Technical Designs for Rural Water Collection systems

Rural water collection can be subdivided into ground and surface water collection systems for villages or individual households.  In general, groundwater is higher quality water than surface water, therefore requiring less treatment. 


Rainwater collection is the most often overlooked water source.  Collection during the rainy seasons may ultimately provide adequate water during the dry seasons. Fernando (2) and Stern (5) discuss bypass options that divert initial rainfall from contaminating water tanks.  Initial rains are tainted with dust, bird droppings and other contaminates accumulated since the last rainfall.


Spring protection is an easy way to store clean water and protect a reliable water-source from surface contamination.  Before constructing a spring box, check that the source of water is not a temporarily underground stream.  Any change in temperature may indicate the water is from a stream and not a spring.  Water may be contaminated if from a surface source.


Following are small water supply technical design descriptions and options.


Groundwater Collection includes….


Spring boxes

Subsurface dams


Surface Water Collection includes….


Rainwater harvesting

*       Surface water collection


*   Web Links

ü               WELL Resources.  WELL is a DFID-funded resource center promoting environmental health and well-being in developing and transitional countries. 

                                               Click on the links below


ü         WHO water and sanitation resource list page


*   Books



1.        Cairncross S, Feachem RG.  Environmental Health Engineering in the Tropics:  An Introductory Text, 2nd edition.  John & Wiley Sons, Chichester:  1983.  Spring protection 65-67, Surface water drainage 179-188.


2.        Fernando, Vijita.  Energy and Environment Technology Source Books:  Water Supply.  Intermediate Technologies.  London:  1996. 


3.        Hanson, BD.  Water and Sanitation Technologies:  A Trainer’s Manual.  Peace Corps:  March, 1985: 305-327. Wells 211-256, Spring Protection 305-32.  Includes technical, economical and organizational information on sub-surface and sand storage dams.  The book closes with case studies from Kenya, Tanzania, South India, Europe and the United States. 


4.        Nilsson, Ake.  Groundwater Dams for Small-Scale Water Supply.  Intermediate Technologies.  London 1988.


5.        Stern, P (ed).  Field Engineering:  An introduction to development work and construction in rural areas. Intermediate Technologies.  London 1988. Surface water collection 131-135, Small surface water dams 136-144, Rainwater harvesting 131, Groundwater development (wells) 145-153, Spring protection 147


6.        Water Engineering and Development Center (WEDC).  The Worth of Water:  technical briefs on heath, water and sanitation.  Intermediate Technologies.  London  1991. Household water storage 1,  Spring protection 9,  Wells 13  Rainwater harvesting 45, 57,   Groundwater dams 97




[back to table of contents][Technical Designs] … [Appropriate Technology] [Women and Water][Water-Related Diseases]  [General Information] … [NGOs]   [Web Page Information]