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Water well, hand pump, and water station

Hi all,

In the local group in Taiwan, we have divided opinions on the eligibility of public accessible water supply facilities, such as water well, hand pump, and water station.

I’d like to briefly describe the water supply system in Taiwan because the eligibility depends on the uniqueness. If the facility is ordinary, it might be ineligible. In Taiwan, 94.51% of the residents have tap water [1]. However, in some remote areas, more than 50% of the residents don’t have tap water [2][3]. As a result, the residents must find another method to get clean water. Most of them chose groundwater [4]. And almost all of them use electrical devices to get groundwater rather than a manual one because the rate of households that has electricity is high. According to the statistics [5], 99.6% of households had electricity in 1974. In conclusion, water wells and hand pumps are not so common in Taiwan, but in some areas of Taiwan, they might be common facilities.

A water station is a facility that sells water. I’m not sure of its English name. You could imagine that it is a gas station. Instead of providing gasoline, it sells water. Water stations are ordinary facilities in Taiwan. There are 1778 water stations in Kaohsiung city [6]. In my opinion, most of them are ineligible because they are generic commercial businesses. However, some of them may meet some of the criteria.

The followings are some examples that we have divided opinions. I’ll provide the pictures and list the reasons for eligible and ineligible.

Case #1: Water well


  • If the water well is still in use, it may have cultural significance, and it may be a gathering place for the community.
  • If the water well is no longer in use, it may have historical significance.
  • Water towers in rural areas are eligible [7]. Public accessible water well provides clean water to the community. It has cultural significance as well as the water tower has.
  • Water wells are not common facilities because 94.51% of the residents use tap water in the country [1]. And for the residents that don’t have tap water, most of them use electrical devices to get groundwater [4].
  • According to the Ingress AMA Archive [8], private residential property is specific to a single-family residence. Most of the water wells are open to more than a single-family.


  • Water well is ordinary in some rural areas that the rate of having tap water is less than 50% [2]. It is not visually unique.
  • It may be private residential property.

Case #2: No longer in use water well


  • Include the reasons mentioned above.
  • It may have some historical meaning.


  • Include the reasons mentioned above.
  • It looks like a ruin.

Case #3: Hand pump


  • Just like water tower and water well, hand pump may have cultural significance or historical significance because it provides water to the community.
  • Hand pumps are not common facilities because 94.51% of the residents use tap water in the country [1]. And for the residents that don’t have tap water, most of them use electrical devices to get groundwater [4].
  • Most of the hand pumps are not limited to the public because groundwater is free.
  • It may be a gathering place for the community.
  • If the object meets other criteria, you could not reject it for the reason of mass-produced items. For example, you could not reject a playground even if it is mass-produced.


  • Hand pumps are mass-produced objects. And they are still available now [9].
  • It is common in some rural areas that the rate of having tap water is less than 50% [2].
  • According to the discussion in another post [10], pumps may be ineligible.

Case #4: Water station

Additional information

In this case, the submitter claims that it is the only place to get clean water in the village.


  • If the statement is true, it is an indispensable place for the community. As a result, it may have cultural significance.
  • It may also be a gathering place for the community.


  • It is a generic business. There are 1778 water stations in Kaohsiung city [6].
  • You couldn’t verify the statement from the submitter.
  • Just like a gas station, it is still ineligible even if it is the only place in the village to get the gasoline.

Case #5: Robot style water station


  • It’s art. The style of the robots is slightly different from store to store.
  • It may have cultural significance as well as the water tower has. (If it is true, all of the water stations are eligible.)


  • It is a generic business. It is a chain store.
  • Just like a Ronald McDonald statue, it is a mass-produced object.


[1] Statistics form Water Resource Agency of Taiwan, June 2020,

[2] Statistics from Water Resource Agency of Taiwan, August 2018,

[3] Report from a news website, August 2015,

[4] Report from a news website, July 2018,

[5] Report form Bureau of Energy of Taiwan, June 2003,

[6] Report from a news website, October 2015,

[7] “Water tanks”, discussion in Wayfarer forum, June 2020,

[8] Ingress AMA Archive, March 2019,

[9] A shopping website that sells hand pump,

[10] “Irrigation system pumps in rural areas?”, discussion in Wayfarer forum, June 2020,


  • Gazzas89-PGOGazzas89-PGO Posts: 2,325 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Me personally, I would accept numbers 1 and 3. 2 wluld need to have one heck of a deacritpio to push it over a 2. The other 2 I would reject straight up

  • phi2458-PGOphi2458-PGO Posts: 164 ✭✭✭

    Hi @gazzas89-PGO ,

    Thanks for your reply. Your decision is very interesting. I’d like to know your decision rationale.

    You would accept #1 and reject #2 if it doesn’t have a description. It means that the water well that is still in use meets the criteria while the malfunctioning water well doesn’t. Which criteria does the water well that is still in use meet? Is it cultural significance because it is an indispensable facility for the community? Or would it be a potential gathering place?

