Hydraulic Ram Pump

A hydraulic ram pump (Hydram) is an automatic pumping device which uses a large flow of water falling through a small head, to lift a small flow (10%) of water through a higher head. In simple words, this technology uses a power available from flowing water to lift certain volume of water to a greater height where it is required. The moving parts of the hydram are only two valves, therefore it is mechanically simple.

Water from a spring or stream in a valley can be pumped to a village for drinking or irrigation scheme on the hillside.  It is powered by the water itself – no other power source is required. Two simple valves function in stages to pump the water. This makes the hydram very reliable, inexpensive and easy to maintain. It is a renewable energy with no associated greenhouse gas emissions during operation. The system can be easily manufactured in local workshops. The parts are relatively simple and spare parts are cheap and readily available in rural areas. This gives high reliability, low operating costs, minimal maintenance and a long operation life to the system. In short, it is a resource efficient and low carbon technology.For further information,watch youtube videos@ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqK6VR_u3R8.


The hydram can successfully be used for:

·         Household water supply and sanitation: A system can serve up to a few hundred households;

·         Irrigation: A large system can supply water for a few hectares of land. Cereal crops may be planted, although vegetables, fruit trees and other cash crops requiring less water are more suitable;

·         Enabling livelihoods such as cattle farming, agro-processing, fishponds, etc.


As a rural technology, the hydram can benefit users in many ways:

  • Improve health through access to clean water, enabling better hygiene and sanitation;
  • Reduce drudgery, especially for women and children;
  • Increase agricultural yield and income for farmers’;
  • Reduce farmers’ vulnerability to climate change through irrigation and crop diversification.

 Site Criteria /Flow Requirement for Different size of pumps

Size of Pump Required Amount of Water Flow
1” 13-36     liters/min
1 ½” 60-120   liters/min
2” 90-200   liters/min
3” 200-480 liters/min
4” 450-900 liters/min
5” 900-1300 liters/min
6” 1300-1900 liters/min


Size of pump in hydraulic ram pump is named after the size of drive pipe used in the system. Different size of pumps runs on different amount of flow. The flow requirements of different pumps are listed below:

When assessing a site for a hydram system it is important to consider a few basic rules.  A wide range of system designs are possible but these basic conditions must be satisfied:

  • A source of water that does not dry up at certain times of the year;
  • A water source can be a spring, river or canal (but a spring is best for drinking water supply);
  • A drive head, H (vertical distance between the source and the hydram), of at least 1 to 6 meters is available;
  • A delivery head, h (vertical distance between the hydram and the delivery tank), less than 125 m