmland.

The Pump Station with a View

The pump station conveys water collected from springs to storage tanks in the distribution system. There was also a water point just outside the pump station fence that provides free water to the station’s neighbors in recognition that the spring water, which traditionally served them, is now shared with the community.

 

School Visit

Another highlight of the day was our visit to a local school. We didn’t meet with any students as we did not want to to disrupt the learning, but we could hear them reciting lessons and hear their singing ring throughout the school campus. I couldn’t help but smile hearing it. We got a tour of the school campus and met several teachers, including the hygiene teacher. The Everyone Forever model includes providing water and sanitation to all schools. This school had potable drinking water, rainwater collection, and composting sanitation facilities.

The availability of water at the school alleviates the need for students to fetch water to bring to school each day, thus improving attendance. Attendance is especially improved for female students. The school features a room for young girls stocked with feminine hygiene products and a resting area to use as needed.

The addition of rainwater collection and composting toilets has allowed the school to increase harvesting of onsite crops from one harvest to three harvests per year.

Finally, the hygiene education is teaching students proper hygiene practices which they bring back to their families to implement in their own homes. One of my favorite statistics is that 20% of home sanitation improvements are credited as being student driven.

Home Visit

Last, but not least, we were graciously welcomed into the private home of a woman who lives in a village that recently experienced access to safe water. Access to water nearby has allowed her to focus on raising chickens and making linens for sale. She was also able to get a loan from the local hygiene committee to install improved sanitation at her home. It is common practice for members of the community to pool money each month to help fund improvements for a community member. The money is paid back with a small amount of interest. It’s a great example of the local community coming together to improve the quality of life for its members.  

High Point: The entire day felt like one giant high point, but if I had to choose, I’d say visiting the school topped the list. It was so encouraging to see education and improved water/sanitation come together to provide opportunities for the next generation. These students are growing up with an understanding of the importance of water and sanitation, providing hope for continued success and improvement of life in Rwanda.

Low Point: I tried to come up with a low point for today, but it all felt like nit-picking. What a great day!

Click here to see some of the differences between the Rulindo ‘Pump Station with a view’ and ones we have designed here in New England!

Wastewater Rundown: Direct Potable Reuse Vs. Indirect Potable Reuse

Wastewater Rundown: Direct Potable Reuse Vs. Indirect Potable Reuse

Every day we encounter wastewater. We create it through flushing the toilet, washing our hands, taking showers, running the dishwasher, and more. In fact, all water affected by human use is wastewater. Although it’s a constant part of our lives, wastewater is often overlooked. Have you ever thought about what happens to the water we flush away? Where does it go? How does it get treated? Do we use it again? Read on to learn about the ways in which we utilize treated wastewater, particularly through direct potable reuse and indirect potable reuse.

The Quick (and Dirty)

The wastewater treatment process begins the second a drop of water goes down the drain. That water becomes sewage – which is 99 percent dirty water. The other one percent is made up of solids, chemicals, fats, nutrients, and other miscellaneous matter. From here, water travels within the sewage network through pipes, pumps, and plants for treatment. First in this process is the screening of large objects and debris from the water. Next, bacteria, contaminants, organic, and inorganic matter are removed through digestion and aeration processes. Within these phases, nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus are reduced to protect the environment and support our communities. When the water is clean, it then goes on to be clarified and disinfected with chlorine or ultraviolet light.

A Bright Idea

For as long as time, humans have relied on the natural water cycle to obtain drinking water. From the days of sifting water from brooks to later advancements including drinking water treatment facilities – the source of our drinking water has always come from surface or groundwater. When water is plentiful, we source it from watersheds and treat it to drinking water standards. But what happens when water supplies run low? When there is less rain and more demand for water? One solution is potable water reuse – the notion of reusing the used water we normally discard for drinking. The two types of potable water reuse are indirect potable reuse and direct potable reuse.

Indirect Potable Reuse

Indirect potable reuse (IPR) is more common and has been successfully used within the United States for the last 50 years. With IPR, water is first treated at a wastewater treatment facility. It is then pumped into a natural basin or reservoir where it is filtered naturally through the ground before being sent back into the water supply. The downside of IPR is that the water gets ‘dirty’ all over again and needs to be treated once more before it is safe to drink.

