A water pump is a pump that brings water to the surface, mechanically or by moving a crank back and forth by hand. A manually operated pump is also called a crank pump.
In the past, groundwater or rainwater for consumption or other purposes was usually scooped from a well or cistern with the aid of a barge. Surface water was also frequently used.
In the course of the 17th century the first water pumps came into vogue that pumped shallow groundwater. They initially appeared mainly in urban areas where surface water was not available or very polluted. As a city pump or village pump, they were intended for common use and a meeting place for residents. The laundry was also done with this type of pump. Sometimes they were beautifully executed with an elegant natural stone housing. Many such pumps were built in the 18th century. Breweries also sometimes had their own pump. The pump sometimes had a reasonable water quality, but it was often difficult to get to the pump.
In the 19th century the cast iron pump came into vogue. This was delivered in series by numerous iron foundries. At the end of the nineteenth century, the industrialized countries in urban areas began to install water pipes on a large scale, but in the countryside water supply by means of private pumps was still common until the mid-twentieth century.
In developing countries such as Africa, South America and Asia, the common water pump is still very important and the running of water pumps is an important means of preventing infectious diseases.
Around the end of the 20th century the value of the pumps for the village and city clean began to be seen and replicas of the once-disappeared village and city pumps were erected in many places.