Wednesday, January 27, 2016

How Fire Pumps Can Save Lives and Property

Many people who live in rural areas or on farms know of the absolute necessity of having a fire fighting pump on hand. No matter how quick the response of local firefighters, precious time can be lost while waiting for someone else to put out a fire. Especially one that could spread quickly in a fire-prone place such as a barn or storage area.

Even those who live in more urban areas could find a fire pump handy in the event of being cut off from the municipal water supply – so long as there is a pool, pond or other water source nearby.

Many fire pumps are sold as “fire and pump” packages, with suction and fire hoses included for your convenience. With a little research, however, you can likely find the right combination of hoses to use rather than having to rely on someone else’s predetermined choices.

Fire pumps generally consist of a portable gasoline engine that powers a high-pressure pump. The entire apparatus is usually installed in a roll cage; some units are best used in conjunction with a dolly or other piece of equipment that can facilitate mobility.

The size of fire pump that you choose will depend in part on the kind of terrain it will be used to protect. Properties with tall trees, steep slopes and salt-water swimming pools will require additional or different forms of power in order to stage an appropriate defense against fire. If you are not sure what size pump will best fit your needs, please feel free to contact us at (843)
-537-5589 or at

Under many circumstances, first  responders from your local fire department can make use of your fire pump and hose setup in addition to relying on their own equipment. It is best to notify the local fire department chief or captain as to the presence and availability of your fire pump, and to suggest that they make use of it in the event that you are not at home when an emergency occurs. You and your neighbors could also consider making advance plans to share firefighting resources.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Cleaning Up After A Flood

In the unfortunate event that your home or place of business suffers flood damage, it's important to first ensure the safety of everyone involved. Only after safety has been established is it advisable to begin to mitigate the damage caused by flood waters.

As with any situation involving a natural disaster, it is critical to make sure that all power sources are shut off and that it's safe to begin pumping out water that's made its way into the basement and other subterranean areas. Then, the harder work begins: Cleaning up and dealing with damage to walls and other surfaces. A few items to bear in mind:

Weather permitting, open as many doors and windows as possible so that smells and moisture have plenty of escape routes. This will only be effective if the humidity levels outside are lower than those within the structure. If that’s not the case, keep the building closed up so as to prevent more humid air from finding its way indoors.

Rinse walls and other surfaces to remove debris and mud; this can be accomplished with a hose where practical, or with a damp sponge or cloth. Start at the uppermost spot of damage and work your way down.

Any wallboard that has been in direct contact with flood waters will need to be removed, as it tends to soak up moisture and could permanently retain contaminants. In many cases, removal of the entire sheet of wallboard will work better in the long run.

Floors will need to be scoured with a stiff brush and appropriate detergent. Carpeting should be removed and thrown away; hard surfaces like tile, while thought to be water proof, may have leaked, allowing moisture to soak into the subfloor beneath. Inspect and mitigate accordingly. All wood floor surfaces should be dried in a gradual manner to avoid sudden splitting or cracking.

Removal of mildew will require special cleaning solutions. Consult a local flood mitigation service or your local hardware store for suggestions.

Sincerely Riverside Pumps

Monday, January 4, 2016

Don't Fool With Fire Pumps

          Some say fight fire with fire, but at Riverside Pumps, we say fight fire with nothing other than the highest quality high-pressure fire pumps. With forest fires turning thousands of acres into flame, high-pressure fire protection pumps will help to protect your personal property, residences, farms, animals, and anything else that may be in jeopardy.

High-pressure fire pumps are designed to combat fires by producing high pressure levels to deliver the water where it's needed. The pressure is the most important part – without it, the water would not be able to reach the burning area at the necessary pressure. Compared to the more general purpose pumps, fire fighting pumps have the ability to maintain a high pressure, whereas the structure of general purpose pumps focuses on moving as much water as possible without keeping the pressure levels in mind. General purpose pumps can lift water up to 60-80 feet of head, but a fire fighting pump will receive ratings of 200-800 feet or more.

Fire Pumps can also be useful to the military, coast guard, hot shots, and coastal municipalities for fire suppression in a number of environments where natural water is likely available. These pumps can even double to act in irrigation environments to supply water from a natural source to smaller scale farming operations as well as hobby farms.

Fire fighting pumps are designed to be reliable and easy to manuever, which is what you need in a life-threatening situation. If you have more questions about the right high pressure or fire-fighting pump for you or your business, contact us for more info!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

What is a Trash Pump?


The term "trash" in the pump world is basically used to describe a pump that can handle liquids with solid material of at least 1 inch in diameter. Trash Pumps do not grind up solids or debris, they just transfer it through. Contractors, farmers, and municipalities are constantly facing dewatering tasks that have high solid content such as leaves, sand, sewage, twigs, sludge, and mud. The size of solid content that a pump cand handle will depend on several factors including types of impeller, horsepower of the engine, and size of suction and discharge ports.

