WA:Handpump Sustainability Studies (HSS)

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An installed India Mk II pump.
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The India Mk II project is currently undergoing a name change to Handpump Sustainability Studies project (HSS). We are planning to expand our hand pump sustainability project to more hand pumps that are commonly used in villages worldwide

India MK II

The India Mk II pump is one of the most widely used village handpump in the world. Millions of people in Africa and Southern Asia depend on the India MK II for their daily source of water. Despite the pump's long history and rugged design, the India MK II still experiences frequent failure.

In an effort to produce a more sustainable and reliable pump, World Vision approached The Collaboratory. The project was given the broad goal of improving the India Mk II platform by remedying the failures commonly experienced by the majority of pumps.

Other HSS Water Access Pumps

  • Afridev Handpump
  • Access Pump
  • Design Outreach Life Pump
  • Rope and Washer Pump

Mission Statement

Communities that use handpumps, such as the India Mk II, rely on it for their daily water needs. Pump failure results in a water deficit in the community, forcing villagers to either go without water or turn to contaminated sources. This project aims to minimize the pump downtime as well as expenses necessary to maintain these pumps.


Our main goal is to increase the longevity of these pumps while maintaining economic feasibility. We will do this through rigorous testing of the alternatives and economic analyses of their benefits or disbenefits.

News and Updates

  • Machined Poppet Valve Prototypes have been delivered to World Vision Africa and are currently being field tested.
  • We are expanding the scope of our project to study and improve the sustainability of various hand pumps used across Africa and Asia.
  • We are beginning to look into the possibility of a new project that involves the remote sensing of well and pump functions. This would be a valuable tool at all levels of pump management, as well as a valuable insight to the true function and failure rates of the pumps. (See IWMS Project)


Design and Build Handpump Test Machine

  • New compact tabletop design features:
    • Simultaneously runs two pump heads to test bearings
    • Interchangeable between India MK II and Afridev pump
    • Solid Works Model

India MK II Bearing Redesign

  • Plain bearings proposed to replace ball bearing:
    • Plain bearings are more tolerant of reciprocating loads
    • The plain bearing will be machined from Oilite Bronze
  • Modified bearing housing adapter
    • Machined from Delrin
  • These prototypes will be shipped to Africa for Field Testing

India MK II Rising Main Redesign

  • Options are non-destructive testing and reinforced fiberglass pipe
  • Patrick Caton is bringing back GFRP sample from Africa
  • Looking into reinforced PVC

India MK II Poppet Valve Redesign

  • Poppet valves were redesigned to be machined rather than cast
    • Machining valves eliminates casting flaws which cause fracturing
    • Eight of our Prototype valves have been machined
  • Two valves have been shipped to Africa and are currently being field tested
  • Assuming positive test results, valves will be put into production

Afridev Failure Report

  • Tony has returned from Africa bringing results from his field visit
  • A presentation will be given in which we will begin the sustainability study of the Afridev Pump
  • A static Analysis of the Afridev Pump is currently being produced

Other Pumps

  • Future Pumps in which we will study:
    • Water4 Access Pump
    • Design Outreach Life Pump
    • Rope and Washer Pump




Contact Information

For more information about this project, please contact:

For information on this project, please contact either Tony Beers or Matthew Kulp.

For more information about this template, please read Help:Project Alternate and Help:Template.
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