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No Electricity and No Stream; How Can I Move Water From Well? Answered

I have raw land, in a State Park, which has no access to electricity or running water (stream or otherwise).  I am trying to build an aquaponics farm, however I don't have access to electricity for a well to deliver water to the system, or to the air pumps for aeration.  Any advise?  I need to know how to get water out of the well, and how to aerate the water for the fish and plants, without electricity.  I looked into Solar PV and wind turbines, and they are out of my budget.


Update *03/08/13*

Thank you all for the wonderful help and suggestions.  I am going to try several of these to determine the best fit.  Also, please keep the suggestions coming, I will continue testing methods, even after setup.


Do you already have the piping done for the Well?

If so I would imagine running even a small pump that can fit down the piping would work. It wont be powerful or fast but once you got the tanks full it would only be to replenish evaporation. So you would need 175' pf power wire low voltage DC wire. A small submersible pump. I would personally do the splice in a small Enclosure with waterproof fittings. Weight the Pump as well. other than that you are usually only talking 12V DC so Solar or Wind depending on your area. Wind is better here but you are not requiring much for the pump but it will take a very long time to initially fill!
If solar is better for you all the better. ebay or DX has cheap solar panels as you are not really using this as a Tie to the grid item is should be a rather inexpensive project .

Wind turbines can be built cheaply, and could be used to directly run a mechanical pump to bubble air through the water - imagine a crank pushing the handle of a bicycle pump in and out.

A friend of mine once connected a cooling fan from a car to a car alternator for a 12 volt wind turbine but I like your idea Kiteman skip electricity. Go wind driven air and water pump he could even drive it with a bicycle when there is no wind.

I really like the idea of the car cooling fan. I am going to play around with that a bit, to determine reliability.

A hydraulic ram needs no power apart from the waterflow itself.
Goodle "ram pump" or Youtube it. There are MANY cool builds out there. Some to pumpe water from the ruver to a cow-trough others to pump spring-water.

Also the efficiency is somehow defined by the lcorrelation lenght&diameter of the intake to the height of the output-hose (Pressure needed)
Also good ressource:

Neat pump but I don’t think it will be helpful to him. That pump works by the pump being below the source to drive the water higher than the source. He is above his water source a well.
If he could get below his water source where he could also drain off the waste water he might also use the water flow to run the air pump to aerate the water.

You are right.
my bad. I misunderstood "well" with "spring".
Swiss-German speaking here :)

I like the hydraulic pump and can see how useful it would be in places near where I live like the Pine River Vally.

He still may be able to use it if his land in on a good slope.

I think you need to PM(Private message) gaiatechnician  He seems to have a lot of knowledge on off-grid pumping.  Good luck.

Have you thought of the bucket-on-a-rope method? There wells have been used for a long time before electricity. Buckets on ropes (with varying mechanisms to wind the rope) are the go-to method for getting water but there are several mechanical pumps which you can use.

I am currently looking into that idea. Thank you for the suggestion. What I am considering, is coupling a bucket-on-a-rope system with a large reservior tank. So I can fill the tank in the morning and evening, which will then continue to flow into the aquaponics system 24/7, to keep the necessary movement.


5 years ago

Solar PV might work - depends on the design of the aquaponic system(s) and how deep the well is. And it would need to be DC pumps - both for water and air.

I'm offering solar generator plans for 'Solar for Sandy' (Preview). It's a 45 watt solar generator that costs about $140.00 after the Federal Solar Tax credit - and can be easily expanded. It could be helpful....

I installed a solar powered waterfall for a fish pond (helps with aeration) using DC pumps and a 125 watt solar generator (big pond) last year.

More details on aquaponic and well depth would help in nailing down a possible solar solution. 

The well is approximately 150' deep. The aquaponics DWT are 12" deep with 10" of water depth. The fish tanks are 6' deep with 5' of water depth. The CHOP system media beds are 12" deep with a full 12" of medium, with a maximum rise height of 11" for the water. The fish tanks are below the level of both the DWT and the Media Beds. The Media Beds are 1' above the DWT, the DWT are then 1' above the fish tanks.

Now Bruce Beach is a colorful individual that lives 15 minutes north of me, but he has a neat idea in bicycle powered air fans that could drive water pumps, alternators, and air pumps for aerating water, watch this video.