The BluePump by FairWater Foundation is a 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.
Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Kinshasa), Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gambia, The, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Netherlands, Niger, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom
SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
Market Suggested Retail Price
Target Users (Target Impact Group)
Distributors / Implementing Organizations
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 ASAP, Bluezone Ltd, British Army, Foundation Dogon Education, Global Resource Alliance, GRA Tanzania, IRD Swaziland, Join the Pipe, Obakki Foundation, OXFAM, Sanex, SORIM, Swe-Gam and Techno Relief Services.
This product is manufactured by BOODE Inc. in the Netherlands and is not suitable for local manufacturing.
Intellectural Property Type
User Provision Model
The product is provided by donation only.
Distributions to Date Status
By the end of 2019, over 1,500 were installed across 10 countries in Africa.
Human powered pump
Power requirement (W)
Average flow rate (L/min at specific head)
30 L/min at 10 m, 25 L/min at 25 m, 20 L/min at 50 m, 15 L/min at 80 m
Maximum head (m)
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 12 mm x 2.000 mm. INOX 304 fully threaded with M12 locknuts. Centralizers: 2 x Ø 68 x 15 mm. floating HDPE high resistance, double use. Bearings: Ø 30 / 50 mm. self adjusting & maintenance free. Cylinder: Ø 53 / 57 x 90, INOX 304 with double foot valve system. Valves: 3 x Ø 30 mm, INOX 304, optional ceramic as well. Piston Ø 53 x 380 mm POM (maintenance free). Max stroke = 200 mm. Handle: Ø 62 x 1.200/ 1.500 mm, extendable with counterweight. Depth range: From 1 to 100 m deep. Below 40 m with Bottom Support (BS) system. 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. Installation: The BluePump can be installed by one technician only, with one assistant, up to 100 m deep, without the need for specific tools. Under normal circumstances the BluePump requires no spare parts for 10 to 15 years. Shipping specifications: 40 BluePumps with each 40 meters of PVC pumping can ship in a 20 inch box Rehabilitation of abandoned 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; fits onto the 4-bolt cement base used for Afridev or India handpumps.
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 checking 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 40 m 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 durability of the main wearing parts (under normal 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. There is no warranty information provided.
Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters
The designer specified performance targets include: low cost maintenance, light operation, durable and groundwater exploitation up to 100 m.
Vetted Performance Status
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.
No known safety hazards are related to this product.
Complementary Technical Systems
Ground water quality can be improved by adding a filtration and/or chlorination step.
Academic Research and References
Furey, S., 2014, Handpumps: where now? Rural Water Supply Network/Skat Foundation, St Gallen, Switzerland.
Cornet, L., 2012, A Comparative Evaluation Of Ultra Deep-Well, MSc Thesis, Cranfield University, Bedford.
McSorley, B., Singano, J.J. & Muema, M., 2011, Piloting the BluePump in Turkana, Kenya. Oxfam.
Foster, T. & McSorley, B., 2016, An Evaluation of the BluePump in Kenya and The Gambia. Institute for Sustainable Futures (University of Technology Sydney) & Oxfam.
Blue Pump, https://bluepump.com/
“BluePump®,” Boode, https://www.boode.com/products/bluepump
“Pump, hand, for water,” Oxfam Supply Centre, https://supplycentre.oxfam.org.uk/product/pump-hand-for-water/#ptabs2
“Manual or human-powered water pumps for Africa (vergnet hydro),” Vergnet Hydro, https://www.vergnet-hydro.com/vh/en/manual-water-pump-africa/
“Afridev Hand Pump,” Engineering For Change, https://www.engineeringforchange.org/solutions/product/afridev-hand-pump/
“India Mark II Handpump,” Engineering For Change, https://www.engineeringforchange.org/solutions/product/india-mark-ii-handpump
“Bush Pump,” Rural Water Supply Network, https://www.rural-water-supply.net/en/implementation/public-domain-handpumps/bush-pump
“Goal 6 | Department of Economic and Social Affairs,” United Nations, https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal6
RWSN • Rural Water Supply Network – Rural Water Supply Network, http://www.rural-water-supply.net/_ressources/documents/default/1-424-2-1352891875.pdf
“Central Africa Republic?: – the bluepump – sadeer,” www.africa2trust.com, https://africa2trust.com/Member/ProductsNSOMore.aspx?l=1&c=23&glx=0&spc=94&sid=9787&CatID=3&pid=409
“BluePump,” Engineering For Change, https://www.engineeringforchange.org/solutions/product/bluepump/
“Piloting the BluePump in Turkana, Kenya – kenya,” ReliefWeb, https://reliefweb.int/report/kenya/piloting-bluepump-turkana-kenya
Compliance with regulations
This product is evaluate through field studies. A three year project was conducted by the FairWater Foundation and Oxfam aiming to adapt the BluePump to challenges that arose in field studies in Africa