Direct Potable Reuse

On the contrary, direct portable reuse (DPR) is a fairly new concept and involves the treatment and distribution of water without an environmental buffer. In this process, the very clean water from the advanced water purification plant is put straight back into the water supply. These advanced purification systems are used by utilities around the world and process and test the water supply to ensure standards are met.

T&H designed the Home Farm Water Treatment Plant in Shrewsbury, MA

The first DPR system was implemented about five years ago in Big Spring, TX to face the state’s relentless droughts. The DPR system at the Colorado River Municipal Water District in Big Spring takes treated wastewater, purifies it, and then mixes it with the city’s regular water supply. Eventually, water heads back to consumers’ taps.

Although the DPR process is new in the grand scheme of things, it has proven to be effective. As we face global climate change and recognize drinking water as the valuable resource it is, innovations like DPR are certainly beneficial.

What are your thoughts on DPR?

 

Clean Water Inspired by the Form of a Flower

Clean Water Inspired by the Form of a Flower

When thinking of flowers, it’s hard not to appreciate the water that is necessary for them to grow. But have you ever thought about the significance of a flower when it comes to clean water?

A team in the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin has developed a new device for collecting and purifying water. Inspired by the structure of a rose, the flower-like device costs less than two cents to make and can supply more than a half-gallon of water per square meter.

water filtration and production device that resembles the inner workers of a rose.
Photo: UTexas.edu

Inspiration

The team of Ph.D. candidates led by Professor Donglei Fan were fueled by the creation of a new approach for solar steaming – a technique that uses energy from the sun to separate salt and other impurities from water through evaporation. Their origami rose inspired system could be a new paradigm for water production and treatment for both individuals and homes.

Existing solar-steaming technologies are typically bulky, expensive, and produce limited results. The UT team aimed to create a solution using portable, lightweight and inexpensive materials. The result – a product that looks like a black-petaled rose in a glass jar. While portable and low-pressure controlled solar-steaming systems known as ‘unisystems’ do exist, the flower structure portion of the design is new.

Inner-workings

The system is made from layered, black paper sheets that are shaped into petals. The 3D rose shape, attached to a stem-like tube that collects untreated water from any water source, makes it easier for the structure to collect and retain more liquid. The black paper is filtered and coated with a polymer known as polypyrrole. Polypyrrole is a material known for its photothermal properties – meaning that it coverts solar light into thermal heat.

Water Collection

There are two ways in which the device collects water. The first is through the stem-like tube that feeds water to the flower-inspired structure on top. The second way is through collecting water from above – occurring in instances such as rainfall. In either case, water finds its way to the petals where the polypyrrole coating turns the water into steam. The impurities are naturally separated from water when condensed in this way. By the end of the purification process, the device can remove contamination from heavy metals and bacteria, as well as salt from seawater. The result is clean water that meets drinking standard requirements set by the World Health Organization.

In addition to the new, flower-like structure, the system was also designed to include a connection point for a low-pressure pump. This pump will help condense water more effectively. Once condensed, water will fall into a compact, sturdy and secure glass jar. Weigu Li, a Ph.D. candidate in Fan’s lab said that their “rational design and low-cost fabrication of 3D origami photothermal materials represents a first-of-its-kind portable low-pressure solar-steaming-collection system” could inspire a new wave of clean water production technologies.

Cut Down on Water Waste

Cut Down on Water Waste

The average American family uses approximately 300 gallons of water each day, but a lot of that goes to waste.

Learn what you can do at home to reduce the amount of water that is wasted.

Please feel free to print and share our Cut Down on Water Waste Infographic with attribution to Tata & Howard, Inc. A high-resolution pdf can be downloaded by clicking here.

Tata & Howard, Inc. Encourages Getting to Know Local Water During Drinking Water Week

Tata & Howard, Inc. Encourages Getting to Know Local Water During Drinking Water Week

As Drinking Water Week continues, Tata & Howard joins the American Water Works Association and water professionals across North America in encouraging water consumers to get to know their local H2O.

drinking water week logo

Finding information about local water is simple. As required by the Safe Drinking Water Act, water utilities must provide customers with an annual water quality report, also called a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). A CCR identifies the quality of local drinking water and if any contaminants are detected and if so, which ones. Also available in the report is information on a community’s local source for drinking water. The city of Marlborough, MA, home to Tata & Howard’s headquarters, uses an average of 4 million gallons of water a day. Currently, 100 percent of the water is supplied by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA).

