Community level suction motorized pumps


Suction pumps are installed at surface-level with a suction hose entering the water source. Pump types include the widespread centrifugal pump and positive displacement pumps. At this method, a rotating impeller converts mechanical energy into hydraulic energy. The impeller increases water velocity, and the created under-pressure forces water to flow upwards. Devices can typically lift water from 7m above water level. Mostly driven by a diesel engine or an electric motor which are possible to combine with solar panels.


A centrifugal pump costs USD800-2000. The driving diesel engine may cost USD300-900. Potential other costs include construction of a pump house. Main running expenses include fuel or electricity, maintenance (depending on quality of the pump) and wage of the operator.


Except for solar and electric systems, a full-time pump attendant is required with basic skills for fuelling, priming and turning the motor management. For maintenance, skilled mechanics are required. In case of electric motors, electricians needed as well. Locally organized committee needed for fee collection.


These pumps are often used in open wells or surface water. These water sources are open and often highly contaminated. Particles may cause damage or clogging. The pump might cause extra contamination, e.g. oil spills might enter the well.


Priming may be required at start of operation. Regular cleaning of engine and pump required. Major repairs: replacing bearings, impeller, foot valve, rubbers and pipes. For engine: oil changing, fuel, filter and driver belt. For solar pumps, batteries need replacement at regular intervals. A logbook is useful for maintenance and operational remarks. Storage is mostly recommended to ease management of operation (buffer for high peaks and periods of non-pumping).


Motorized pumps are more user-friendly and accessible than manual operated pumps because of the reduced effort needed for operation. Water is likely to be more expensive than water from hand-pumps, which might a disincentive for low-income users.

Relevant remarks:

No relevant remarks for Community level suction motorized pumps.