Updated on December 27, 2023


Created on August 27, 2015

SOVEMA Universelle Extra Deep Hand Pump

Universelle Extra Deep Well Hand Pump is a reciprocating level action water pump designed by Sovema (France).

Developed By
Tested By
  • Bureau Veritas
Content Partners


Product Description

The SOVEMA Universelle Extra Deep Well Hand Pump is a reciprocating level action pump for deep wells. The modified design is based on the patented design of the UPM® pump – an older model that is found in many areas of West Africa.

Target SDGs

SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

SDG 1: No Poverty

Target Users (Target Impact Group)


Distributors / Implementing Organizations

SOVEMA commercializes the UNIVERSELLE pumps through its distributors’ network in Africa and in Asia.

Competitive Landscape

Direct competitors include India Mark II Handpump.

Manufacturing/Building Method

Manufactured to order in the Sovema workshop located in Vauvert (Gard-France). Interview with representative

Intellectural Property Type


User Provision Model

This product is by humanitarian organizations, and through SOVEMA distribution networks within target regions.

Distributions to Date Status

The exact number of products distributed to date is unknown. However it is estimated that 4000 products have been installed in Sub Saharan Africa since 2000.

Pump type

Human powered pump

Power requirement (W)


Average flow rate (L/min at specific head)

16.67 L/min at 70 m

Maximum head (m)


Diameter (cm)


Design Specifications

The Universelle Extra Deep Well Handpump is a reciprocating level action pump for deep wells. The pump functions by lifting water via a piston that is raised and lowered inside a cylinde. The piston (or plunger) is moved by a pump rod connected directly to the lever handle at the pump head. The increased length of the water column in deep boreholes requires more effort to draw water and the lever of the handle makes the operation easier. The function of the reciprocating pump is based on the principle that water flows from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure. The reciprocating pump creates an area of sufficiently low pressure above the body of water, causing it to flow upward. The Universelle delivers discharge rate of 1000 liters per hour at 70m with a pace of 40 strokes per minute. The Universelle has the following unique design features: -Modified pistons which are placed every 3 meters and adapt to slightly non-vertical bore-holes and possible strain of rising pipes. The permanent self-centering which occurs between piston skirts and rising pipes improves hydraulic joint’s tightness thus increasing pump’s efficiency -Cylinder free design that reduces mechanical wear inside the riser. The tightness between the pipe and the pistons is naturally ensured by the hydraulic natural seal which is ensured by each rod’s upward stroke. -Pump is self-priming at all depths. -Coupling a ‘single mobile pulley’ to a modular counterweight, to increase piston stroke and allow adjustment of the required pumping strength to decrease the effort applied by the user. -Corrosion resistant materials for all parts which are directly in contact with water. Specifically: -Material of construction: PVC riser, plastic coupling, pistons, rods and nuts in stainless steel, and foot valve in ABS

Product Schematics

Technical Support

The Universelle Extra Deep Well Handpump was designed to be a" village level operation maintenance " (VLOM) pump. The installation and maintenance are carried out in the village without any hoisting or extraction system. Human strength is sufficient to pull out the 2” rising pipe during periodic maintenance.

Replacement Components

Common use wear parts are standard and are available locally. Spare piston sets are supplied to cover 2 years operation needs and also available through the company's distribution network. All the external parts of the pump are engineered so as to be made or repaired locally if need be.Additionally, Sovema claims that the pump requires almost no maintenance to its infrastructure as pistons, which are self-centering, are devoid of joints, thus suppressing all frictions inside the riser. Having pistons placed every 3 meters, reduces the pressure (0.3kg/cm²) exerted on them and ensures a longer life span. Interview with representative


The pump requires minimal maintenance. Its infrastructure includes pistons, which are self-centering and devoid of joints, thus suppressing all frictions inside the riser. The annual maintenance cost was validated by the Agence Française de Développement and is estimated to be <$52.00 USD (30000 CFA) (including spare parts). Interview with representative

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

Sovema notes the following performance targets: Interview with representative-Certified discharge rate of 1000 Liters per hour at 70m with a pace of 40 strokes per minute.-Mechanical wear inside the riser is suppressed because the design is cylinder free.-Reaches a level which is over a 100m deep.-There is no water contamination risk as the pump doesn’t require the introduction of any sort of liquid into the borehole, neither for its commissioning nor for its priming.

Vetted Performance Status

Discharge rate of 1000 liters per hour at 70m with a pace of 40 strokes per minute, verified by manufacturer.


No known safety hazards are related to this product.

Complementary Technical Systems

It is possible to discharge pumped water in a water tower at a maximum height of 3 m. by adapting a packing gland on the reservoir itself. Could also be paired with a purification, disinfection, or treatment system to ensure water portability. Interview with representative

Academic Research and References

“Extra Deepwell India Mark 2 handpumps,” S K Industries, 10-Apr-2018. Available: http://skipumps.com/extradeep/

“India Mark II Handpump,” Engineering For Change, 27-Aug-2015. Available: https://www.engineeringforchange.org/solutions/product/india-mark-ii-handpump/

“Goal 6,” Sdgs.un.org. Available: https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal6

“Handpumps,” Akvopedia.org. Available: https://akvopedia.org/wiki/Handpumps

Compliance with regulations

Sovema guarantees that pump anti-oxidant materials are certified by Sanitary Certificates in compliance with European Community standards. The foot of the pump, conforms to CIEH standards and the superstructure elements conform to International standards (unspecified). Interview with representative

Evaluation methods

Water discharge rates were tested by Bureau Veritas (R-Aix-IND-12-2419817-01/03’ February 01, 2012).

Other Information

AFD (French Agency for Development) Report ’synthesis of retrospective evaluations for the village hydraulic projects’ in June 2000.

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