Devastating earthquakes seem to have dominated world news in recent times. This is especially true in the light of the most recent Japanese earthquake, which was recorded at 8.9 on the Richter scale and was followed quickly by the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, which was recorded at 6.3. Both of these earthquakes occurred in ‘first world’ countries where population density, resources and infrastructure means there is a greater level of resilience against the effects of the quake, in terms of the building design and the resources to deal with the aftermath.
Yet in spite of all these advantages, both events did cause widespread damage, disruption and a great amount of human suffering which will take many years to recover from. In the case of Japan in particular, the nuclear ramifications will have global reverberations.
Against this backdrop it is easy to forget the other catastrophic earthquake that happened in January 2010 when Haiti hit the headlines after it suffered an earthquake measuring 7.0. The aftermath of this disaster was particularly grim, with the Haitian government estimating the final death toll to be 230,000 with a further 300,000 injured and two million people left homeless. There were a variety of reasons why this quake wrought so much more devastation than others of a greater magnitude, such as the quakes shallow depth. However the primary factor for the amount of destruction can be directly attributed to poverty, as Haiti is classified as the poorest country in the Western hemisphere.
In October 2010 there was more bad news when it was announced that there had been an outbreak of cholera. This has since escalated and continues to be a serious threat to the entire population. So far, 200,000 Haitians have been affected and numbers are expected to increase. Cholera is spread by ingesting contaminated water, so getting access to clean water is fundamental in trying to beat this disease which has already killed thousands.
Grundfos pumps have been on hand since the earliest days after the earthquake when they supplied the first SQFlex pumping station. Shortly after, through their charitable foundation, they donated a further 20 units and worked with Water Mission International to ensure their correct installation.
The SQFlex family is an environmentally friendly water supply solution which uses a permanent magnet motor to enable an efficient use of the natural energy. The pump system offers the perfect water supply solution in remote areas where water is scarce and the power supply is non-existent or unreliable.
The SQFlex solar panels and wind turbines adapt to the characteristic weather profile of any given area. A battery backup system can store any extra energy generated and take over when natural energy is scarce.
SQFlex is a complete system with intelligence, and because of the built-in electronics, the pump is compatible with both DC and AC power supplies without an external inverter. The range consists of ten different pump sizes: four helical rotor pumps for medium to high heads and low to medium flows, and six centrifugal pumps for shallow heads and high flows. The range is available in two different stainless steel material variants: type AISI 304 as standard and type AISI 316 for slightly aggressive water. The pump is fitted with a high efficiency motor which operates at both voltages as required. This makes pump sizing and selection extremely easy.
A particularly flexible option within the range is the SQFlex Combi which takes maximum advantage of natural energy resources by combining solar and wind energy via solar panels and a wind turbine. The added benefits of the SQFlex Combi are even greater reliability and water whenever it is needed, which is ideal in these particular circumstances.
Today more than 30 Grundfos units are providing clean water for 100,000 people in Haiti and more are planned. Safe drinking water is now a top priority for Haiti, and Grundfos SQ Flex units can deliver this, even in the most remote areas.