Updated on June 23, 2024


Created on August 27, 2015

Q Drum

Upcoming Update

Q Drum is a rollable container for water transport.

Tested By
  • Hans Hendrikse and Pieter Hendrisikse (Q Drum)
  • South African Bureau of Standards
Content Partners


Product Description

The Q Drum is a donut-shaped plastic container which when full holds 50 litres of water. It has a design of the longitudinal shaft or central hole, through which a rope is tied, to pull or roll the drum along all terrain types.

Target SDGs

SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

Market Suggested Retail Price


Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Household, Community

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

It has been distributed via partner NGOs of the marketplace - Kopernik, including Centro Feto.

Competitive Landscape

Direct competitors include Wello WaterWheel.

Manufacturing/Building Method

Rotational molding

Intellectural Property Type


User Provision Model

NGOs distribute Q-Drums

Distributions to Date Status


Container Volume (Liters)

50 L

Handle for pouring (yes/no)


Transport Method

Rollable or pullable

Design Specifications

Design: * Capacity: 50 Litres * Height: 36 cm * Diameter: 50 cm * Lid Size: 12 cm Diameter * Material: Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) * Material Thickness: 4mm * Actual Weight: 4.5 kg * Filled Weight: 54.5 kg * Stacking: Up to 40 filled drums Q Drum use is shown in the YouTube link found in the references section.

Product Schematics

Technical Support

The designer claims that the Q Drum construction material (LLDPE) makes it practically indestructible and that the simple design ensures ease of use. No technical support services are indicated.

Replacement Components

The Q Drum has no removable handles or other metal attachments that could detract from its intended purpose if lost or broken. The rope can be repaired on the spot or, if lost, be replaced by a leather thong, woven plant substance or any other appropriate material.


Approximately 8 years under normal conditions.

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

Easy to use by women and children without significant strain. Long-lasting in rough terrain. The longitudinal shaft also serves as a vertical support structure, which provides added strength and increases the top load compression resistance when filled containers are stacked on top of each other.

Vetted Performance Status

Drums are stack-able, up to 40 high when filled. Most existing containers can only be stacked two or maybe three high when filled with heavy fluids or other substances such as chemicals for the agricultural industries. In a SABS (South African Bureau of Standards) compression test performed on the Q Drum, the maximum load reached before collapse was 3.7 tons, which equates to 40 full containers stacked approximately 25 metres high. This exceeds the international stacking requirements a number of times, making Q Drum an easy vessel to store and transport in large quantities.


It is hazardous to move at high speeds down inclines with the Q Drum.

Complementary Technical Systems


Academic Research and References

Danis, C., Bailey, M., Christensen, J., Ellis, J., Erickson, T., Farrell, R., Halverson, C., and  Kellogg, W., Social Computing Applications for the Next Billion Users, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center.

Bolton, Sally. 2011. Oe-Noah Revisited. Kopernik in Action (blog). March 7, 2011.

Water Drum Eases Burden – Rolex Awards. 1996. Rolex.org.

Q Drum, the Rollable Water Container for Developing Countries – About. n.d. www.qdrum.co.za.

Ge, Shen. 2022. Sustainability: Q Drum, Rollable Water Container. Impact Hound. October 18, 2022.

A Trifilm Story the Q Drum. 2015. Fernanda Pizarro.

Compliance with regulations

In a SABS (South African Bureau of Standards) compression test performed on the Q Drum, the maximum load reached before collapse was 3.7 tons which equates to 40 full containers stacked approximately 25 metres high, which meets regulations.

Evaluation methods

Field trials, user feedback and compression testing.

Other Information

Other uses include: Camping and Outdoor Life, Military, Agriculture, Mining, Harbours & Marinas, Natural Disasters, Disaster Relief Aid.

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