Pond draining.

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Challenge: Move the most water over a barrier in a given time.

Historical references to irrigation pumping schemes, pumping out mines, etc. Visuals: Lots of water spraying about.

Two small ponds, same level, short wall separating them. Any kind of pumping system allowed, Archimedes screws, turbopumps (propeller in pipe), bucket wheel, power-assisted siphon, jet pump, etc. Water level in the pond is measured precisely at the start, and the team that lowers it the furthest in the allotted time wins. We've had several on/under water events, and at least one that involved pumping it, but none that required moving mass quantities of it.

(Side story: Years ago, when I rented a section of a private residence, I observed the property owner and children trying to remove the water from above a pool cover, The repeatedly started a big gas-powered pump, then shut down for a while, started again. I walked over for a look and found that they were trying to use a length of cloth fire hose on the SUCTION side. They would fill the hose with water, prime the pump, toss the freen end of the hose in the water and start the pump. Reduced pressure in the hose allowed atmospheric pressure to instantly flatten the hose, cutting off any further flow. They had gone through this procedure 20 times by then and still had no idea why it was failing. I tried to explain why it didn't, but they just didn't get it. I did convince them to go get a rigid hose for the suction side, which worked like a champ, draining the water in minutes.) (Some science knowledge would have saved these folks a lot of time.)

-- Doug Warner (dwarner@gw.total-web.net), January 25, 2001


Great idea. i'd love to see this.

-- Brendon O'Brien (VFW666@aol.com), January 25, 2001.

Problem is you are having them build a pump, where is the action, they suck the water out of a pond, we may as well watch compost. They've already had to build pumps in the fireboats show, where they had to build a boat and a water pump to put out a fire on a building across a lake. This involved a race, the action of putting out a fire and the race back to the middle of the lake.

but seeing how much water each side can suck out of a pond, where is the action in that? I am not saying your idea is bad, just asking you to explain it a bit more? where is the action?

-- Richard James Retey (theswampie@cs.com), January 25, 2001.

they could be pumping it to the opposers pond, to make it more competitive. with a little help, i think this would be a great challenge. i definently agree it needs more action though.

-- Brendon O'Brien (VFW666@aol.com), January 25, 2001.

I think watching a junk machine pump water would be more exciting than watching a windmill grind cofee and I thought that was pretty cool. I think that this is one of the most origional and refreshing ideas on this post. Thank you for not mentioning that while they pump the water they also have to build fighting robots or pole climbers.

-- www.geocities.com/kablamotheclown (kablamotheclown@yahoo.com), January 26, 2001.

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