Alotau Water Concept Development


In 2019, Moerk Water was approached to report on an existing water supply system of a station in Alotau district in Papua New Guinea. The volume of water supplied by the system was not sufficient for the area’s 2600 residents. The station relied on a diesel pump to pump water into a water tower which supplied household residents with water. Once the water became available, residents would drain the tank by filling buckets in their households. Moerk Water also identified that the source water used, a river behind the station, was most likely contaminated by agricultural sources upstream. Moerk Water also identified a series of major leaks in the plumbing network that could lead to significant water savings. Moerk Water produced a comprehensive report outlining the options for the station to improve the existing water supply. Moerk Water’s main advice was to install a UV disinfection system so the water could be used for drinking and to replace the diesel pump with a solar pump to reduce the need for diesel fuel. The payoff for a solar system of sufficient capacity for the solar pump when the price of diesel is factored in is two years.

Project Outcomes: 


  • A station in the Alotau district required an upgrade to its existing water supply
  • Moerk Water identified a range of major leaks that could be easily repaired for low cost and lead to large water savings
  • Moerk Water recommended replacing the current diesel pump with a solar pump to save fuel. Payback period for solar pump is just over 2 years.
  • Moerk Water recommended the installation of a UV disinfection system to produce potable water
  • Moerk Water also recommended Increasing the size of the distribution tank and moving the current tank to the planned hospital to act as an overflow/buffer
  • Capability Community Water Independence
  • Feedwater Bore water, well water, creek water
  • Water Quality Red Flags Microbiological contamination
  • Primary Water Treatment UV disinfection
  • Project Outcomes