"A Spiral Tube Water Wheel Pump" by Peter Morgan


On these pages I have scanned an article from the March 1984 issue of the Blair Research Bulletin of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Health. The introduction is as follows:

The spiral tube water wheel pump was designed by laboratory staff in 1979 specifically to use energy flowing in canal water to pump water under pressure to a higher point where it could be used for domestic use. Blair Research Staff have subsequently built wheels ranging in size from 0.5m in diameter to 4 meters in diameter. The photo shows a 4m diameter wheel being constructed. Although this pump was specifically designed to work in irrigation canals, water wheels of this type have been constructed in riverine conditions.

Wheels of this type have now been in operation in Zimbabwe for 5 years and have provided very reliable service. The water pump itself consists of a spiral tube designed without valves. The 4 meter diameter wheel shown in the picture was fitted at Mazowe in 1979 into the main irrigation canal supplying the Citrus Estate. Readings taken in October 1979 showed that the wheel pumped 3697 liters of water per hour to a height of 8 meters above the canal (88 cu.m. per day). The canal width was 1.93 meters and the water flow ratein the canal was 1 m/sec. The wheel was made with 16 paddles each being 600mm x 600mm in area. Two coil pumps were mounted on the wheel in horizontally opposed positions. Each pump consisted of 3 coils of 50mm diameter pipe. The wheel performed 3.21 revs. per minute whilst pumping water to 8 meters. The output of the same wheel was remeasured in 1983 and remained unchanged.


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Related Links

This article is closely related to a more recent HTML article by Peter Morgan, which can be found here:

along with a link to Peter Morgan's website.

You may be interested in other information I have collected about water-powered water pumps here:

Scanning done by Chris Pirazzi (chris@pirazzi.net) in 2005. My home page can be found at