Additionally, information on local source water is available through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “How’s My Waterway?”

“As engineers in the water space, water is at the heart of everything we do,” said Tata & Howard Co-President, Karen Gracey, P.E. “Knowing the source of our water and keeping it clean is critical and we hope Drinking Water Week will serve as an opportunity for everyone to learn more about this vital piece of our daily lives.”

young girl drinking water from outdoor water fountain

More information about local water sources is available on DrinkTap.org.

About Drinking Water Week 
For more than 40 years, AWWA and its members have celebrated Drinking Water Week, a unique opportunity for both water professionals and the communities they serve to join together in recognizing the vital role water plays in daily lives. Additional information about Drinking Water Week, including free materials for download and celebration ideas, is available on the Drinking Water Week webpage.

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Founded in 1992, Tata & Howard, Inc. is a 100% employee-owned water, wastewater, stormwater, and environmental services consulting engineering firm dedicated to consistently delivering innovative, cost-effective solutions in the water environment. Tata & Howard has gained a solid reputation as an industry leader in the Northeast by bringing knowledge, integrity, and dedicated service to all-sized markets, both public and private. The firm has offices in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Arizona. For more information, visit www.tataandhoward.com

Established in 1881, the American Water Works Association is the largest nonprofit, scientific and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water, the world’s most important resource. With approximately 51,000 members, AWWA provides solutions to improve public health, protect the environment, strengthen the economy and enhance our quality of life.

Everything You Need to Know About Water Main Flushing

Everything You Need to Know About Water Main Flushing

Chances are that at some point in early spring, you have noticed fire hydrants being flushed and releasing large amounts of water into the streets. While it may appear that hundreds of gallons are going to waste, there are actually several benefits to this hydrant flushing process. Water main flushing is an important preventative maintenance activity that:

  • verifies proper operation of the hydrant
  • evaluates the available flow to the hydrant
  • allows utilities to deliver the highest quality water possible to their customers
  • removes mineral and sediment build up from the water mains
fire hydrant flushing water

Proper Operation of the Hydrant

According to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), the process of water main flushing is one of the most critical practices carried out by public drinking water systems. This practice allows water operators to identify broken or inoperable valves and hydrants to assure that they are working at their maximum potential.

Fire & Emergency Needs

During the flushing of a hydrant, operators can assess the water pressure and available flow rate for firefighting purposes. It’s imperative that each hydrant is operating as firefighters rely on them for fire-ground operations.

firefighter attaching hose to hydrant

High-Quality Water

Over time, water settles, ages, and is affected by biofilm (a thin layer of microorganisms) that grows on the inside of the distribution piping. Each of these factors affects the quality and taste of the water, so it is important to flush the water out of the mains and hydrants regularly. Flushing can remove water from areas of the distribution system that have low water use, since the older water may no longer have the desired chorine residual.

water coming from faucet

Mineral and Sediment Build Up

Throughout the course of several months or a year, loose sediment and mineral deposits may slowly build up inside of the water mains resulting in discolored water and reduced capacity. Flushing the water mains can remove the sediment and mineral build up, and improve the color, odor and taste of the water if it has been problematic.  Unidirectional flushing at the minimum required velocity will improve the carrying capacity of the mains.

Questions?

Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of flushing our water mains and hydrants, you may have some questions about the process and how it will affect your day-to-day life. We’re here to help!

When will a hydrant near me be flushed?

Hydrant flushing normally takes place at the start of spring. Your Pubic Water Supplier (PWS) should notify you of what streets will be undergoing flushing and when.

What can I do to prepare for flushing?

Prior to local hydrants being flushed, you may want to obtain water (in pitchers prior to flushing) for your everyday use including drinking, cooking, etc.

When the flushing is taking place, water quality may temporarily be reduced. Using water for tasks such as dishwashing, laundry, or showering may result in the discoloration/staining of your clothes or household items. Plan ahead and be sure your laundry and dishes are done before the flushing process begins!

How does water main flushing work?

Water main flushing usually takes place in one of two ways – conventional flushing or unidirectional flushing (UDF). WATER Finance & Management does a good job describing the difference between the two methods. In conventional flushing, hydrants are opened in different targeted areas and discharge water until accumulations are removed and water runs clear. While easy to conduct by water operators and crews, this method requires a lot of water, and may not always clean the pipe completely. With UDF, each pipeline is isolated to create flow in a single direction and quickly clean the pipe. By concentrating the flow, UDF creates higher velocities to clear the pipes and requires less water.

