BluePump: Installation is easy

The BluePump can be installed (Click here) in a few hours by two persons up to 100m deep, without the need for a tripod or other special complicated tools. BluePump dealers provide training on demand as well as a quick update for local pump mechanics that are already familiar with the installation of another type of handpump, such as Afridev and the India MK2.

Installation BluePump in Burkina Faso, in our BlueZone of Bobo Dioulasso.

Basically, because the BluePump works with the simple system of a piston that moves up and down in a cylinder, the installation procedure is the same as similar pumps. However, there is one major difference in the case of a so-called "Deep Installation". In that case, the pipes of the pump are not "hanging" on the T-piece, but the pipes continue until the bottom of the borehole. This is called the "Bottom Support" (BS) System, a breakthrough innovative idea to improve the reliability of deep handpumps, developed by Paul van Beers around the year 2000.

Click here for the video about installing a BluePump in Turkana, Northern Keny, using the installation rope to easily let the pipes go down into the deep borehole, here about 95 m. with an installation of the pump cylinder at 65m. deep.

What is the Bottom Support System (BSS)?
The riser pipes of the BluePump are made of strong BOODE PVC pipes, which are connected to each other with custom-made PVC glue-sockets. PVC pipes are perfect for all types of groundwater, they are relatively light and easy to work with. However, when many PVC pipes are suspended in a borehole, due to the total weight they will stretch up and down during pumping. With time this can cause small cracks and leaks. To overcome this problem, we have developed for the BluePump a "Bottom Support System (BSS). Over 800 BluePumps are installed with the BSS, it's now a proven technology that makes installation easy and avoids PVC pipes to break. 

handpump BluePump in Mozambique


The BluePump can, therefore, be installed in two ways:
1. Standard installation; with PVC pipes hanging on the T-piece.
2. Bottom Support installation; with PVC pipes all the way to the bottom.

In either way, the installation of the steel Blue box (35) parts and the handle (47) is the same.

The "T-piece"
It is important to know that the BluePump has a special designed T-Piece (Nr. 6) that can be used as well for the Hanging Installation (HI) as well as for the Bottom Support (BS) installation. 
In case of a hanging installation, the last (highest) rising main pipe is glued into the T-piece. While in case of the Bottom Support installation, the rising main is pushed inside (not glued !!) a special connection (sleeve) pipe (#52) with a larger diameter. The top of this pipe is glued inside the bottom of the T-piece. On the lower part of this sleeve, there is a seal inside, that allows the rising main to move a little. Therefore is very important NOT to glue the top pipe of the rising main of the Bottom Support pipe to that extension pipe. In some older boreholes (especially with rehabilitation) there can be silt on the bottom of the borehole casing, which can cause the Bottom Support pipes to sink in a few centimeters. So it is important that the connection between the BS pipes and the T-piece remains flexible at all times.

1. Hanging pipes installation; cylinder installed at < 40m.
In case of shallow static water tables (less than 30m deep) the installation of the conical seat (3) the PVC rising mains (5) are “hanging” at a flange-socket (6).

The HP installation procedure is basically as follows:
- fix the base-plate (29) on the 6 anchor bolts (29),
- attach the rope (26) to the bottom of the CSP,
- lower the PVC pipes with the rope,
- glue the T-piece (6) to the last upper pipe,
- place the pedestal (35) over the T-piece,
- lower the cylinder (12 etc.) with the rods (22) into the riser pipes,
- when the cylinder locks in the conical seat,
- cut the rod at the level of the T-piece
- fit the handle (47) and connect the rods to the handle,
- fit the spout (34) to the T-piece,
- place the cap (41)  and start pumping.

2. Bottom Support Installation >40m.
The Bottom Support (BS) is needed in case the cylinder is installed below 40m. The advantage of the BS installation is that all of the PVC pipes are resting on the floor of the borehole, so there is no heavy weight hanging on the T-piece. Generally, BS are found in boreholes with a static water level of about 60 to 70m. and with a Bottom Support of 10 to 20 PVC pipes or 20 to 40m. Please note that these BS pipes are the same pipes as we use for the rising main.

BluePump installation with a rope


The Foot Plug and the rope
The first thing to do with the installation is always to attach the rope (Nr. 26) to the Foot Plug (Nr. 10). When the BS pipes are attached to the rope, you can easily lower the pipes inside the borehole, and glue one pipe on top of the next. You do not have to wait until the glue holds 100% because the pipes are held by the rope. This makes installation very easy and fast and can be done by 2 persons only. 

Sump screen pipe
The lowest pipe of the Bottom Support is a sump screen pipe (Nr. 1). The purpose of the screen is not to let the water in, but to allow the silt to accumulate inside that pipe, rather than between the pipe and the borehole casing. Therefore the slot size of that screen is 4mm.

Floating Rods
In deep installations, the rods and volume of water to lift up with every stroke become quite heavy. Therefore we developed the option of Floating Rods (FR), which is simply a double wall PVC pipe with a smaller diameter than the rising main. This pipes floats in the rising main and makes pumping some 50% easier. The FR pipes do not touch the inside wall of the rising main, and therefore there is no wear and tear; the literally last forever.

Floating Bottom Support
When the borehole is quite deep, say for instance 130m, the weight of the PVC pipes that rest on the floor of the borehole is increasing. To reduce that, the lower part of the BS pipes can be blocked with a plug (Nr. 73) which will cause these pipes to float with an upward force of about 8kg per pipe. Directly above the highest plug, a screen must be placed to let the water out in case you want to take out all the BS pipes later for whatever reason.

The Bottom Support (BS) installation procedure is basically the same as for the hanging pipes, only the beginning and the end is different. In a nutshell, the following steps are needed:

- Attach the rope (26) to the sump pipe (1) bottom plug (10)
- Proceed with adding more PVC pipes
- Glue the conical seat pipe (3 + 2) at the desired level, 15 m below the static water level
- Add more PVC pipes, until the bottom plug is at bottom of the borehole
- Cut the PVC pipe some 5cm above the baseplate (29)
- Glue the BS sleeve pipe (52) with the seal inside (53) inside the T-piece (6) 
- Push the T-piece with the sleeve over the pipe in the borehole
- Do  NOT glue the pipe in the borehole to the T-piece
- There is now a flexible connection between the T-piece and the rising main (5)
- Lower the cylinder with the rods inside the rising main
- Cut the rod at the level of the T-piece top (7)
- Place the steel box (35) over the T-piece and connect the handle
- Connect the handle to the rods
- Place the rubber absorbers (39, 55 and 44) on the upper and lower stop pipes
- Start test pumping and check if the water level in the T-piece is stable
- Close the cap (41) and the BluePump is ready for action.
- After a few days, check all nuts and bolts, re-tighten if needed.

handpump bluepump


Rehabilitation of abandoned handpumps with the BluePump
In Africa, many handpumps are not functional. However, the (expensive) borehole is still usable. Therefore it is cost-effective to rehabilitate abandoned handpumps with the durable BluePump, which fits directly on the 4 bolts of the pedestal of old India or Afridev handpump. Rehabilitation is easy and fast.

Please note that old boreholes may have silt accumulated on the bottom and the PVC pipes may slowly sink 10 to 20 cm. in the first months. To compensate for this, the rods as well as the rising main need to be extended to the same length.