Water supply to local farms
The water supply to local farms before the 1960`s was usually sourced from a local stream and pumped using a hydraulic ram.
Cambridge Brook which flows into the River Stour near the recreation ground in Bures, was used by many farms for their water supply.
Hydraulic Rams use no electrical or
machine driven parts, they solely rely upon water pressure to pump water
to a greater height or distance. Although their use in this country has
all but vanished, they are still widely used in parts of the world, where
there is no fuel supply to run a conventional pump. ie, Africa, North
America and Canadian mountain areas etc
Hydraulic ram pumps are a time-tested
technology that use the energy of a large amount of water falling a small
height to lift a small amount of that water to a much greater height.
In this way, water from a spring or stream in a valley can be pumped to
a village or irrigation scheme on the hillside.
(a) lifting drinking
water from springs to settlements on higher ground.
Location of other five Hydraulic Rams on Cambridge Brook.
1. Adjacent to Whites Farm - It is thought the ram only supplied water for orchard & crop irrigation. Domestic water was obtained from a nearby `well`
2. Adjacent to Valley Green Farm - may have supplied the farm with water.
3. Adjacent to Rye Fen
Farm, Daws Cross -may have
supplied the farm with water.
4. Adjacent to Ravensfield Farm - see above
5. Adjacent to Daws Farm - see above
All of these sites have long since been
demolished, the water source now provided by mains or artesian boreholes.
Hydraulic Ram located on the brook running alongside Ferriers Lane.
In Bures St Mary
there is still evidence of a Hydraulic Ram located between Moat Farm and
Gt Ropers Hall.
Since the flowing water in the drive pipe can no longer escape through the waste valve opening, it is forced to open a mid-range inline check valve (C).
Water continues past the check valve and starts compressing the trapped air in the vertical compression chamber (D). Water continues to push against the air in the chamber until the compressed air cushion acts like a piston, pushing water back down and out of the air chamber.
This action, in turn, closes the one-way check valve causing water to be forced out of the ram and up the delivery pipe, which is attached at (E).
Meanwhile, the closing of the check valve creates a slight vacuum or suction which permits the waste valve poppet to drop open again. This allows water from the drive pipe to escape through the waste valve opening, creating a new cycle. There are about 60 such cycles per minute.
Numerous variables, such as vertical fall, vertical lift, rate of ram pulsation and length of pipe on intake and discharge, will affect the amount of water a ram will pump at your site.
Output range is 700 to 1,800 gal./day for a 1-inch ram; 700 to 3,000 gal/day for a 1.5-inch ram; 700 to 4,000 gal/day for a 2-inch ram and for a 3-inch ram, up to 16,000 gal and more.
Generally with a ratio of 1-foot drop to 10-foot lift, your pump will deliver approximately 15 to 20 percent of the water that it uses.
Perhaps as early as the Saxon era, the power of water was harnessed on Cambridge Brook in Craigs Lane, Mount Bures.
HISTORY OF THE HYDRAULIC RAM
In the year 1772 the first suggestions of raising water by means of a Hydraulic RAM were made by John Whitehurst, but it did not become a practical machine until Joseph Montgolfier, the French inventor of the fire balloon, succeeded in 1796 in making an automatic RAM.
Early in the nineteenth century Mr James Easton purchased Montgolfier's patent and introduced the machine into England, also purchasing the fledgling hydraulic RAM business of John Whitehurst and as the founder of Messrs. Easton & Amos, was responsible for the installation of large numbers of these machines all over the British Isles, in fact more than 1000 prior to 1860.