The Toquepala mine is a large copper mine in the Tacna Province in Peru, on the border with Chile and Bolivia. The mine is situated far from nearby towns and cities and is operated by between 800-900 employees living on-site.
The soil and water sources surrounding the mine are contaminated with arsenic, classified as Group 1 carcinogen* and posing a serious risk to human health.
The existing water treatment included only chemical disinfection to provide the local population with water for non-potable purposes, such as showers, toilets and gardening. For potable use, they were drinking only bottled mineral water, and an alternative solution was essential.