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Low Cost Pumps: Discharge 0.3-0.5m3/h: Suggestions & Advice?: Jaipur, Rajasthan

Based in Jaipur, I am looking at issues around saving women's water collection time in the Thar desert using small pumps and PE pipes to pump 5000 litres/day from distance of 2000m with total dynamic head of up to 60m. Sources may be greater or less than suction limit of 6m, but rarely over 20m.

Options are electric submersible borehole pump from mains or solar, or treadle pump.  To reduce pipeline costs, pumping hours need to be as long as possible. Where electricity is available, it is generally for 8 hours/day. Electric pumping can be for 16 hours a day with battery standby. Treadle pumping could be in rotation for 10-12 hours/day. I need a reliable low cost pump with discharge of 0.3-0.5 m3/h against 60m head (centrifugal, turbine or positive displacement) pump with alternative power sources. Any suggestions?

Stephen Brichieri-Colombi




Dear Stephen,

You have indeed tried to broach on a drudgery subject of women collecting water from 1km or so away from the nearest water point. The solution to this problem is not that simple, as you reckon. Govt. both Central and State are trying their best to get water supply through pipelines to villages.

In some areas, there is no power, and when power is available it lacks in quality unable to operate the pumps etc. The water availability from wells, tanks, baolis, and other water-bodies are so megre that solutions are difficult to find.

Animal drawn carts are deployed and they too have to face the hardships. It is not easy to tread the long paths with gusts of wind, fury of sand mixed, these are brave women sustaining their kith and kin at their habitats.

For these tasks there are no easy alternatives. I wish you well to find some solutions in whatever small way, you can attempt, pl do not lose the enthusiasm.

Er.Ajit Seshadri

Er. Ajit Seshadri,Head- Environment, The Vigyan Vijay Foundation


Dear Stephen Brichieri-Colombi,

The figures in the question look confusing. Just a simple calculation shows that for pumping duration of 3.5 hrs, (@ 1500 l/h), Dia. of Pipe 50 mm, (C=120), the friction loss is 6.19 m. Considering 20% other losses, 3 m delivery head and 20 m suction head (as mentioned), the total head required is around 30.4 m.

Still this is high, because to maintain some velocity (0.28 m/s) in pipe line the Dia. is reduced. With a Dia. of 65 mm (HDPE pipe), this TDH can be reduced to 24-25 m. Now if a suction head of 10 m can be maintained somehow, it is less than 15 m. So in that range there are many pumps available in market (less than 0.5 HP, just any common borehole pump used in households can be used.

Best regards

Sandeepan Choudhury


Dear Stephen Brichieri-Colombi,

Please confirm that what is the water storage sump capacity where pump to be installed. As per your query 1HP submersible pump Monoblock type is sufficient for your mentioned requirement.


Sirajul Haque


Dear Stephen Brichieri-Colombi,

I suggest you to go in for a diaphragm pump which can pump water to a 100m head and used compressed air for operation. This pump can give you low discharge at high head and needs only an air compressor (without dryer-since in Rajasthan, you may rarely get moisture) of very low energy consumption.

I need to understand why you have considered such a high head. PE pipes shall have a frictional loss of roughly 300 rm per m head. You may not need a pump of more than 30m head accounting for bends, pipe losses and direct head.

With best regards,

Taral Kumar
Executive Director
Akar Impex Pvt. Ltd.
Noida, Uttar Pradesh


Dear Stephen,

A single-phase 0.75 HP/0.5 kW Texmo-type submersible pumpset with 15 stages to pump 300-500 litres of water per hour against a head of 60 metres may serve your purpose.

Best wishes,

Dr. R. Jagadiswara Rao
Retired Professor of Geology
Sri Venkateswara University
Tirupati, AP 517502

Dr. R. Jagadiswara Rao, Professor of Geology Retired, Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, AP 517502, India


Dear Stephen Brichieri-Colombi,

Irrespective to how you arrive at a dynamic head requirement of 70 meters, given here are a couple of pumps manufactured by Shroffs Engineering Limited, which would be ideally suited for your requirement.

Pluga type CW1-10 ,10 stages 0.8 hp 600 lph at max head 80 mt (1200 at 70 mt)
Pluga type CW1-12 ,12 stages 0.8 hp 600 lph at max head 95 mt ( 1800 at 70 mt)
Pluga type OXL-15 ,15 stages 0.75 hp 600 lph at max head 86 mt ( 900 at 75 mt)

Available in single and three phase, can be run of domestic generators which have a cut off of 10 amps.

One can use a 25mm HDPE pipe with slight reduction in discharge at delivery point.
Care has to be taken that the pump should have a submergence of at least 3-4 meters while pumping.

If source is a shallow bore well then a non return valve should be installed on the delivery pipe near the bore well.

Ideal would be to install a couple of air release valves along the delivery at regular intervals, 1 every 500 meter would be ideal.

If you require assistance in the total installation we could do it for you
Hope what information we have given proves to be helpful in your endeavors

Mr. Bharat Mane & Dr Anil Lalwani
Well & Water Works Pune
Ph. 25652486, mobile 9822292545, 9422084073

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