Water System Example #3 - Using a Ramp Pump


There is a water source with at least 5 gallons per minute (could be less, depending on the situation.)of flow. But this water source is below the building site (not further than 150-200 feet of elevation—possibly even further). The water source also has at least 5 feet of vertical fall (head) on the property. If it does not have enough fall, look at Example #4. Solution #1 (below) makes use of a ram pump. There are a number of factors to take into consideration with this, so if you are in doubt about your situation, go to the Ram Pumps blog to see if your property will qualify for using the solution below.


This can still be a very desirable setup. Although it does depend on a mechanical device (ram pump), it is a reliable one that does not use electricity. This system uses a cistern that is buried in the ground at least 40 feet in elevation above the building site (2nd story if plumbing is there) to store the water for your house. The problem is, the water source is not above the cistern and therefore cannot “gravity flow” into it all by itself. This is where the ram pump comes in. Using a ram pump enables one to pump water quite a ways vertically using just a few feet of fall (head) from the water source. Using the Ram Pumps blog post, make sure that your particular situation will support a ram pump.

After the water is pumped up to the cistern, it then “gravity flows” into your house, yielding suitable pressure.


Nick Meissner

Nick Meissner’s adventure with homesteading and off-grid living began in the late '90s with a less-than-bare-bones budget. Over the past 12 years, Nick has taught thousands of people about renewable energy, homesteading, water systems, and independence in general. He's deeply in love with his beautiful wife Lisa and thoroughly enjoys their two children.