For many NGOs, the creation of local jobs is a prerequisite for doing business. Therefore, when discussing the possible use of the Simple Pump in the developing world, we are frequently asked if we license manufacturing in developing countries. To date, we do not. That’s not to say it could never happen. But if it ever does, it won’t be in the near future. Here are the reasons why:
First — we already tried, and it didn’t work. At the time, it was not technologically viable, because of very poor generation and distribution of electricity. Precision machining is simply not possible under those conditions. Recently, the quality of electricity delivered in a couple of African countries has approached the quality required, but this is still not so in most locations.
Further, even if Simple Pump was licensed for local manufacturing in a country with a quality power grid, very few jobs would be added to the local economy. The idea of creating local jobs has no substance, in the case of this type of product.
This is heresy in much of the NGO world, where the idea of “local manufacture” is sacrosanct. But “local manufacture” of well water pumps has had a run of several decades. Billions of dollars worth of pumps produced in the name of this concept are in place, throughout Africa and India, and THE MODEL IS NOT WORKING.
There are many people who are employed making very unreliable hand-operated well pumps. The shockingly high percentage of non-functioning hand pumps has been well documented, in several studies. The Rural Water Supply Network’s Work Plan (January 2009 – December 2011) includes the results of a 2007 pump survey spanning twenty-one African nations. At any given time, THIRTY-SIX PERCENT OF INSTALLED PUMPS WERE NOT FUNCTIONING! In other words, after all the hard work and expenses, there was, on average, more than a 1 in 3 chance that the well would sit unused, because of a broken pump. And almost all of those pumps are of the India Mark II/III – Afridev – VLOM family.
Now, is it more important to make highly unreliable pumps whose technology of manufacture calls for the employment of a number of people? Or, is it more important that the poorest villages on earth have the opportunity to catapult themselves out of poverty, solely by virtue of a reliable supply of water?
And, sorry to say, at this point in history, and with what is currently available in developing nations, it is an either/or choice.
A typical submersible pumps a large volume of water really quickly.
This requires many solar panels and batteries.
The Simple Pump is designed to pump over time — requiring far fewer panels and batteries.
Our pumps are very cost-effective, in part because our precision manufacturing makes them extraordinarily reliable.
That reliability makes remote and often unattended pumping applications possible.
Precision manufacturing, and the materials used, also make our pumps narrow yet strong. The narrow profile cuts the required casing diameter to only two inches.
Drilling costs can be cut by as much as two-thirds.
Hauling the pump to the wellbore is easy. All the parts required to pump from 200 feet weigh only about 130 lbs.
This is MUCH less than seemingly comparable pumps.
The pump is also very easy to install. In the words of one of our customers who installed our pump in a remote location:
“Having never installed a water pump, I was looking for something that was not going to take a rocket scientist to be able to understand the directions. We were able to finish in less than an hour without any problems.”
Living rurally, it’s not a matter of IF the power goes out. For most people, it’s a matter of WHEN and FOR HOW LONG.
We have had customers tell us about getting through the aftermath of ice storms, snowstorms, tornados, hurricanes, floods, and forest fires with their Simple Pump.
And there are many outages caused by random failures or overloads of aging equipment.
EMPs from solar flares are not a theoretical danger. They cause outages from time to time with some being quite extensive.
And, of course, there are more serious possible reasons to think about in the future — political, economic, and climactic circumstances that could seriously interfere with our lives and wellbeing.
Buying a hand pump is like insurance. Except instead of having to pay again every year, it’s a one-time payment. Insurance for the well-being of your family.
So you are researching and selecting your hand pump for your well. At least you know your product type (hand pump). The next step is to make sure that you are getting a quality hand pump for an affordable price from a respected company that offers a decent warranty and good customer service.
When considering the cost of the hand pump, take into account the total investment, which is related to the quality and longevity of the pump. If you buy a cheap pump and it fails after a year or cannot withstand the elements of your environment, you’re forced to buy again and/or repair it.
