In 2006, Tom Flaim, our founder, visited the Dominican Republic for the first time on a short-term mission trip. With a civil engineering background, he knew that access to clean water might be problematic in the area they would be staying, so he brought a portable filtration unit with him.
Tom used the unit to purify water at a cistern that was holding collected rainwater (and presumably, a whole host of waterborne diseases). Soon enough, local women and children were lined up with various vessels desperately asking for clean water. After witnessing this great need, Tom felt God call him to use his training and resources to help bring clean water to the most vulnerable communities of this nation.
He began setting up wall mounted water purification systems with local churches in 2008 but learned that approach wasn't going to be a sustainable solution.
For this mission of clean water to work long-term, the system and process was going to have to be self-supporting. With that in mind, Water at Work Ministry, Inc. (or Water@Work) was incorporated in Georgia in 2012. Then two years later, our partnering in-country, non-profit organization, Fundacíon Waterwork RD, was established in 2014. Fundacíon Waterwork RD assists with site selection, oversees construction, equipment purchasing, staff training, water quality testing, and community development.
As of 2021, incredibly generous donors have funded a network of eight church-based water plants in communities across the Dominican Republic. Each water plant is registered with the Ministry of Public Health.
Each plant also employs half a dozen people to run water plant operations, bottle, and deliver the water. As of 2021, an estimated 13,500 people now have access to clean water through these eight plants that didn't before.