The Canzee pump is of ingenious simplicity: it has no conventional piston or seals. It contains no significantly wearing parts and the pump needs no maintenance. The few parts that do eventually break down are very easily repaired. Ideal for installation on shallow hand dug or jetted wells, the pump is robustly constructed and lifts water from at least 10 meters. Two designs are available: for villages or individual households.
The pump is produced by BushProof in Madagascar where hundreds of pumps have already been installed. Canzee pumps have also been used for years in Kenya, Ecuador, Israel, Morocco, Zimbabwe, Angola and other countries.
The Canzee pump is unique: it needs no maintenance even when used intensively. There are no parts that need adjustment, greasing or attention in any other way. What is more, spare parts production and repair can be carried out by villagers themselves.
The pump is unlike most other hand pumps because instead of a piston valve moving inside a cylinder, the pump uses one plastic pipe inside another to lift water. At the bottom of each pipe is a simple non-return valve which allows water to enter the bottom of the pipe, but not out again. As the inner pipe is lifted, the water in it is also lifted. When the inner pipe is lowered, more water is forced into it from the bottom. This process continues until the water starts to flow from the pump head.
This simple design has eliminated the need for piston seals. Instead, the non-return valves at the bottom of each pipe depend on rubber discs which can be cut from an old tyre inner tube. Under normal use, the pump will function for years without breakdown. When that finally happens, repair is easy and can be done within minutes. The pump pipes themselves don’t wear out. A thin film of water between the two pipes ensures they don’t touch – this way the pump lubricates itself.
The only other part that is might wear out over time is the handle guide. A new one can be simply screwed in place. If this spare part is not available, any ordinary carpenter can make a spare, from tropical hardwood or any other available material.
A Canzee pump therefore needs no spare parts supply chain. After a simple training, villagers are capable to make their own spare parts and repair their pump without outside assistance. This makes the Canzee unique and superior to other direct action pumps.
Previous versions of the Canzee have been tested by the British Consumer Research Laboratory, which concluded that “the overall efficiency of the pump is good with a maximum value of 43% at 37 strokes per minute. This ergonomically well designed pump compares favourably with presently available direct action pumps such as Tara. The pumps appear to have enormous potential."
The Canzee is standard delivered in kit form with pipes sufficient for a depth of 6 meters. If a greater depth is required, additional pipes are available. Since the pump is lightweight, it can be shipped by air, also in large quantities.
Each pump comes with a spare handle guide, plus a supply of rubber disc valves. Illustrated instructions are provided on how to install the pump (a very simple procedure), as well as the basic tools to do so (spanner, hacksaw and screwdriver). BushProof can provide pump mechanic trainings and technical advice on request.
BushProof can implement large scale programmes that combine the rapid jetting of shallow wells with the installation of Canzee pumps. Jetting is suitable in alluvial soils with a shallow water table, and is usually limited to a depth of about 8 meters. A previous programme supported by BushProof in rural Madagascar constructed new wells equipped with Canzee pumps at a rate of 50 per week.
It is possible to install Canzee pumps on existing open shallow wells, if covering them with a suitable concrete slab.
SKAT / RWSN have recently carried out an indepth evaluation of well jetting and the Canzee hand pump. This report can be downloaded from their website.BushProof is indebted to Mr. Richard Cansdale who has developed and improved the Canzee pump over a long period of time.