    If your answer is the cultural significance, then why did you reject #4? The cultural meaning of #1 is the same as #4. They are both indispensable facilities for the community. According to the clarifications, the cultural significance rule is prior to the generic business rule. As a result, the eligibility has nothing to do with the generic business rule in this case.

    Furthermore, you would accept #3. Does it mean that the cultural significance of the hand pump overrides the mass-produced rule? If your answer is yes, then why did you reject #5? Both of them are mass-produced objects. And their cultural meanings are the same. They are both water supply facilities for the community. And like I mentioned above, the eligibility has nothing to do with the generic business rule in this case.

    Please tell me if there is any problem. I appreciate your reply very much.

  • sogNinjaman-INGsogNinjaman-ING Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭✭✭

    #1 - Yes

    #2 - No - looks like a bit of concrete pipe filled with soil.

    #3 - Probably, but I would have to see a good supporting photo to show it is not on a PRP

    #4 - Industrial facility, meets no criteria

    #5 - No - Generic business, meets no criteria, probably mass produced

  • oscarc1-INGoscarc1-ING Posts: 366 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You've done a great job providing points for every example, well done!

    In my opinion, I would say no to all of them.

    Anything can be reasoned to have 'cultural significance', a footpath allows people to traverse to a place of importance, would that make it eligible? No, it's still just a footpath.

    A water tower is usually an iconic significant installation, its grandeur makes it prominent enough to be distinctive to be seen as a point of interest in rural towns.

    Saying "it may have some historical meaning" means nothing, again, anything 'may' have some historical meaning. Same thing for community gathering places, people 'may' gather anywhere, does that inherently make it eligible? Not necessarily.

    I wouldn't call those robot water stations art, if it were, then it would be mass-produced corporate art and not eligible.

    I would consider all of these as insignificant generic infrastructure and not eligible. They are not points of interest, they don't promote Niantic's spirit (adventure, exploration, etc.). They might be distinctive when given in a series of examples, but I'm sure within their own respective communities, these would be seen as generic too (and/or mass-produced in some cases).

    Overall, by twisting the eligibility criteria and forcing it onto every object doesn't make it inherently eligible. A line needs to be drawn so that a standard of quality is retained for wayspots, not everything ever created needs to be a wayspot.

  • phi2458-PGOphi2458-PGO Posts: 164 ✭✭✭

    Hi @sogNinjaman-ING,

    In the case of #2, the concrete pipe could be a water well, an air vent for an underground facility, or a sewer pipe. Personally, I think it was a water well, but it is no longer in use now.

    In the case of #4, I’m sure that it is not for industrial use. According to the signboard beside it, it provides drinking water. But you still have to boil it before you drink. The submitter said that it is the only place to get clean water in the village. In my opinion, it is possible because the village is remote. However, I cannot find evidence to prove it.

    In the case of #5, yes, it is a mass-produced object. I mentioned it above.

    I’d also like to know your reason for acceptance. Thanks for the reply.

  • Nadiwereb-PGONadiwereb-PGO Posts: 1,118 ✭✭✭✭✭

    First of all: your water supply system is similar to Hungary's, and I'm familiar with the arguments on both sides as well - I get plenty of such nominations as well.

    However, I don't consider any wells, pumps or any other water souces eligible by default. If they have a unique design, history or something else that makes them more than water dispensaries, they can be eligible. But that's it.

    You keep returning to the argument that they're "not common facilities because 94.51% of the residents use tap water in the country", but that's a very weak argument IMO. The vast, vast majority of the population also never uses phone booths, standalone postboxes, truck washes, flagpoles etc. That doesn't make them less common or ineligible.

  • phi2458-PGOphi2458-PGO Posts: 164 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2020

    Hi @Nadiwereb-PGO,

    It seems that I couldn't post two replies in a short time. I’m not sure when this reply will appear.

    In my opinion, eligibility depends on whether an item is common or not because one of the questions in the review page said that “A visually unique nomination should not be something that is common in the area.”

    And your example, the number of phone booths, standalone postboxes, flagpoles, etc., does not depend on the number of people use it. In my country, there is a law about the location of standalone postboxes. However, the number of water wells is different. If no one needs it, it would not be there.

    Anyway, is it convenient for you to provide some eligible and ineligible examples? I would appreciate it. Thanks!

    Post edited by phi2458-PGO on
  • phi2458-PGOphi2458-PGO Posts: 164 ✭✭✭

    Hi @oscarc1-ING,

    Thanks for the reply. You provide great insight into this issue.

    I agree that it is important to draw a line to the “cultural significance” rule. In my opinion, culture means more than a piece of fine art. Culture represents the way of the life of people. Everything that people create, including visible things and invisible things, is culture. However, not all of them are points of interest. As a result, Niantic says that a point of interest must be significant in cultural meaning.

