Date of Award

Summer 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Agricultural and Biological Engineering


Agricultural and Biological Engineering

First Advisor

John H. Lumkes

Committee Chair

John H. Lumkes

Committee Member 1

Chad Jafvert

Committee Member 2

Karoli Njau


While water is a resource necessary for all life, in Tanzania alone over 20 million people who live in rural areas have no access to improved water sources. Water stress is a major concern in rural Tanzania, where annual potential evaporation can outpace precipitation by hundreds of mm per year. There is a significant need for improved access to water sources for Tanzanians living in rural regions of Arusha. To improve access to water, both water quantity and quality need to be addressed in a treatment system. Various water collection and treatment systems were compared and contrasted through the lens of appropriate technology. Sub surface flow (SSF) constructed wetlands and ultrafiltration systems were selected for development. ^ Constructed wetlands have a history of water treatment dating back hundreds of years. SSF constructed wetlands are an appropriate solution for water stress in the Arusha region due to their low cost, low maintenance requirements, and pre-treatment. To help establish a baseline water quality of surface water in Arusha, water was collected from various sources across the region. While they were tested for multiple parameters, turbidity and bacterial contaminants were identified and confirmed as the primary pollutants of concern. To help design constructed wetlands in the region a tool was built in Excel. The tool incorporates rainfall, runoff, and other environmental factors to produce information for sizing and availability to help project planners design a constructed wetland. ^ The developed tool was applied to the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) campus and the village of Endallah. A pilot scale wetland was designed for the NM-AIST campus for testing and validating of the tool, and a wetland was designed for the village of Endallah based on incoming runoff and consumption by the villagers. These applications demonstrated how the tool can be used and applied to other places by project planners in the field of water management..