Appropriate Design Choice
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PVC Sched 40 HandpumpThis is a shallow well pump, originally designed for water tables around 1 - 2 metres depth.  We have tested it with some complications up to about 9 metres, but do not recommend using it over 6 metres.
Complete Pump before installationHandpump installed on well
Steve built the the PVC Cistern Pump, described on its own page on this site,  while on assignment for Oxfam GB, in Gonaives, Haiti.  This was following the devastating floods that had hit that city in 2004.

We were thrilled to learn following the hurricane season of 2008, that the design had spread all over the city, and had been adapted as the shallow well pump shown  here.  Most plumbers in the city knew how to assemble the pump, and they could buy materials, assemble the pump, and install it, all for around $15.- to $20.-.

This pump was originally used on wells with static water levels of approximately one or two metres. We have recently tried it with swl of as much as 9 metres, but had to make modifications described on the design page, in order to cope with the greater pressures involved.  We would be happy to hear of others' experiences with it, but presently we don't recommend going deeper than a pump setting of 6 metres, unless you have the resources to follow up on the installation with suitable analysis and support.  The static water level, therefore, should be shallower than that.

Detailed instructions for assembly are available Here.

The well pump itself is a variation of the large bore cistern pump shown elsewhere. Many variations of this pump are possible. We will try to add details of some of the possible variations as time permits.  Some of these include versions with larger diameter drop pipes and plungers (usable on particularly shallow wells or tanks) and a version with a simple packing and packing nut added, to permit pumping to an overhead tank.

These illustrations were copied from a powerpoint presentation by Fernando (if we remember correctly), working for Oxfam Intermon in Gonaives in 2008.