Blue pump

Blue pump

• Year of start Ca 2002
• Started, funded by FairWater Foundation
• Pump type Deep well hand pump
• Pump range, depth To 100 m
• Cost of complete pump Ca 2500 US$ for 30 m. 3000 US$ 100 m. deep
• Produced in The Netherlands
• Applied in Kenya, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Tanzania,..
• Total installed Ca 1200
• % of pumps functioning in 2019 ? Ca 90%

Lessons learned.
Common technical problems in handpumps are worn out seals, broken or corroded pump pipes, leaking foot valves and broken pump rods. With the BluePump most of these problems do not occur due to the improved design. Lessons learned include:
• The upfront cost of this pump is high but the long term maintenance and repair cost is very low.
• The BluePump can be considered as a VLOM pump (Village Level Operated & Maintained) because most activities can be done by an Area Mechanic with locally available materials. No special tools are required.

The BluePump was designed by the FairWater Foundation with the input of many NGOs in Africa. A major contribution was given by Oxfam Kenya, which has tested the early models in its handpump rehabilitation project in Turkana, Northern Kenya. After several modifications to adapt it for depths up to 100m deep, the BluePump is now considered by most international NGOs as a very reliable handpump, especially suited for deep boreholes. One of the special features of this pump is that the PVC rising main can be extended below the cylinder with a so-called "Bottom Support System" (BSS) which takes the heavy load of the PVC pipes to avoid that they will break due to the pumping action.
In many parts of Africa, the BluePump is also used to replace older handpumps. To make this a simple operation, the base-plate of this pump fits directly onto the old base-plate of the Afridev and India Mark pumps.
The key success of the BluePump is its reliability. This is due to it's a simple and strong design and the fact that it basically needs no spare parts for many years. This means that communities have water for a very long time, at a very low price.

Installation, Operation and Maintenance
For the installations, no special tools or tripod is required. When the concrete base and drainage platform is ready, the metal stand is fixed on 6 anchor bolts and the pipes are glued and lowered into the borehole casing up to the desired depth. Installation of the BluePump can be done by one technical person and one assistant.

For the Operation & Maintenance (O&M) FairWater recommends a regional approach, so-called Blue zones, in which an Area Mechanic is involved already in the installation phase and gives additional back-up technical support in case needed. Training of the Area Mechanics and spare-parts supply is available with country dealers, who also have BluePumps in stock. Handpumps fail due to technical problems like worn out seals, leaking foot valves, broken pump rods and corroded pump pipes. With the BluePump most of these problems do not occur due to a better design. Maintenance is limited to checking and occasionally tightening of some nuts & bolts, maybe applying paint from time to time, all other parts are maintenance-free. With 300 users per pump cost of maintenance and repairs is around US$2 per person per year.
For easy operation, the handle is extendable and can have a counterweight to compensate for the extra weight of the water and rods. Therefore pumping is easy, also for children, even at great depth.
(Info from Akovpedia and website Fairwater).

References and more info: