In 1995, Waterfield founder and company president Craig Miller travelled to the Andes Mountains region of Ecuador to help build a rural water system for native Quichua Indians. Craig worked with a local civil engineer, helping with land surveying, engineering (determining pressure differentials in this dramatic terrain), and construction. At 13,000 feet in elevation, finding potable water for daily use by this tribe (descendents of the original Mayan Indians) was an incredibly difficult endeavor. Collecting fresh water in new mini-reservoirs scattered throughout the area allowed a simple pipeline system to be created, delivering clean and fresh water to each threshold of the dozens of mud huts located on the extremely mountainous terrain. The dramatic differences in elevation between individual huts and villages placed a special emphasis on the pressure differentials that were created throughout the new supply system.
Before this new system was installed, Quichua women had to walk over 10 miles each day just to ensure that clean water was available for all aspects of village life. This backbreaking task often resulted in compromised food, sanitation, and overall health. Those who were physically unable to get their own water particularly suffered.
Creating a proximate and reliable source of fresh water changed the lives of everyone in the village. Boston native Bruce Rydbeck, PE continues his water program every year with the Quichua Indians, expanding the reach of this life giving natural resource.