[Market-farming] Irrigation Question

bcluton at aol.com bcluton at aol.com
Sun Feb 22 21:33:55 EST 2009

Hi All,

I've been toying around with some irrigation ideas and would be interested in folks insight and experiences.

We're looking at ways to get water to a few fields that don't have water access.  And also looking to potentially recover our pre-filtered wash water.(which is currently drained to a swale)

We currently have a 300 gallon tank that could be mounted on a hay wagon and towed to the field.  The question is how to apply this water.  I've been trying to figure out how to crunch the numbers on gravity pressure based on the distance dropped off the wagon and the volume of water in the tank (of course this would change as the tank drained) and I'd also need to figure this based on some standard length header, drip line, etc.  This is one possible direction.

The other is adding a pump to the system and utilizing a string of sprinklers.  I could look at the low pressure mini-sprinklers we've been utilizing.  Or explore slightly higher pressure system that would reduce the number of sprinklers and make the string easier to move.  This would prove helpful in having a fairly easily mobile means to irrigate a small seeded/bedded crop.  We're on municipal water for our main irrigation system so I have almost no experience with irrigation pumps.  I can consider the length of the sprinkler line and the number and type of sprinklers.  If I add up the GPM of each sprinkler head I'd get the total needed GPM, I can look at 
the operational PSI of the sprinklers and assume that would have to be my base pressure at however many GPM.  I can figure out how quickly the 300 gallon tank would drain and if I dug up the formula and crunched the numbers could figure out how many acre/inches that would amount to.  I know trash pumps, etc. are rated at how many GPM they move but don't think they're probably capable of handling back pressure.  I'm assuming that an irrigation pump has a GPM rating and is somehow rated for or set to an operational PSI.  Would this require a pump with bladder tank or is there some other system?   

Anyhow this is just the trend of my thoughts here.  They're obviously rather raw and I've got some homework to do and phone calls to make....but bearing this info in mind if anyone has thoughts, ideas, experience, etc. I'd love to hear from you.




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