Friday, 20 February 2015
You have to hand it to the handpump.
Once the need for food and shelter have been met one of the principal tasks for any society is keeping the shit ( ours and our animals) separate from the drinking water. It's a problem for any human settlement without a water treatment system, and that includes most of the world's poor. When rivers are polluted, and they usually are, the only safe option is ground water and the safest, most cost effective way of bringing ground water to the surface is with a handpump. Most allotment sites in this country have a mains water supply but the site where I am a tenant is unusual in having hand pumps and it has fallen to me to take care of the maintenance of these wonderfully simple pieces of kit. I'm not one to suggest that the day to day problems of the impoverished of the world are best served by 19th century technology, but I'm making an exception for the good old fashioned handpump.