Maffia, Costanza and Rosado returned to campus already in the throes of planning their next trip down to the island, for which they would order necessary supplies to build the proposed water filtration system.
In early May, the students hosted a pasta dinner with food donated by Claudio’s, a popular Italian restaurant in Manhattan owned by Costanza’s parents. They collected more than $1,000, which directly benefited the equipment purchased for Añasco.
In choosing the safest and most functional location at the Colegio for the elevated water tank, the chemical engineers pulled in civil engineering professor Daniel Hochstein, Ph.D., for his insight in soil mechanics — areas where soil could sustain the weight of the tank and water would be essential in choosing a location.
In preparation for their upcoming trip in August, the travel team met in the Leo Hall chemical engineering lab to mock-create the system they’d designed and would be transporting to Puerto Rico, as they determined the logistics of the elevated tank — a 10-inch Sawyer Products filter attached to a hand pump, which would supply clean water to the school. Facilitating the trial run were the Manhattan chemical engineers, civil engineering students led by Hochstein, and Nodolski, who traveled from Widener.
Once in Añasco, the team began installing a mobile water cart that included the Sawyer filter, hand pump, and hoses that could distribute the clean water to bottles and other storage units. A 20-gallon water cooler was added for extra functionality. Ease of use was important because the device would be used by school administrators: all they needed to do was fill the hand pump with water and manually pump it so that the water would flow through the filter, filling up the water cooler. Clean water would stream through the hose, and once the tank was full, operators could open the installed valve, and unfiltered water would run off the gutter.
The system proved to be functional. They were now able to lay the groundwork for fulfilling the ultimate goal — a 2,500-gallon tank that would filter rainwater and water from the city of Añasco and supply water to the entire school.
Unfortunately, at this stage of the project, it was announced that the Añasco school would shutter at the end of the 2019 academic year. But that doesn’t make the Manhattan group’s dedication any less significant. Through their efforts, they are living out the Lasallian Catholic mission of John Baptist de La Salle, according to Brother Jack Curran, FSC, Ph.D., vice president for mission.
"Costanza and Rosado, both inspired and mentored by Dr. Maffia, are obviously accomplished in their academic achievements,” says Br. Jack. “In their pursuit of civic engagement and success, and service to their fellow human beings, they also are exemplary in bringing to life the Lasallian Catholic mission of Manhattan College.”
After graduation, Rosado will begin a job at Thermo Systems, as Costanza begins working in the research and development sector of Reckitt Benckiser, a multinational consumer goods company.