Trash pumps are typically at higher price points compared to regular dewatering or semi-trash pumps due to the fact that they're made with higher quality materials and engines with higher horsepower to pump more abrasive and high solid content liquids. Even though the initial investment might be higher, the pay-off in performance and longevity of the pump will be worth it.

For the purpose of our discussion, we're going to look at a few pump features that affect the cost of manufacturing a trash pump which results in higher cost to the consumer. To the consumer, the value on these features depend strictly on their dewatering needs. 


The most common pump materials are aluminum, cast iron, and steel. Each of these materials have pros and cons, but the bottom line is that your higher end trash pumps are usually constructed with a class 30 cast iron pump casing and either cast iron or stainless steel impellers and shafts.


The number one benefit of an auto prime (vacuum assist) pump is that you never have to manually add water to your pump. If you operate a self-priming pump with the casing being dry, you can damage the pump. An auto prime pump seals and removes air from the pump casing so it will fill with water and then water can begin to flow out of the discharge port. Another advantage to this type of pump is that it can be automatically started and stopped with the addition of the start/stop option. 


The cost of a diesel fuel pump is initially higher than a gasoline pump, but a diesel pump has a higher efficiency range so in the long run it costs less to operate. It all comes down to how often you are going to use the pump. If you are a contractor or farmer that is going to work a pump hard, you should consider stepping up to a diesel pump.


A pump enclosure provides two main benefits to a pump owner: security and noise level. A lockable enclosure gives you peace of mind if you need to leave your pump unattended for a short period of time, and the good insulated steel enclosure can reduce the noise level down to conversation range. This is important if you are using the pump in a residential area or downtown area with lots of foot traffic.


Adding a D.O.T. certified trailer provides ease of portability for high performance trash pumps that are usually quite heavy.

At Riverside Pumps, we manufacture many different models of trash pumps. Why so many models? We want to make sure you can find a pump that meets your specific dewatering needs without having to pay for features and performance that you might not need. Below are descriptions of three higher end pumps that have some or all of the special features that we have previously discussed.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

How to Use a River or Stream for your Irrigation Water Supply

Firstly, you must have the right to take water from the creek, river,. pond, etc. This almost always means you need to talk with the US Fish & Game Department, State regulators, and possibly the Environmental Protection Agency (or equivalent agencies for whatever country you are located in.) If you take water from a creek or pond or any other natural body of water in the USA without checking on the legal rights and requirements you can get into a lot of hot water, fast. The fines penalties and restitution costs can be enormous. So before you do anything, start doing some calling around. Be safe, not sorry. If you don’t know who to call, try calling the local County or Parrish Planning Department, they should be familiar with the agencies that regulate water and be able to point you to the right people.

From a physical standpoint it is not difficult to pump the water. The cost depends on how fancy you make it. My parents had a cabin on a river in Oregon. They simply had a small portable pump that sat on a concrete block and was chained to a tree. One end of a 15′ garden hose was attached to the pump intake, the other end of the hose had a piece of window screen tied around it to create a home-made filter and keep out small fish and junk. The end of the hose with the screen filter was tied to a concrete block and dropped into the river. The pump outlet was attached to a second garden hose, this one was 150 feet long. A long extension cord went from the pump to the power outlet at the cabin. They put a sprinkler on the end of the hose, placed the sprinkler where they wanted water, then plugged in the pump. Simple, cheap. You could easily semi-automate that by simply plugging the pump’s power cord into a timer to turn it on and off.

A fancier system is certainly possible. The pump still needs to be portable in most cases. The pump has to be mounted less than 8 feet above the water level (the closer the better.) You need a pad of some sort to put the pump on, but it is best if the pump can be easily moved, especially if the water level fluctuates in the creek or floods. There is also the possibility of using a submersible pump. A submersible should not sit on the bottom of the stream if there is a lot of mud and silt in the water that would get sucked into the pump. If you have a floating dock or a pier an alternative is to place the pump on it (or hang it below the dock in the case of a submersible pump.) Submersible pumps are often strapped to the side of pier pilings. Be sure to read installation instructions for the pump, many pumps have very specific positioning requirements, some submersibles must be installed inside a special sleeve.

