Kampung Simpang, Garut Selatan, is one area facing severe problems related to clean water supply. To carry out one of the tri dharmas of higher education, community service, the ITB Mechanical Engineering Student Union (HMM ITB) took the initiative to help solve the problem. By collaborating with several alumni, HMM ITB completed a social project to improve the clean water supply in Simpang Village by building a Hydram Pump from the Cihuni River flowing in Bojong Sirna Village, Simpang Village, Garut Regency.

This project was initiated by Dr.Eng. Pandji Prawisudha, a lecturer from the Energy Conversion Group at FMAE ITB, who revealed critical problems faced by the community in Simpang Village. One of the main problems is the need for a clean water supply and the instability of water discharge. During the dry season, the village often experiences dryness due to limited water sources, while during the rainy season, the plentiful water is not suitable for use because impurities contaminate it. In addition, the height difference between the clean water source in the river and the village causes obstacles in distributing clean water to residents.

Previously, the community had used an electric pump to deliver water, but this needed to be fixed as it required an ample electricity supply. Then, when heavy rains hit the village, the electricity supply was disrupted, affecting the water discharge. The dirty water also causes health problems, including stunting in children.

Considering the above problems, HMM ITB utilizes the clean flow of the Cihuni River to flow to Simpangan Village using a Hydram Pump. This pump has the advantage of utilizing the potential energy of the water itself to flow water from the bottom to the top. The resulting water pressure can flow the clean Cihuni River to Simpang Village, which is 20-30 meters above the river.

HMM ITB worked with others on this project. They collaborated with several alumni and organizations, including YSF (Yayasan Solidarity Forever), a family of FTMD ITB alumni who helped by providing financial support for the success of this social project. The economic contribution from YSF was significant in financing the construction of the hydram pump and its supporting infrastructure.

To ensure the project’s success, HMM ITB collaborated with several parties, including Pak Yoni, an ITB Environmental Engineering alumni class of 1988, who was previously involved in the Merdeka Belajar Kampus Merdeka (MBKM) program. Mr. Yoni’s experience helped in understanding the needs and challenges faced by Simpang Village and conveying these issues to HMM ITB. In addition, HMM ITB also collaborated with the ITB Geodesy Student Association to conduct area mapping, which was crucial in the planning and development of this project.

HMM ITB also received assistance related to the tools and materials needed. An alumnus of Geodesy ITB class 1986, Mr. Vitex Grandis, sponsored the Hydram Pump needs in this village. With his experience in this field, Mr. Vitex Grandis also ensured that the Hydram Pump chosen was suitable for the needs of Simpang Village and provided training to HMM ITB on what and the local community regarding the pump maintenance process. One of the 2018 ITB Mechanical Engineering Students also helped this social project by distributing iron pipes from the company. He managed to fulfill the tools and materials to install the Hydram Pump.

HMM ITB started the preparation process for this social project in October 2022. The field data was collected every month, from the calculation of river discharge and area mapping to detailed engineering design before the direct installation of hydram pumps. The project received a positive response from the local community, who actively participated in discussions and helped install the hydram pipes.

Hydram pumps successfully solve all of the problems above. Its use of no electricity makes it efficient and sustainable. The villagers are happy and thankful that this project has brought clean water to their village. Technology must be able to go hand in hand linearly with community life, and through this project, HMM ITB hopes to provide a better life for the local community.