Monday, June 3, 2013

Rope Pumps

One of the most interesting pumps I have seen for pumping water from depths that a a suction pump can't manage is the rope pump. By cranking the bicycle wheel, a continuous rope extends down into the well and back up through a PVC pipe. What allows the unit to pump are rubber gaskets on the rope at intervals, held in place with knots. When the rope enters the pipe, it lifts a column of water which then exits the pipe through a tee fitting above the well cover. Brilliant, simple, and manufacturerable almost anywhere.
The book, Providing Water, contains many such innovations appropriate to developing countries. Drawing by Xan Blackburn (

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