The quality of water pumps can vary greatly from a plastic pump that may last one or two uses to a quality stainless steel water pump. The components used in the hand pump also relate to the total cost of the pump. Make sure you check out the pump materials to make sure the pump is Safe Drinking Water Act compliant.
Consider that quality parts are more expensive, but last longer and actually reduce the total cost of the water pump over the life of your well.
Use Simple Pump's price estimator to see how much a deep well stainless steel hand pump will cost.
Many places sell hand pumps for your well. Places like Amazon and Home Depot are probably near the top of your search results because those companies sell most things for homeowners. That doesn't mean that Amazon and Home Depot are the best options when buying a quality hand pump for your well.
Amazon and Home Depot have a similar selection of domestic and import products manufactured from China, Taiwan, and other countries worldwide. Be careful when purchasing one of these pumps because most of these companies were started in the last couple of years, don't have a good customer service option available when you need it, and don't offer a good warranty.
On the other hand, the Simple Pump Co., LLC has been in business for over 20 years, offers customer support from real people living in the United States, and has a Lifetime warranty on their pumps.
Look after your water and be an informed consumer of professional services.
Their ten email lessons are organized by topic.
1. THE SCIENCE OF GROUNDWATER
Knowing the geology of your well provides you with an understanding of possible sources of contamination, as well as how much water your well might be able to pump. It puts the science behind why some wells might run out of water while others have plenty. It also explains why some wells are more vulnerable to contamination than others.
2. GROUNDWATER AND WELL CONTAMINATION
Now that we have an idea of how water is stored in the ground and how geology affects its movement and availability, we are going to look at how it moves to your well and what can happen as it does. In particular, we’ll discuss how water level, flow, and water quality can be affected when pumping a well. You’ll also learn how contaminants can move with groundwater, or be affected by groundwater flow and pumping. This lesson will give you the background to understand how pumping your well can influence groundwater flow. It will also give you a better idea of the value of source water protection.
3. WELL CONSTRUCTION AND RELATED ISSUES
When considering well contamination problems and risks, it’s important to know what kind of well you have and how it was constructed. Knowing how water gets into your well and from what source will help you understand what you need to do to protect your groundwater source and well from outside influences.
4. YOUR WATER WELL SERVICES
In order to understand common problems and maintenance practices related to your well and water system, you need to know the parts that make up your water system, what each part does, and how they work together to provide your water. Once we understand the components and process, we will have a better chance of being able to solve problems that arise, as well as understand why we should perform regular maintenance to protect our well and water system.
5. OPERATIONS, MAINTENANCE AND BEST PRACTICES
Now that we understand how your well works, we can move on to how to best care for your well system, including what maintenance we need to perform and what best practices we can employ to keep your drinking water safe to drink and to keep your well system working properly. We’ll also cover a few common operational issues you might encounter with your well system.
6. EMERGENCY SITUATIONS AND PROBLEM SOLVING
Performing proper maintenance on your home water system will ensure that fewer problems arise, and help you deal with unexpected situations as they occur. Sometimes you cannot prevent bad things from happening, but being prepared may minimize the damage and harm. Once you understand the components and processes involved in your system, you’ll be more able to solve problems as they come up. You’ll also get a better understanding of why regular maintenance is an important part of protecting your well and water system.
7. GETTING HELP AND FINDING LOCAL ANSWERS
The focus of these lessons is to provide the resources you need to learn more about your well and water system, with the goal of helping you become a more informed and capable well owner. Since this class reaches the entire US and its territories, there may be issues specific to your area that we won’t be able to discuss in detail or even cover at all. In this lesson, we hope to share local resources and options that may be available to you. We also hope to show you strategies for finding this information in your area.
8. GROUNDWATER QUALITY AND SOURCE WATER PROTECTION
When you understand how your well and groundwater can be influenced by surface infiltration, naturally occurring contaminants, and even water availability, you have clues to the problems your well might face. Some of these problems include drinking water quality and having enough water for supply. You’ll also have a better understanding of the risks you might have if you use a well that is in a more vulnerable situation.
