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The water is raised and lowered via a series of U tubes arranged side by side ascending up to the right. All of the right arms are longer than the left arms, so that the tops of adjacent arms are level, and perhaps the tubes could be called J tubes. A special valve attaches to the tops of these adjacent arms, and two manifolds attach above the valve. One manifold connects to all left (short) arms through the valve; another connects to the right (long) arms.

The valve comprises a hollow outer cylinder with end caps, a solid inner cylinder, and a shaft which extends through the end caps and the center of the inner cylinder. Turning the shaft turns the inner cylinder. Two holes are drilled parallel to the shaft through the upper cap, the cylinder, and the lower cap, and the U tubes and manifolds are attached at these holes. The inner cylinder occupies essentially all of the space between the end caps, so that except for the holes, the object is essentially solid. Seals are provided as necessary so that there is never any direct flow from one arm to the other.

When the shaft is given one half turn, the tube connecting the left arm to the left manifold is exchanged with the tube connecting the right arm of the next U tube to the right manifold. If one tube is full of rising water about to stop and start falling back down, and the other is full of air, this transfers the water from one U tube to the other.

The Water starts in a reservoir above a gate valve at the top of the free arm of the uppermost or lowermost U tube. When the valve is suddenly opened, a slug of water descends into the air-filled U tube accelerated by gravity and and curve of the tube until it proceeds up the other arm. It is slowed by gravity and opposing air pressure. When the bottom end of the slug clears the curved section, the flap valve moves so that the slug will be directed into the next U tube when it changes direction. This happens for all of the U tubes simultaneously, and another slug of water enters the first U tube at the moment the other slugs move downward.

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