Freewheeling: the ZM water pump

“This really appeals to me, using water to pump water – and both are free,” says Mpumulanga garlic farmer James Smith. Smith is one of South Africa’s first users of a ZM Maxxi, a waterwheel-driven water pump imported from Brazil. “These are simple, rugged pumps.

They’ll lift water up to 300m, as far as 12km, or a combination of both. This pump easily provides plenty of water for domestic and livestock use – 50m above river level. Best of all, it costs nothing to run. No diesel, no petrol and no electricity.”The pump’s system is oil-lubricated and, depending on the pump’s size, requires an oil level of 1,2 to 3 litres.

Since the highly-durable pump’s seals and pistonprotection are leather, they can be lubricated and maintained with Vaseline. ZM pumps are being distributed in South Africa by the newlyestablished ZM Pompe, based in Johannesburg. “Whether it’s for stock farming or irrigation, as long as you have water flowing across your property, there’s a ZM pump to get it where you need it most,” says ZM’s Jo Haden-Smith, who’s also a weekend farmer. “The pumps come with a two-year guarantee and we stock a full supply of spare parts.” The waterwheels are available in six sizes.

Special circumstances can be catered for with a water-paddle pump, or even a pontoon-based unit, which can be connected to existing reticulation systems with flexible coupling. It’s possible to increase pumping power by using additional wheels or multiple water streams, Ideally, the water supply should be above the pump. A larger wheel makes it possible to use water supply at a lower level, and multiple streams increase the efficiency of ground-levelsupplied pumps. The pump can also be motorised, reaching speeds of up to 60rpm. Prices start at about R8 900 (excluding VAT). Most units are available off-theshelf from ZM Pompe, Johannesburg. – Staff reporter Contact Auriel Mitchley on (011) 889 0796 or e-mail [email protected].

Every week, as a service to our readers, Farmer’s Weekly discusses or reviews one or more new products or services that would be of general or specific value to farmers. We try to ensure that “new” is really new, and that each has an innovative feature or features that either make it so, or set it apart from other products or services in the same category. Readers are welcome to supply leads or information on possible subjects for this column, or to write and comment on personal experience. E-mail [email protected] or fax (011) 889 0862.