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I need some information regarding pump installation

An enquiry from Richard Saunders I'm working for a charity made up of Civil Engineering students. Each year we design and fund raise infrastructure projects in Cameroonian villages and this year will be our sixth. We plan to install three water pumps in three villages in order to provide for about 1000 people. We would be grateful for any information regarding pump installation.

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WaterSunLife gravatar imageWaterSunLife ( 2016-04-09 18:04:22 +0000 )edit

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Richard, there are very good pump installation guidelines in Chapter 14 of the Engineering In Emergencies handbook by Davis and Lambert. Another document that you may find useful is the WEDC paper on selecting handpumps which you can find here:

Regards Harriette

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While I saw several India MKII pumps in Cameroon in August, many African governments have standardized their allowable models of pumps to improve supply chain for repair and replacement parts. So first confirm what model pumps are currently approved by the national or regional government for the area you plan to work.

Then it is easy to search for the pump manufacturer's installation manuals as PDF files out on the web. But first find out what type of pump is allowed and what type of pump is suitable for the depth of water and pH of the water in that area. Nowhere needs more pumps that aren't suitable for the water pH or locally supportable by the supply chain. They just fail and block access to water in an expensive borehole.

Then try:

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Dear Binaya

As has already been suggested, you will find a lot of useful information in the resources on handpumps that you can find on the 'Sustainable Groundwater Management' section of the RWSN website at Do you know yet what type of handpump it will be?

For advice on apron slab design I suggest you visit


Brian Skinner Distance Learning Programme Director WEDC (Water, Engineering and Development Centre)

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I agree with LarryB. I also observed derelict dug wells in Cameroon made inaccessible by a concrete slab and a broken pump.

The India Mk 2 is available in-country but is not VLOM, as personnel require thorough training to lift the riser pipe correctly and safely for cylinder maintenance. It also requires installation by technicians who have a more sophisticated understanding than “Surely all is ok if the rod is connected to the chain / handle and water comes out”. Technicians need sufficient understanding of the pump’s mechanism to appreciate that both over- and under-length connecting rods cause breakdowns, so the connecting rod must be exactly the right length.

The India Mk 3 pump is VLOM, but uses a more expensive 63 mm riser pipe and I don't think it is widely available.

You should not plan to install any pump unless you are absolutely sure that: - spare parts are available locally, since there is no reliable postal system - spare parts are affordable - there is a sufficiently skillful technician available to repair the pump

Ideally, all slabs for dug wells should be equipped with a headwall, windlass and bucket as well as a cut-out for a pump. For improved security, I have designed a prototype siphon for emptying the bucket by pipe within an locked well-housing.

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