The waterwheels in Fayoum are among the most intriguing ancient structures in Fayoum, with over 200 of them straddling the canals. The wooden wheels, which are unique to the area, are powered by the fast-moving water of the canals and were introduced into Fayoum during the Ptolemaic period. They are 4 to 5 meters in diameter and coated with black tar to protect the wood. Each waterwheel can lift the water 3 meters, spilling it onto higher ground. January is the month set aside throughout Egypt for cleaning the canals. The sluices are closed in the Fayoum, and all the working waterwheels are cleaned and repaired. In addition to the four moaning and groaning in the city center, the Famous Seven, a Fayoum trademark, are located in the countryside along Bahr Sinnuris, and there are more waterwheels on numerous canals in the area.
The biggest waterwheel in Egypt may be found at Basiouniya hamlet, 14 kilometers east of Fayoum. It is 8 meters tall and weighs over 2 tonnes. This waterwheel costs 50000 EGP and provides fresh water to 88 acres (37 Hectares) of agricultural land. The waterwheel is serviced once a year during the low-flow season in mid-January, and it must be replaced every six years. Locals have festivals to remember this wonderful occasion since it is seen as a significant source of economic benefit for them throughout the time of reinstalling new ones.
The Fayoum peasants name this dynamic waterwheel “Taboot” to distinguish it from the traditional Sakia, which is powered by animals. The Waterwheels are now regarded as an iconic Fayoum feature. Tourists may see these wonderful irrigation machineries while wandering around the streets of Fayoum!