Learn more about the benefits of unidirectional flushing in our infographic here.

UDF-infographic

How will flushing affect my water?

During the process, you might experience a difference in the water pressure in your faucets as well as some discoloration in the water.

How long does it take to flush the hydrant?

Typically, this process takes between 30 and 60 minutes.

When will my water be back to normal?

Once the hydrants in your area have completed their flushing, it won’t be long until your water is ready for normal use again. In most cases, water should run clear with just a few minutes of faucet flow. Turn your faucets on cold and let the water run for 5 minutes or so. If you are still seeing discolored water or sediments in the water, continue running cold water on all your faucets until it is clear. Should your water still be discolored after several hours, please contact your water supplier.

Is water main/hydrant flushing a waste of water?

Although you will see water flowing for up to an hour, rest assured that most of the water that was flushed will return to a river, stream, or aquifer.  Flushing is a necessary process to help keep our water mains clean and clear of sediment, allowing your public water supplier to provide excellent water quality, and increased pressure and flow.

For more information and tips like this, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter!

 

6 Ways to Help Prevent Stormwater Pollution this Spring

6 Ways to Help Prevent Stormwater Pollution this Spring

You know what they say; April showers bring May flowers. While the start of spring and warmer days to come is certainly exciting, it’s important not to oversee what else comes with an increase in seasonal rain – stormwater pollution. Stormwater is water that comes from precipitation and snow/ice melt. The water either soaks into exposed soil or remains on top of impervious surfaces like pavement or rooftops. Most stormwater will eventually evaporate, but often times it will flow as runoff to another location. As the water runs it picks up pollutants along its path including debris, sediment, pesticides, fertilizers, pet waste and more. This polluted stormwater can cause soil erosion, stream impairment, flooding, fish and wildlife habitat loss, and reduced groundwater levels. Although stormwater pollution cannot be eliminated completely, you can do your part in preventing it. Check out these six ways to help prevent stormwater pollution this spring.

stormwater drain leading into creek

1. Only Rain Belongs in the Drain

As you start a spring cleanup in your yard, it’s important to remember that storm drains are not garbage disposals. Substances including leaves, yard waste, and other debris should be disposed of properly, and not released into neighborhood drains. Do your part to ensure that the only thing flowing into the storm drains are rain and snow/ice melt.

2. Use Lawn Chemicals Sparingly

With the arrival of warmer weather and outdoor summer fun on the horizon, now is the time when people start getting their lawns in tip-top shape. When it comes to fertilizer, remember that a little goes a long way. While a 20-pound bag of lawn fertilizer may seem small, do note that it will typically cover up to 4,000 square-feet of space (bigger than a tennis court). When spreading the fertilizer, use it sparingly to assure the excess does not overflow into runoff when rain comes. Choosing an organic fertilizer will also be less detrimental to the environment.

man fertilizing lawn

3. Avoid Over-Watering Your Lawn

While fresh, green grass is the end-goal for most yards come springtime, be sure not to over-water your lawn. In addition to the risk of fertilizer flowing over and out into the streets, it’s not good to have pools of water collecting in your grass. Avoid this by scheduling times each week to water your lawn, or by turning on sprinkler timers.

4. Wash Your Car Over Grass or Gravel

If you plan to wash your car at home, find an outdoor surface such as gravel, stone or grass to wash it on. Soapy water and grime will have an easier time neutralizing if it is filtered out before it reaches our streams and creeks. Try using a non-toxic or biodegradable soap as well to allow fewer chemicals to get into the water. An even safer alternative would be heading over to your local car wash where they will have a system in place for recycling or removing wastewater.

kids washing car at home

5. Pick Up Pet Waste

Although this sounds like a given, there are still many folks who do not pick up their pet’s waste. Pick up, bag, and dispose of pet waste properly to assure that unhealthy bacteria is not flowing into local waterways.

6. Plant Low-Maintenance Grasses and Plants

When it comes time to choose either grass seeds for your lawn or decorative plants, go with a low-maintenance, native (ones that occur naturally in a region in which they evolved) option. Because native plants adapt to local environmental conditions, they require far less water and are a lot better for the environment. Curious about what types of native plants are in your area? Check out this Native Plants Database to find out!

