Handpump manufacture.  Photo: Karl Erpf

Handpump Technologies

Manual pumps have been used for centuries but this simple technology remains the mainstay of rural water supplies in many countries.

RWSN has maintained international standards for the public domain handpumps since 1992 and provided extensive technical support to many national governments, NGOs and the private sector to enable decisions to be made regarding handpump standardisation, raise manufacturing standards and build skills and systems to improve handpump operation and maintenance.

If you have a limited internet connection, then we have a flash drive with all the handpump specifications and manuals - contact the RWSN Secretariat on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details.

The RWSN website hosts the standards, manufacturing and quality control guidelines, installation and maintenance manuals, as well as numerous studies for a wide range of handpumps in the overview below.

Are you new to the subject of handpumps?

If you want to learn about handpump technology, the handpumps most commonly used today, and how they came to dominate the market, and are interested in the current handpump challenges, we suggest that you start by reading the following documents:


Pump Technology and History

Handpump challenges of today



Other practical documents that you may not know about

RWSN has published maintenance manuals, and short maintenance cards for the following pumps:

And if you have not played top trumps (a card game that we used for training) on handpumps, try this – The Handpump Card Game!


Hand Pump Overview: see below


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