This past March 23rd, after MPP's 40th Anniversary Congress had ended, I walked up from Bassin Zim with Herve Delisma and Susan Smith to visit the hydraulic ram pump that Buzz and I and a motley assortment of others (see September 9, 2012 blog, Hydraulic Ram Pump) installed last August to serve the home and yard of Wilner Exil. Here are the photos with observations and the analysis provided by Wilner Exil.
Leodiagüe, and Hinche in general, is into its fifth month with just
one bit of rain in January. All of the river and stream levels
throughout the Central Plateau are low. The fact that the system is
still working is a very good sign in terms of the viability of the
stream, not to mention the ingenuity of Wilner and his family.
Wilner reports that one of the most serious problems were the fish, frogs and generally the "kras" that would enter the 2" pipe. So one of Buzz's jobs (smile) is to help create a sieve that keeps the frogs out, but lets the water flow freely.
Wilner told us he has taken the pump apart several times to clean out the frogs and the fish and has got it back working each time. Buzz left the two pipe wrenches he had purchased with Wilner to make sure he could do that.
3.3 gallons an hour does not set the world on fire, or, I guess, would not put out a fire that was set. But the pump works continuously (when not blocked by frogs, fish and other "kras") for free. No additional fuel or electricity costs, and 79 gallons a day of relatively clean, and relatively labor free water is nothing to sneeze at. Its to water plants with!
Also worth noting is that Leodiagüe, and Hinche in general, is into its fifth month with just one bit of rain in January. All of the river and stream levels throughout the Central Plateau are low. The fact that the system is still working is a very good sign in terms of the viability of the stream, not to mention the ingenuity of Wilner and his family.
Here is a summary of the problems that Wilner noted that Buzz (and us) will need to work on:
1) Each time the stream floods, the dam has to be rebuilt and the pipes put back together. In terms of the pipe, the particular vulnerability are the joints which always end up crossing catercorner to the flow of the stream. The 2" line bringing the water to the feedline is particularly troublesome, but the 1/2" delivery line, where it crosses the stream, is also a problem.
2) Putting the pipe back together dry is very difficult, and the Hinche-available PVC cement does not work on the wet pipe.
3) Because of constantly putting the system back together, the elbows and the "akò"s are costly. The system as it is also needs a couple of new 2" SCH 40 PVC.
Despite all the problems and the periodic labor, the system is working and providing a valuable product that is used by two or three households. The question is clearly not whether it is worth it, but how to improve it to function more efficiently and with much reduced ongoing costs for materials and labor.
Most of the problems with the system can be eliminated, or at least reduced, by finding a source of High Density Polyethilene flexible water pipe.