CHE Archive Community Engagement Archive Material Science Archive

Ugandan Water Project – Save the Gaskets

Test and identify novel gasket polymers to extend operation of Ugandan Water Project-installed India Mark II handpumps serving millions of people fresh, clean water.

Team Members

Emma Schlechter
John Lovito
Joyceline Marealle
Allison Forness


Rachel J. Monfredo, Chemical Engineering, UR


James Harrington, Executive Director, Ugandan Water Project

Matthew Dawes and Bob Bechtold, Harbec Plastics


The Ugandan Water Project asked our team to research and test new materials for the current rubber gaskets that are used in the water pumps they install and service. Currently, these gaskets are the main cause for pump failure and must be replaced annually which is costly and leaves millions of Ugandans without water. The goal was to come up with a system to test the new materials found and prove they could last for up to 5 years.

Bucket gaskets that provide suction to water system.
Test system for water pump featuring John Miller
Test system for water pump featuring John Miller.
Team Poseidon and the Mermaids.
CAD Model of the Mechanical Testing system