Interested in learning more about eco-conscious stormwater management to avoid stormwater pollution? Check out our infographic here and keep these tips in mind as you get going on your spring activities.

 

T&H Joins 2019 Impact Tour with Water for People

T&H Joins 2019 Impact Tour with Water for People

In the small, landlocked country of Rwanda, situated amid a dense population of nearly 12 million inhabitants, Water for People (WFP) expanded their mission of promoting the development of high-quality drinking water and sanitation services. The ‘Everyone Forever’ model was built out of Water for People’s Rwanda office in Kigali and is a programmatic effort to provide water and sanitation to Everyone in targeted districts, Forever.

water for people logo impact tour

To understand the full scope of Water for People’s vision while also supporting their mission, two Tata & Howard employee owners will be heading off to visit Water for People’s Rwanda site as part of their Impact Tour in September of this year.


Impact Tour

Water for People’s Impact Tours were created in efforts to show stakeholders how the organization is strengthening communities and fostering independence within defined geographical areas – that is, by bringing clean water and sanitation to every family, clinic, and school.

Throughout the course of an Impact Tour, participants will visit one of Water for People’s sites for a week to visit country staff, see the work they are doing, and witness firsthand what supporting Water for People truly looks like. Participants will interact directly with community leaders, local staff, government officials and people whose lives have been changed for the better due to the support and work in their area.

photo credit: Water For People

There are typically two Impact Tours each year – the first of 2019 will be taking place in Bolivia from April 13-18. The Rwanda Impact Tour that our team members will be participating in will take place from September 7-12.


The Lucky Winner

James Hoyt, Project Manager, was chosen through a company-wide raffle that was put together through our ESOP Committee. This raffle encouraged employees to continue supporting an organization we have been heavily involved with as a company, while also increasing employee engagement.

James Hoyt casual photo

James is excited and honored for the opportunity to represent T&H for the Rwanda Impact Tour. He looks forward to meeting and interacting with Water for People staff and the local community while learning from their experiences.

“It is meaningful to have the opportunity to bring this experience back to the company and to be an advocate for the positive changes the organization is making,” he said.


Two’s Company

Tata & Howard Co-President, Jenna Rzasa will also be accompanying James on the Rwanda Impact Tour this September. As a donor and supporter of Water for People for the last 15+ years, Jenna saw the Impact Tour as a wonderful opportunity to see the positive benefits that come as a result of providing safe drinking water to the people of Rwanda.

Jenna Rzasa casual photo

“Not only is WFP important to me, but also to the late Don Tata (co-founder of Tata & Howard), who was passionate about the organization and the winner of the 2018 Kenneth J. Miller Founders’ Award,” said Jenna. “By choosing to attend the trip with the Tata & Howard Raffle Winner, it serves a tribute to Don as well,” she added.


Raffle Entries

To participate in the raffle, Tata & Howard team members were given several opportunities to earn raffle tickets for the Impact Tour trip, including:

  • Payroll Contribution to Water for People*

*The only requirement for raffle eligibility was a payroll contribution to Water for People. Subsequently, employee owners could then participate in other activities and company events to earn more tickets.

  • Time at Tata & Howard
  • Participation in ESOP Month Activities
  • Donations for the November Food Drive
  • Gifts for the DARE or Toys for Tots Giving Trees
  • Donations to the Animal Shelter Drive
  • Participation in the February ESOP event

A Second Opportunity

Because many of our team members have children, families, and other commitments – we were pleased to offer those unable to travel to Africa with the opportunity to use their raffle tickets elsewhere. Within a second raffle bucket, employee owners could also be eligible to win a $500 gift card to an airline of their choice. Raffle entries were collected in the same way they were for the Impact Tour.

The lucky winner for this prize was T&H Associate, Ryan Neyland. 

Ryan Neyland casual photo

While Ryan has yet to pick a destination to take advantage of his prize, he is thankful for the opportunity and is thankful to be part of Tata & Howard’s ESOP.

“I value the ESOP knowing that the long-term ownership of the company will remain with its employees, and that we all have a direct impact on the stability and value of our company,” said Ryan.

Special opportunities such as supporting a truly impactful organization are just some of the perks that come with being a part of an ESOP. While the Impact Tour trip to Africa may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, we are always looking for ways to keep our employees working hard, engaged, and happy about the difference they can make in our company and the world.