Make Your Own Simple Windmill Water Pump

This windmill water pump could be the appropriate technology for your homestead.

| May/June 1978

  • 051-100-01-Arusha-Windmill1
    The Arusha Windmill could make water access much easier for you on  your homestead.
  • 051-100-01-Windmill-diagram
    This diagram shows how simply the Arusha windmill works.

  • 051-100-01-Arusha-Windmill1
  • 051-100-01-Windmill-diagram

So. You've finally moved out onto your own piece of land . . . "gettin' there" by the honest sweat of your brow. The only trouble is you've got a source of water anywhere from 50 to 250 feet beneath your boots but no easy or affordable way to get that life-giving fluid up to the surface, where you and your livestock and your crops can use it.

Son of a gun. If you just had a windmill water pump! Not a complicated big-bucks machine that only Rube Goldberg could understand and Rockefeller could afford. No, what you really need is a simple windmill that you — with, maybe, a bit of metalworking skill and a little help from your friends — can put together for, perhaps, a couple of hundred dollars (less, if you'll do some scrounging, and what homesteader doesn't?!).

Well, children, that's exactly the kind of water-pumping windmill that a fellow named Dick Stanley has been building recently in the Arusha region of Tanzania, Africa.

Now, if you didn't already know, the Arusha region of the third world nation of Tanzania ain't exactly what you'd call the garden spot of the world when it comes to developing something like a windmill. Folks in the area don't have a whole lot of money to plow into experimental work on such things (or to spend on finished machines even after the expensive experimental work is done) . . . the wind can be extremely variable up Arusha way . . . wells are sometimes 250 feet deep . . . there are, in general, only the most rudimentary tools and materials and skills to work with . . . and, even after you have your basic machine up and running, there are darned few (like, maybe, none at all) servicemen around to come out and repair the blighter when a windstorm puts a crimp in its tail.

Add all those facts together, and you've got quite a challenge on your hands. A challenge, amazingly enough, that Dick Stanley has more than met by designing a water-pumping windmill that is:


At $250 or so (in 1978), the Arusha windmill costs only a fraction of a commercially manufactured, imported machine's $2,000 to $6,000 price tag.

7/2/2014 2:44:33 PM

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