SMART Water resources

SMART Centre Zambia

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SMART = Simple Market based Affordable Repairable Technologies

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Mzuzu drilling

Does your hand dug well run dry? Is the wall of your well unstable and dangerous for someone to dig deeper? Often the bottom of your well is than sandy. In that case the Mzuzu drill can help. Learn how it is done.

It is advisable to add a simple ground water recharge system to increase your ground water level. Learn how with the help of SMART Centre Zambia.

Also learn how to make a Mzuzu drill set, recharge your groundwater level, make pumps and install them with other resources on this page.

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Manual making a Mzuzu drilling set

Mzuzu drilling can be used for deepening an existing hand dug well or making a new “borehole”.

Mzuzu drilling is one of the most affordable methods but not suitable for all conditions.

Many hand dug wells are drying up (due to climate change). Digging deeper is often dangerous, especial when the well wall is unstable and is collapsing. In these cases the soil condition is often ideal for Mzuzu drilling. Let us help you find out if this method could work in your area.
Learn how to use the Mzuzu drill below.

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Manual SHIPO Drilling

The SHIPO drilling combines sludging, percussion and jetting. It includes aspects of Rotary jetting and of the Baptist drilling technique.

The SHIPO drill method can drill in non consolidated deposits of sand and clay, small gravel and weathered rock, also hard layers can now be drilled with new drill bits with tungsten tips. For gravel or stones from 1 to 3 cm an open bit can be used combined with sludging by hand.

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Manual SHIPO Drilling

This manual explains how to make the SHIPO drilling equipment with local materials

I want the manual “Making SHIPO borehole drilling equipment”

Manual SHIPO Drilling

This manual explains the basics of:

  • hydrology,
  • water quality and
  • geology

and in more detail about:

  • horizontal electric profiling (HEP) and
  • vertical electric sounding (VES)

using accurate but very affordable equipment that can be made with materials already available in developing countries.

I want the manual “Borehole siting”

Making VES-equipment

This manual explains how to make the electrical equipment for borehole siting used in horizontal electric profiling (HEP) and vertical electric sounding (VES).

The equipment is not complicated and made with common affordable and local available materials. Yet it used the same principals and therefor is just as accurate as professional VES equipment. Professional VES equipment is easier and faster to use.

I want the manual “Making VES equipment”

Manual Mzuzu Drilling

Many hand dug wells dry up at the end of the dry season, because more water is taken out than is coming in by the natural recharge. Reasons of limited groundwater recharge are heavy rainfall in short time, (climate change) compact topsoil layers, erosion because of loss of vegetation, etc. Options to increase the recharge of ground water are above or underground dams, the planting of trees and plants such as vetiver grass, making contour canals etc. An other option is the so called “Tube recharge”. This low-cost option combines a manually drilled hole with a drainage tube, a filter and a small pond. Rainwater, that otherwise would run off to rivers or evaporate, thus penetrates into the ground and reaches the first aquifer.

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Manual Rope Pump

May people buy electrical pumps that are too big and too expensive for their personal requirements. This not only brings unnecessary costs, it also puts unnecessary stress on the well or borehole (sucking sand and dirt). 

This document describes the selection, installation and practical issues (like pump protection, wire and pipe size) to consider with electrical submersible pumps. The selection procedure is applicable for all types of pump. Other chapters focus more on smaller DC pumps (that can be connected direct to solar panels) for example suitable for one household with a small garden and few livestock. 

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Manual Rope Pump

A rope pump consists of a wheel and an endless rope with pistons made out of rubber from a car tire or High Density PE. The pistons are attached to the rope at intervals of a meter and fit with a clearance of 1 millimetre in the pump pipe (also called raising main). The rope and pistons are moved by a handle with a wheel and go down to the bottom of the well where they enter in the PVC pump pipe via a guidebox. Between the pistons water is now lifted to the surface and leaves via the horizontal outlet pipe which has a bigger diameter than the pump pipe. The wheel and handle are mounted on a structure on top of the well or borehole. Rope pumps can be used on hand dug wells of  3 meters or more to boreholes with diameter of 2 inches or more. The yield and diameter of the water pump pipe depends on the depth of the well:

  • 70 litre/minute with pump pipe 1¼” for water levels to 5 meters
  • until 9 litre/minute with pump pipe ½” until water levels up to 35 meters and variations in between.

The name A model is because of the pump’s structure is in the shape of the letter ‘A’.  This manual gives you details how to produce this model.

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Manual making EMAS Pump

The EMAS water pump I can be made from different sizes of PVC pipes and a marble. Compared to a rope pump, the EMAS pump produces water under pressure. So you can pump up water to a higher lever then where the pump is. EMAS pumps are also cheaper and easier to make. Yields are however in general less the a rope pump.

There is a ton of useful information and instruction videos at also about other low cost technologies. We advise to have a look.

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Manual Mzuzu Drilling

A water reservoir can store rainwater for domestic use or for irrigating a vegetable garden. This manual describes how to make inexpensive cement storage tanks like straw or bamboo mat tank and
brick tanks. A small amount of cement is needed. The walls are reinforced with steel wire. The tank can be placed under a roof to collect rainwater or just beside a well with a pump to store irrigation water.

It is advisable to add a simple ground water recharge overflow pipe to store over capacity of water in the ground, ready to pump it up later.

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Manual Rope Pump Windlass

Windlass-model rope pump is mounted on poles next to the borehole or hand dug well. The windlass-model is normally used as a family or farm pump and not as a community pump. The windlass-model is much cheaper than the A-model. The yield and diameter of the pump pipe depends on the depth of the well (but are the same as the A-model):

  • 70 litre/minute with pump pipe 1¼” for water levels to 5 meters
  • until 9 litre/minute with pump pipe ½” until water levels up to 35 meters and variations in between.

This manual gives you all the details how to produce these kind of models.

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Manual Rope Pump Windlass

This document includes a range of affordable hygiene solutions with a focus on options for households that can be made with locally available materials. Options include Wash bottle, Wash buckets, Tippy tap, Dry racks, Soap dispensers etc. 

You might also be interested in:

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