Back to solutions
2 Jan 2020 | NEPCAT technologies

Treadle pump

1 min Read

70% Complete

A treadle pump is a foot operated water lifting device that can be used by smallholder farmers to irrigate their land in places where the water table is high.

A treadle pump is a simple, cheap, and effective device for lifting water. In this technology, bamboo levers are pushed repeatedly by foot to provide the driving power to lift water. This simple device is relatively easy to install and maintain and is environmentally friendly. Three types of treadle pumps are in common use; all three use the cylinder and paddle concept, but the model which uses a cylinder 8.9 cm in diameter and has bamboo paddles is the one most commonly favoured by farmers in the region. It is cheaper and can lift more water than a comparable hand pump. On average, a treadle pump can be used to lift water from about 6 m underground and one such pump can irrigate as much as 0.34 ha of land (depending on the soil type and other conditions). In addition to lifting water for irrigation, the treadle pump can also be used for a variety of domestic purposes. In the Terai areas of Nepal, it is also widely used as a means of generating income.

When farmers consider installing a treadle pump, they first need to verify whether there is sufficient groundwater to merit the expense. Treadle pumps should be installed by trained technicians and properly maintained throughout their lifetime. If possible, an extra set of spare parts should always be kept on hand and a trained technician should be consulted for major repairs.

Banke, Bardiya, Dailekh, Surkhet, Kaski, Dhanusha, Kapilbastu, Rupandehi, Jhapa, and Salyan Districts, Nepal

WOCAT database reference: QT NEP 32

Location: Banke, Bardiya, Dailekh, Surkhet, Kaski, Dhanusha, Kapilbastu, Rupandehi, Jhapa, and Salyan Districts, Nepal.

Technology area: >1,000 km2

Conservation measure(s): Structural

Land Use: Annual cropping

Stage of intervention: Prevention of land degradation

Origin: Experiment/research

Climate: Subhumid/subtropical

Related approach: Not described

Compiled by: Purusottam Gupta, IDE-Nepal

Date: May 2011, updated March 2013

General comments: This technology is used by more than one and half million people in different countries including Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, and Nepal. More than thirty thousand people have treadle pumps in Nepal. Treadle pumps are also a useful means of generating income for smallholder farmers in the Terai area of Nepal.

Download PDF

2 Jan 2020 NEPCAT technologies
Tomato grafting

Cleft grafting can be used to produce plants that are resistant to a number of pests and diseases and are ...

2 Jan 2020 NEPCAT technologies
Plastic-lined conservation pond to store irrigation water

A plastic-lined dugout pond to store runoff and household waste-water for irrigation purposes during dry periods Water harvesting technology is very ...

1 Jan 2020 NEPCAT technologies
Gully plugging using check dams

Small dam structures constructed across erosion gullies Check dams are small low structures built across a gully or a channel to ...

2 Jan 2020 NEPCAT technologies
Rooftop rainwater harvesting system

A water harvesting system in which rain falling on a roof is led through connecting pipes into a ferro-cement water ...

1 Jan 2020 NEPCAT technologies
Kiwi fruit cultivation

Kiwi fruit cultivation on sloping land in the mid-hill areas of Nepal can help prevent soil erosion and is a ...

2 Jan 2020 NEPCAT technologies
System of Rice Intensification (SRI)

A method for increasing the productivity of rice by changing the management of plants, soil, water, and nutrients The System of ...

1 Jan 2020 NEPCAT technologies
Landslip and stream bank stabilisation

Integration of vegetative and structural measures for landslip, stream bank and gully stabilisation on hillsides A combination of measures were implemented ...

1 Jan 2020 NEPCAT technologies
Low cost micro-sprinkler irrigation

An irrigation system that delivers small-sized water droplets through a rotating head allowing longer watering time with less runoff Micro-sprinkler irrigation ...