Paul van Beers, Fairwater Foundation
A stainless steel hand pump distributed in African communities.
The BluePump by FairWater Foundation is a rugged water pump intended for communities in rural Africa. This lever-action reciprocating handpump draws water from depths of up to 100 m. It is intended to last 10-15 years with very little to no maintenance. BluePumps are preferably built in a BlueZone, an area with over 30 BluePumps installed, a trained area mechanic, an agent that supplies support, and a caretaker, who follows up on the pumps daily care and needs.
BluePump distributors are currently located in the target regions of: Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameron, Niger, Malawi, Mozambique, The Gambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Swaziland, The Netherlands, Congo, DRC, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoir, Ethiopia, South Africa
The BluePump is primarily distributed by BOODE Inc. or through regional BluePump dealers in Africa which can also provide the installing and the associated service. Implementing organizations include Oxfam Kenya, LMT, IRD Swaziland, GRA and Millenium Village project in Tanzania, Obakki Foundation in South Sudan, Red Cross Kenya and South Sudan, ADRA in Niger, ASAP in Burkina Faso.
$2,500- $4,200 USD
Vergnet Hydropump, U3M, Afridev, Volanta, Tany, Bush Pump
Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation
Rural African communities, schools and health centers lacking access to a potable and reliable water source.
Manufactured by Boode in the Netherlands; not suitable for local manufacturing
Fairwater Foundation Blue Pump ® is trademarked and the Beers Pumping System © it utilizes is copyrighted.
The core of the BluePump is a stainless steel pump part with a double foot valve which functions even under the pressure of a 100 m water column. Unlike regular pumps, the BluePump does not have a rubber seal that needs regular replacement and the bearings are self-lubricating.
BluePump technical specifications: – Rising mains: Ø 70/80 x 2000 mm. Glue sockets Ø 80/95 x 180 mm. – Rods: Ø 12mm x 2.000mm. INOX 304 fully threaded with M12 locknuts. – Centralizers: 2x Ø 68x15mm. floating HDPE high resistance, double use. – Bearings: Ø 30 / 50mm. self adjusting & maintenance free. – Cylinder: Ø 53 / 57 x 90, INOX 304 with double foot valve system. – Valves: 3 xØ 30mm, INOX 304, optional ceramic as well. – Piston Ø 53 x 380 mm POM (maintenance free). Max stroke = 200mm. – Handle: Ø 62 x 1.200/ 1.500mm, extendable with counterweight.
Depth range: From 1 to 100m deep. Below 40m with Bottom Support (BS) system.
Installation: The BluePump can be installed by one technician only, with one assistant, up to 100m deep, without the need for specific tools.
Shipping specifications 40 BluePumps with each 40 meters of PVC pumping can ship in a 20 inch box; fits onto the 4-bolt cement base used for Afridev or India handpumps.
Can be inserted into old boreholes to rehabilitate abandoned handpumps; Installation is easy and can be done without specific tools between only 2 people.
Installation and service is provided by trained regional mechanics or the Regional Maintenance Team (RMT). RMTs are trained to assist communities with a yearly check-up and repairs and can be contracted for a maintenance contract for about $10 USD per family per year, not including travel costs.
Fairwater claims that the BluePump is a minimal maintenance handpump. Maintenance is limited to occasional cheking nuts and bolts on the box. The cylinder has a stainless steel valve and no rubber seal and is considered nearly maintenance free. Over time the deeper centralizers below 40m will wear out on one side, but they can be turned around and be used again. Most parts are locally available or can be made locally.
BluePump parts and spares are available with the country dealer and with Boode in The Netherlands. According to FairWater data for about 5 years of operation of the BluePump in Africa, it is estimated that the durablility of the main wearing parts (under nomal conditions) is: – Centralizers: 5 – 10+ years – Bearings: 5 – 10+ years – Valves: 5 – 25+ years – Second footvalve rubber: 5 – 10 years – Piston: 25+ years – Bottom Support sleeve seal: 5 – 10+ years
Under normal circumstances the BluePump requires no spare parts for 10 to 15 years. No warranty information provided.
Discharge at normal easy pumping rate at noted depth:
• At 10 m. 30 L/min.
• At 25 m. 25 L/min.
• At 50 m. 20 L/min.
• At 80 m. 15 L/min.
Under normal circumstances the BluePump requires no spare parts for 10 to 15 years.
A volumetric efficiency analysis was conducted as part of A Comparative Evaluation Of Ultra Deep-Well – Master’s Thesis by Lucas Cornet of Cranfield University, School of Applied Sciences Water Management: Community Water and Sanitation (September 2012). The results are shown in the graph below. The evaluation concluded that Poldaw is globally more effective than the Afridev BSS, which is more effective than the BluePump.
Fairwater Foundation, Cranfield University, School of Applied Sciences Water Management: Community Water and Sanitation
No hazards noted.
Ground water quality can be improved by adding a filtration and/or chlorination step
Field studies. Long term testing, for example the FairWater Foundation and Oxfam three year project aiming to adapt the BluePump to challenges that arose in field studies in Africa
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