The Elephant Pump is a 20 meter rope pump.
The Elephant Pump is a simple rope and washer pump with an enclosure which can be installed onto a protected shallow well reaching water table depth of up to 20m.
Pump Aid’s 2012-2013 Impact Report states that they have built over 8,500 pumps in communities across Malawi, Zimbabwe and Liberia, predominantly in areas where there were previously no protected water sources.
PumpAid with the help of NGOs and government organizations.
About $4,760 USD per installation includes on-going maintenance.
Zimbabwe – Mvuramanzi Trust is another organization providing rope pumps in Zimbabwe. There isn’t much reported rope pump distribution in Malawi or Liberia.
Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation
Focus on rural population living on less than 1 dollar per day especially in rural areas of Malawi (Mchinhi District), Liberia and Zimbabwe. The Rope Pump is not designed for a high daily output, but rather a family or small community pump.
The entire pump is produced locally, either at a Pump Aid metal workshop, or by local welders under PumpAid’s supervision. Welders make the wheel, the axle and the ratchet from locally sourced steel.
PumpAid has created their own spin off of an open source tech known as the Rope Pump.
By donation only. Sites for pumps are identified with the local community by PumpAid. The suitability of a site is assessed by examining the depth of ground water, the time it takes for the groundwater to re-infiltrate and reach the well, the projected number of people that will be using the water source, the distance of the site from sanitation facilities, huts and rubbish pits and other factors such as the use of chemicals on the land.
Pump Aid’s 2012-2013 Impact Report states that they have built over 8,500 pumps in communities
Sites are revisited by PumpAid staff and are serviced by the organization. Community leaders are trained (no publicly available manual). According to staff, very little routine maintenance that needs to be carried out on an Elephant Pump.
Sites are revisited by PumpAid staff and are serviced by the organization.
Most recent lifespan information is from 2005, stating that the Elephant Pump can last up to 50 years with proper maintenance. Unknown if this is still valid.
Extraction rate: 1 liter per second for a head of 20 meters.
Suitable for extraction from depths of up to 30 meters.
Rope pump technology is a well-established and proven in the public domain. Public domain standards and guidelines have been produced and documented by RWSN. Specific technical data for Rope Pumps follows:
- Piston nominal dia.: 1”, ¾” or ½”
- At 10 m head: 1.4 m³/hour
- At 15 m head: 1.1 m³/hour
- At 20 m head: 0.7 m³/hour
- Pumping lift: 0 – 30 m
- Population served: ~ 70 people
Poorly constructed enclosures can cave in if not given proper time to cure.
The Elephant Pump can be used along with any purification, disinfection, or treatment system to ensure water potability.
Thorpe, I. 2004. Pump Aid and the Elephant Pump in Zimbabwe. Case study for E-conference: Tackling poverty through multiple use water services, 17th May to 25th June 2004
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