The PlayPump® Water System harnesses the energy of children playing on a roundabout placed on top of a borehole to draw water up from the ground into a sealed 2,500 litre polyethylene storage tank, which stands seven metres above the ground.
The system is capable of producing up to 1,400 litres of water per hour at 16 revolutions per minute from a depth of 40 metres, and is effective up to a depth of 100 metres.
It was invented by Roundabout Outdoor in the early 1990s and is now run by a South African NGO, Roundabout Water Solutions.
There are currently over 1,800 PlayPumps in operation in South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho and Malawi. Roundabout Water Solutions hopes to expand into other sub-Saharan countries in the next few years.
Roundabout Outdoor leases the tower that houses the tank as an outdoor advertising medium to help pay for 10 years of pump maintenance. Two sides are available for commercial branding and the other two for social (health and educational) messages. Alternatively, all four sides can feature public service announcement messages. The cost of the advertising space in SA, Lesotho and Swaziland is R1,300 (about $200) per month (excluding VAT and production) for all four sides, or R650 (about $100) per month for two sides.
The pumps are not commercially available, but will be installed free of charge in rural communities that do not have access to running water. A borehole providing drinking water which has been tested and certified as clean and safe, is a prerequisite.
Roundabout Water Solutions:
Tel +27 11 543-7928 or +27 82 704-0370;fax +27 11 781-5150;firstname.lastname@example.org or
email@example.com ; website:www.playpumps.co.za