Q. In which countries do you currently install PlayPump® Water Systems?
A. Currently we install in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.
Q. How do you know the water is fit for human consumption?
A. A bacteriological and chemical test is done on each borehole to ensure that the water is fit for human consumption. A step down test is done to ensure that the borehole can sustain prolonged abstraction of the water and the flow is sufficient to meet the needs of the community. Each and every borehole is referred to a qualified geo-hydrologist for analysis of the water results and a recommendation of the most suitable pump settings to ensure a sustainable flow of water and ease of use by the children.
Q. Is the PlayPump® Water System a sustainable project?
A. Each PlayPump® that is installed has four billboards that surround the tank stand, these boards are sold as either health awareness messaging or branding space, and the revenue from this ensures that the project is sustainable.
Q. How do you choose who receives a PlayPump?
A. We are often approached by schools and communities asking for a PlayPump, but it does depend on whether they have a borehole and whether the water is fit for human consumption. Also local Municipalities assist us with identifying of boreholes and our field operatives go out and look for broken pumps where there is a water shortage and a PlayPump would help the school or community.
Q. What makes the PlayPump different to conventional hand pumps?
A. There are a number of aspects where the two types of pump differ, the main ones are as follows:
The PlayPump while also being a type of water pump provides children with an opportunity to play while pumping water. There is no question that using a hand pump requires effort, and the PlayPump seeks to address this to some extent by providing a means of play at the same time.
The PlayPump has, as a standard part of the equipment, a tank stand which supports a water storage container. This storage container allows excess water to be safely stored in the tank and drawn later by the community merely by opening the tap. Hand pumps will usually not have any provision for the storing of water, so the user has to operate the pump every time they draw water.
Q.The PlayPump seems expensive when compared to other water pumps that I have seen?
A. The price that you see for a PlayPump includes every cost element of an installation. This includes the cost of the equipment itself including the tank stand and storage tank. It also includes the costs associated with finding and testing boreholes which includes taking a sample of the water to a recognized laboratory and confirmed as being fit for human consumption; and lastly it covers the costs of transportation and installation of the equipment. You will often find that hand pump prices make no provision for the testing of the water quality/quantity of the borehole, and as mentioned previously they do not have any storage capacity.
Q.Who maintains the PlayPump?
A. We partner with Roundabout Outdoor, the company that originally conceived the PlayPump concept. They have been installing and maintaining PlayPumps since 1996 and have built up a wealth of experience over that time.
Q.How does a community pay for spare parts and repairs?
A. All spare parts are free and readily available.
Q.Can you install a PlayPump anywhere?
A. Our policy is only to install PlayPumps where no reliable source of water currently exists. So we will not install a PlayPump where there is for example a working pump, except where the government has asked that we do so and indicated that the removed pumps will be given to smaller communities. We also take into consideration the safety of each site, and will not install where a potential site may be close to a road, or on a steep slope.
The Playpump is best suited for installation at schools to harness the children’s energy.
Q.How do you know if there is a problem with a PlayPump?
A. Each site has its own unique site number, which is displayed on the side of the tank stand. Also on the tank stand is a toll free SMS number that the community can use to report a problem with the PlayPump.
Q.Do you drill boreholes?
A. We do not drill our own boreholes, our Field Operatives go out and look for broken pumps where there is a water shortage and a PlayPump would help the school or community. We also liaise with Municipalities to assist us with identifying of boreholes and are looking for other parties to custom drill for us.
Q.When you say you do Community Liaison before installing a PlayPump, what does that mean?
A. We visit the school or community, establish that there is a broken hand pump, carefully explain the PlayPump system to the school and get their agreement that they understand the process and would like a PlayPump installed. A signed Community Acceptance Form is completed and signed by the person in charge confirming the acceptance of a PlayPump.
Q.What are the benefits of a PlayPump?
A. All the feed back we have indicates that when a PlayPump is installed at a school, attendance at that school increases and often the children turn up early because they enjoy playing on it and also it is noted that cases of water born disease like diarrhoea decrease.