Ram pump progress

rich/ January 21, 2011/ Farm, Permaculture/

Last summer we installed our ram pump to get us more water for the farm. Our well pump recently failed, which drove me to write up the details of this recent project.

Our property is split by 4 seasonal creeks, one of which is nearly perennial. Work in the past has focused on increasing the riparian cover and shade on these creeks, and more recently, raising the water table in the perennial one, with an eye towards increasing our water supply.

The site has ~12′ of fall from the intake to the pump, and that span covers about 200′ to where the pump sits. From there, it’s around 30′ of elevation gain over 800′ of distance to get to the water storage. The pump will deliver about 1/2 gpm 24 hours a day, giving us 700 gallons of water a day to operate on, far more than our current roof rainwater tank and feeble well can provide.

Here’s a video of it in action…pardon my lack of videographer skills

The site is far from our power supply, and while we looked at solar options, the location is surrounded by trees that are growing fast. This solution should last a long time…I’ve heard of old ram pumps in California mining country that ran for decades after being abandoned.

This summer, we’ll be going on a trenching frenzy to distribute the water into all of the pastures at strategic points…I’m very much looking forward to not dragging a poly pipe and water troughs around.