After discussions with a colleague with extensive experience in ground water research and borehole pumping projects, I learned that ground water extraction by means of solar powered borehole pumps have been proven quite successful in providing a considerable quantity of fairly clean, drinkable water to farms and rural communities. It is also a fairly simple system that works independently, requires little maintenance; with certain solar powered (3PH) pumps capable of retrieving water over 100 meters deep and 90,000 Litres per day.
However it was noted that theft and vandalism of the solar panels and electrical cables have been experienced on many occasions. My proposed concept is as follow:
- Strategically placed Borehole within or next to the community with solar powered borehole pump system
- Elevated Steel Tank (5m above ground) constructed directly above borehole, fed from borehole pump and serving as water reservoir for the town.
- Feed pipe and solar power cables hidden inside centre tank support steel/concrete column.
- Pump water first through standard pool type sand filters before discharge into tank.
- Standard pool filters easy to use with standard back flush setup.
- Top of Tank 10m above ground, supplying 1 bar water pressure for community
- Top of tank fitted with non-grip type steel fence, top of fence 12 meter above ground, reducing theft and vandalism by making solar panels inaccessible to unauthorised personnel.
- Concept using height as main method against theft and also obtaining static pressure for water supply.
- Fencing off ground floor area below tank to secure filter station.
A further proposal is to build a small visitors centre or room below the tank where the local people and children can enjoy a tour with educational and interactive models, pictures etc. where they can learn about groundwater, new water supply technologies and taking care of their natural local water resources.