9. SAMPLING AND INTERPRETING RESULTS
Collecting a water sample is one of the simplest things you can do to ensure your water is safe to drink. It’s a critical part of your overall well management strategy and provides you with some confidence that you are properly maintaining your water system.
10. WATER TREATMENT SOLUTIONS
If you have a contaminant in your well water, or a constituent that causes some aesthetic problem, there are options available to treat your water. There are literally thousands of treatment devices out there. Understanding the type of device you need, as well as knowing how different treatment devices work, will help you eliminate bad choices and protect you from expensive–and possibly unneeded–treatment. Adding treatment is a decision to make after seeking advice from a health or groundwater professional.
You can enroll in these lessons with the following link: http://privatewellclass.org/enroll
The lessons are delivered to your email address. Ten lessons will arrive by email, one lesson per week.
You can also access upcoming and past webinars on this page: http://privatewellclass.org/calendar
SUB-ZERO FIVE MONTH-LONG WINTER — NO PROBLEM
All the local tradesmen laughed at me when I said I wanted to use a hand-operated well pump in Canada. My static water level sat at 110 feet below the surface. Apparently, I was an idiot!
AT SIMPLE PUMP CO. WE OFTEN GET STORIES FROM HAPPY CUSTOMERS. THIS ONE IS FROM JOHN IN SOUTHERN ONTARIO.
The Haliburton Highlands on the Great Canadian Shield is not for the faint of heart! You only have two directions — up the rocks or down the rocks.
My off grid log cabin sits 200 feet straight up from our lake. In 2008 I drilled my well. The drilling report was predictable … we drilled through 1 foot of topsoil and 339 feet of solid Canadian granite!
All the local tradesmen laughed at me when I said I wanted to use a hand pump. Static water level sat at 110 feet below the surface. Apparently, I was an idiot!
After much research, I found the Simple Pump but I was uncertain, so I called Gary. I told him all the trades were laughing at me with such a ridiculous aspiration as to use a hand pump. Gary laughed too … told me his story about his grandfather’s well and said that he would pay for the return shipping if it didn’t work!
I trusted Gary and ordered. Best decision of my LIFE!
Not only does the Simple Pump hand pump work perfectly in my deep well (and manages a painful, freezing -30 degree F and 5-month long winter with four feet of snow), it is powerful enough to pressurize a bladder tank which gives me off-grid running water in the house!!!
Whether you are looking for a hand pump to be the main pump to supply water into your pressure tank or a hand pump as an emergency backup water pump, there are several things to consider when evaluating hand pumps.
There are a lot of different hand pumps with different capabilities. Some basic pumps can only pump into a bucket from a very shallow well. Other hand pumps can pump from a deep well. A small number can pump into the pressurized water system of your home.
Before you can evaluate different pumps, you need to know or decide on 3 important questions:
Whatever your well’s depth is, your water level could be anywhere between there and ground level. The water level is the single most critical factor.
If your water level is deeper than about 20 feet, you will need a deep well pump. Here are some tips on measuring your well for a hand pump.
Do you want to pump water into the pressure tank of your home’s plumbing system? Or will you be satisfied just pumping directly into a bucket, or through a hose to your garden?
Will an inexpensive (and cheaply made) pump suffice? Or do you want a long-term back up pump that you can rely on to last a lifetime with minimal maintenance?
Now that you’ve considered what you want from a hand pump, consider the different pumps available and ask these specific questions of each. Below is a handy list of questions to help you decide which is best for you.
Choosing a hand pump involves balancing cost with the capability and the quality of the hand pump.
Simple Pump has the best dealer network for our water pumps. Find the closest Simple Pump dealer if you need help with the installation.
Simple Pump Hand Pump parts are warranted against defective materials and workmanship for the lifetime of the product with the only exception being parts designed to take wear (i.e. seals, guides, shims, bushings and bearings).
Hopefully, this shortlist of items to consider when purchasing a hand pump will help you find the best hand pump for your needs. If you want additional information on water hand pumps, check out the Simple Pump hand pump and see why it’s one of the best hand pumps for most people.