The island chain’s water supply, accessed from both a municipal system supplied by a deep well and rainwater collection systems in individual homes, was contaminated by saltwater. NGO Water Mission immediately responded by mobilizing safe water solutions to impacted communities.
MacKenzie Christie, Grundfos Senior OEM Account Manager for Water Treatment, received the invitation from Water Mission to volunteer. She always possessed the intrinsic desire to help others and has shown enthusiasm for a company that prioritizes sustainability.
“Having these worlds collide was the perfect moment for me,” said Christie. “All volunteers need to have experience in water pumps and engineering. But the most important attribute is flexibility. You could find yourself working at one site and then asked to go somewhere and do something completely different an hour later.”
During her holiday vacation, Christie spent three weeks in Marsh Harbour, a small town on Great Abaco Island, producing 8,000 gallons of clean drinking water per day for the Bahamian community from a reverse osmosis (RO) system that can make 30,000 gallons at full capacity. The RO system is ideal for purifying water in areas with little to no freshwater sources.
Christie was stationed at a dock in Marsh Harbour alongside Dominique Munnings, a local resident. For 8 hours each day, they pulled in saltwater from the harbor, then used media filters and secondary cartridge filters to remove contaminants, which lowers water turbidity. For the final step, an RO membrane array pumped clean drinking water into storage units – a 2,500 gallon bladder and a 2,500 gallon tank.
A strong background in chemical engineering and industrial water treatment prepared Christie for the responsibilities that came with operating the entire RO system, which to prevent theft included deconstructing the system part by part at the end of each day. With enthusiasm, she called it a great technical learning experience.