    I believe that Niantic tries to draw a line to define the significance. There are a lot of examples in the clarifications that show what nominations could be cultural significance and what couldn’t. For example, a playground. What makes a playground eligible is not visible distinct because it is a mass-produced item. It is the cultural significance that makes it eligible. A playground could reflect the life of the people in the area. It is highly related to the everyday life of people. And basketball court, generic church are the examples. Furthermore, the clarifications also provide what could not be cultural significance, such as regular cell phone towers or generic tornado sirens. Therefore, we could follow the clarifications to rate the nominations because Niantic draws a line.

    However, there still exist some gray areas. In those cases, we could only judge the nominations according to their characteristics. If the nomination and the cell phone tower share the same characteristics, it would be ineligible. In my opinion, the examples I mentioned above are in the gray areas. I listed their characteristics and found that some of them are the same as water towers, and others are the same as regular cell phone towers. As a result, I’d like to know how others would rate the nominations. I hope the line would be clearer and clearer.

    And I must apologize. The sentence “It may have some historical meaning” is not what I meant. I meant that “The submitters may provide some historical meaning,” such as how old it is or how many people it serves. I tried to describe the general water well case in the example and forgot that the sentence is not specific.

    Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it very much. Please let me know if there is any problem.

  • Raachermannl-INGRaachermannl-ING Posts: 1,068 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2020

    Most of the wells are in my oppinion places for gathering people. That's not the best argument, but combined with a few other weak pro-arguments that's enough for me to give 4* for most public accessible wells. So all of your examples are


    The big difference to your example is that my example really has to do with water obviously. You see the pipes and the drain. Yours is only a cylinder built out of cobblestone - this could be only a flower tub. I think my example fits very well, what you had in mind. It's built to be a gathering place for the neighborhood (as long as it has water). It's not ugly, and roughly 100 years old. That's together enough for 4*, I think.

    To say something more about this specific example:

    It's not really a well, because there are 2 small springs and runlets on the hills north of this place and when the runlets reach the civilisation, there are underground pipes, which lead to this small well and feed it. during summer times there's often not enough water to reach this place, so it's often dry. Besides it's between single family homes. This would cause in few countries problems because of the 40m rule, but the German reviewer community disregards this rule totally. If this would be used in central Europe we wouldnt have any waypoints, except in forests. Our historic grown town planning cant deal with this rule. Evrything is in 40m range of a single family home, so we don't want to deal with these type of rules, evrything would be chaos.

    This well needed three attempts because of another problem - Germany has nearly no streetview, but my well can be seen on the sat pic, but in the 1st two tries I placed the marker exactly on the well, so that it covered the well in the sat view - so i got "mismatched location" twice xD

    #2 is ugly, so no gathering place.

    #3 can be rubbish, but can also be historical importan. In Germany lots of hand pumps were built during WW1 or WW2, for the case that the public water supply breaks down. Those are in most cases in public spaces, but sometimes on private ground, but nethertheless they were intended to be used by the whole neighborhood. Usually these pumps are well kept and in good order until today. Two examples here:

    Example in public space in the middle of a village nest to graveyard an church.

    Example of an historical accurate pump on Private Property, although no one lives there. It's a garage, the workshop and bird cage of forest rangers. Next to the door in the middle is a small town crest to hint this. So something like this, presented to be seen from public spaces and in spitting range .... this is often accepted too in our region, depending on the circumstances.

    #4 can't see enough cultural value here to fulfill the criteria, and it looks very generic.

    #5 depends on the texts. I could be convinced to see this as a kind of art .... so the texts should have high level, but no exxagerations or lies.

  • Raachermannl-INGRaachermannl-ING Posts: 1,068 ✭✭✭✭✭

    roughly 2 days delay, that my post appeared. This forum is so **** **** **** ****

  • phi2458-PGOphi2458-PGO Posts: 164 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2020

    Hi @Raachermannl-ING,

    Thanks for the reply. I didn’t notice that my first example could be a flower tub.

    In my opinion, a 100-year-old water well in Taiwan could be a 5* nomination because we don’t have a long history. If the well were in Taiwan, it would be a historical site and could be in a tour guide, no kidding.

    I think that it is difficult to verify how old it is. Although we have Google street view, we could only find a photo that was taken 10 years ago at most. What makes things worse is that the style of hand pumps didn’t change in 70 years, and they are still available now. As a result, it is difficult for us to determine the historical meaning of the hand pumps.

    By the way, I found a typo in one of my replies. I edited it, and the post disappeared. Now it’s back. I don’t know what wrong with the forum.

  • Sugarstarzkill-PGOSugarstarzkill-PGO Posts: 437 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Sometimes when you make an edit here, it has to go to be reviewed by a moderator. Nit always though. 🤷‍♀️

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