Volunteers in Hot Water…And That’s Good
“Every water line we opened had some kind of hidden issue. We were living on bought time.” – Pete Emery
If you’ve visited Extreme Response’s Team House in Quito, you know this awesome four-story facility is showing its age. Last year we repaired and remodeled the exterior (scroll below) and this year we are excited to share about another big project.
Thanks to funds supplied by ER Canada, we just installed a desperately needed new water system. The old system was presenting a myriad of problems.
“We were getting many leaks and constantly struggling with water pressure, as well as hot water issues,” said Pete Emery, ER Short-Term Teams Leader, who is overseeing the project.
“Over the years the hot water heaters ended up in bad locations like inside storage areas. Every time we tore an opening to fix a leak we found issues with the piping. Pipes were running under our hard wood floors. Many of our faucets were dripping and had become difficult to fix. So before we had another major water leak, we figured it was time to overhaul the entire water system.
“We also found more than half the building was being supplied by one half-inch pipe when the rest was going through our cistern and private pump. That explained our pressure issues. In addition, our old galvanized pipes were half clogged with corrosion.”
“We put the new 1 1/4-inch piping outside the walls rather than bury them in cement – which causes them to deteriorate faster, creates serious damage when they leak and is difficult to repair. With the pipes outside, we can detect and fix problems right away with little damage.
The results of these improvements will bring a smile to the faces of volunteers who stay in the team house and for staff who work there.
“Hopefully, all this will fix the cold showers and water pressure issues we’ve experienced. With new copper piping and better engineering, we should have many years of good hot water! This should make many team member much happier after a long day of serving. This new system we be trouble free years.”
Many thanks to our contractor Luis, ER’s Xavier, Pete Emery and ER Canada for their work and support.
ER Team Building Exterior Receives Makeover
If you’ve stayed at the Extreme Response Team House or visited our offices, you know the building is a huge blessing to the work we do throughout Ecuador and the Americas. The four-story building includes ER’s Quito staff offices and can house a few dozen volunteers (the exact number depends on how many bunk beds we fill) who come to Quito on short-term teams.
Doing a patch job and repainting seemed like an acceptable short-term solution. But was there a better, longer-term solution?
Enter ER’s Pete “Spiderman” Emery who accepted the challenge of finding a more permanent solution. The result was to install decorative stone with a top edge to keep the moisture from penetrating the area.
With help from Xavier Hildago and other ER staff, they erected four stories of scaffolding, scraped and cleaned the top portion of the building’s face, carefully installed the stone, and then sealed everything and painted the trim to match.
For those of you engaged in our work in Ecuador, thank you for
your support! Resources like buildings, vehicles and office equipment are extremely valuable in achieving our mission of helping people who live in desperate, sometimes life-threatening conditions. These tools allow volunteers to participate, strategy to be developed and supplies to be transported. We couldn’t do it without you.