Spring protection


Spring protection is applied to avoid contamination of spring-water. (At a spring, groundwater comes naturally to the surface.) It involves the collection of water in sand or gravel filled pit with underground drainage pipe. Advanced protection entails water collection in a spring box with an outlet drain. Spring boxes can also be the the major source for a water distribution system (mostly gravity based).


Construction costs differ per situation, but are low in general. Protected springs for ~100 users in Kenya may cost USD200 (including headwall , backfill , fencing, labor and transport); a 350 people serving spring cost USD400, inclusive a spring box . Larger structures might cost up to USD1,500.


Optimal implementation is centrally organized as qualified skills are required for construction and costs. Protected springs can best be managed by a group of households or a small community. External water quality monitoring is recommended.


Contamination can reach spring via infiltration of dirt in catchment area. Surroundings of spring should be protected and some meters upstream of spring a drainage ditch for surface runoff is required. Proper construction can ensure decade-long operation with minimal maintenance.


Location and drain needs to regular cleaning. Regular checking of water quantity, quality and turbidity is required. Fencing, pipes, valves and cracks need maintenance. Cleaning and small repairs can be done by users. Bigger repairs require a mason or similar.


Depending on the yield of the spring, it might be suitable for household or community level. Location of spring depends on natural flow, might be far from human settlement or in hardly accessible area affecting fetching time of women.

Relevant remarks:

No relevant remarks for Spring protection.