You can get about as fancy as you want- using automatic controls to start and stop the pump and also to open and close multiple irrigation valves. Many irrigation controllers have built in circuitry that will start and stop the pump for you using a electrical relay. If you do it yourself, and you need only something similar to my parent’s small pump you could probably install a pump for around $200.00. The price can go up fast as you get bigger and fancier, $1000.00 is not an out of line figure for a pump system capable of watering an acre or so of yard. The wiring for the pump automated controls is a bit tricky, so most people would want to have that part done by a electrician. How much that costs depends on the length of wire needed to reach the pump. One option to look at when you get to larger irrigation systems is a pre-constructed pump unit. This consists of the pump and all of the needed controls for it pre-installed and pre-tested on a metal frame. You just hook up the pipes and wires to it and turn it on

You may also need a storage tank for the water, especially if you have a small water supply (like a creek.) That way you could pump a small flow continuously from the creek to fill the tank. Once in the tank the irrigation water would either be pumped out of the tank to the irrigation system by a second pump, or if the tank can be located 30′ or so higher than the level of the irrigated area, you could use gravity flow from the tank. (If you want to use sprinklers the tank would need to be at least 60 feet higher to create enough pressure for a small sprinkler.) The tank will probably need to be a lot larger than you think. Typically they are 5,000 gallons or larger.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Solar could eliminate a 50-year-old problem for India in ten years’ time.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Solar Water Pumps Now An Increasingly Viable Alternative For Indian Farmers

More than half of India’s cultivated land is yet to be irrigated, a business-as-usual scenario will lead to a huge rise in India’s energy needs for agriculture alone. With decreasing solar modules prices (70% in the last 4 years), solar pumps are fast becoming a viable solution for irrigation.

Yet several questions about the use of solar pumps that need to be answered:

Won’t solar pumps only make farmers more lax about using energy resources and wasting groundwater?

In several Indian states like Punjab and Haryana, electricity for agriculture-related tasks is provided at no cost to farmers, usually at night, to ease off-peak daytime loads. This encourages the uncontrolled use of electric pumps, with farmers often leaving pumps running through the night, resulting in over irrigated farms and low ground water levels, not to mention all the wasted electricity.

One could argue that, with solar power, the problem could get worse. Since solar power is abundant in India, farmers could feel even less obligated to monitor the use of solar pumps, leading to even lower groundwater levels.

But what if it doesn’t? Savvy farmers won’t take long to realize that they have the option of selling their surplus solar electricity to the grid at good rates. That means they’d think twice before pumping up groundwater unnecessarily.

The state of Karnataka is banking on just that with its “Surya Raitha” scheme. The state electric utility announced a tariff of almost 18 U.S. cents per unit for every unit of solar power sent to the grid. Currently, 300 farmers are piloting this approach and have turned in their traditional diesel-run pumps voluntarily. The scheme is being monitored to understand if it works or not.

Also, a World Bank irrigation project in West Bengal is exploring a service contract model for solar pumps, where payments are made to the contractor depending on the amount of water delivered from the pumps. This can be monitored through inexpensive GPRS and remote sensing technologies. This business model can help put a price on the use of water and help maintain ground water levels if the government sets and enforces proper limits. The project is also looking at using solar pumps, small agro-mills and drying crops during non-irrigation season.

Aren’t costs to install and operate solar pumps prohibitive?

Here is how the costs break down—the upfront cost of a solar pump (say 2 HP, equivalent to irrigating 5 acres of land) is about 10 times that of a conventional pump ($5,000 vs $500), despite a significant reduction in solar module prices (from $3 per watt in 2009 to less than $1 in 2015). Small and marginal farmers may not have the equity to buy solar pumps or the ability to raise debt from a commercial bank, since banks are still don’t consider solar pumps as "bankable technology."

But one must think about the long-term returns. The cost of running a solar pump is virtually zero. It can pump water for at least 25 years with little overhead and management costs. The cost of power production from a diesel pump is around $0.30 per unit (compared to $0.15 for a solar pump) and the payback period is around 6-9 years. A solar pump is clearly the more viable option in the long run and once commercial and public banks in India start lending to install them, it could have a significant impact on the lives of farmers.

Is solar energy reliable in all seasons?

In many parts of India, there are 60-70 days in a year when weather conditions (clouds) prevent solar water pumps from working. But it rains a lot of those days, so irrigation may not be necessary then. That still leaves a few days where you might not see the sun, leaving about a 90% reliability factor for solar water pumping. But adding energy or water storage could offset that issue. Also, small land holdings reduce the applicability of larger solar pumps unless water brought up by using solar pumps can be shared among a group of farmers.

Are solar pumps environment friendly?

India uses more than 4 billion liters of diesel (13% of total diesel consumption in India) and around 85 million tons of coal per annum (19% of total coal consumption in India) to support water pumping for irrigation. If 50% of these diesel pumps were replaced with solar PV pump sets, diesel consumption could be reduced by about 225 million liters/year (7.5% of total diesel consumption in India).

(Story by The World Bank)