Language barriers can create obstacles, especially regarding construction…The construction team in Mahanaim got right to work following the site layout. As the plots for the bio filters began to get deeper and deeper, I started to become concerned. It seems that the engineer was not clear that the bio filters had to be completely above the fish tank and they had begun to dig them deep into the ground. When I saw this Luiguy quickly straightened things out and we got back on track.
This coming Monday we may be able to start pouring concrete if we can fix the elevations for the three bio filters. Besides this small misstep things are going smoothly and the community is completely engaged and supportive of the project.
Also I tested the gravel that was intended to be used for the growing media. Dr. O noted that it was most likely limestone so I tested it. I took a sample of about 300ml of bottled water and tested its pH, them i added about 10 small pieces of gravel to the same water, shook it up and retested the pH. The control sample had a pH of 6.4 and when I tested the sample with the gravel it gave a reading of 8.4. From this one test it seems that we will not be able to use this gravel as it will continuously dissolve and raise the pH of the water uncontrollably. I will perform the same test tomorrow wit another sample from the same pile of gravel just to make sure. I was told by our lead engineer Franzy that we can source some quartz or granite gravel in Haiti, both of which are inert and can be used as the growing medium.