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View Full Version : Get well, Texas


DanaMac
08-08-2011, 08:01 AM
I've been following reports of the Texas drought and heat situation for a while. Texas Drought (http://news.yahoo.com/texas-drought-harm-wildlife-habitat-years-093201258.html;_ylt=AqcKQ258kkEjAo73QzI0_Wms0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTM2cWVmMnJxBHBrZwNkODc2MmEzMS00YmEyLTM4OT ktYjEzMi03NDZmMzA3ZTMxNzEEcG9zAzExBHNlYwN0b3Bfc3RvcnkEdmVyAzkyMmJkYWEwLWMxYWYtMTFlMC05ZWNkLTkwYmU3Nm MzNzVhMQ--;_ylg=X3oDMTFpNzk0NjhtBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25z;_ylv=3) Sorry to hear it's so bad. I'm sure it's a double whammy for some of you, given the current state of the economy, and now having minimal water to irrigate in some areas is probably leading to a little less work. I read yesterday that I believe it was DFW that has had 31 or 36 straight days of 100+ degree heat.

Take care, keep your heads up.

txgrassguy
08-08-2011, 08:11 AM
54 days in my area of 100*+ heat - the last week and a half was 103-109 + each day.

Some watering restriction has occurred so now my non maintenance days are focused with tweaking existing systems for max efficiency.

FIMCO-MEISTER
08-08-2011, 08:19 AM
Where you in Texas for the summer of 80? This looks like its fast approaching that. What you are dealing with is what finally forced me out of the state I love.
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bcg
08-08-2011, 08:28 AM
The worst part is that the forecasters are saying that they expect the main weather trend that's causing all of this to continue for at least another year. Granted, these guys don't do a very good job of predicting next week's weather but it's still a pretty sobering thought. So far it hasn't effected our business negatively. Believe it or not, I've just started seeing voluntary water conservation signs going up in the last few weeks.

This drought combined with the heat is the worst I can recall and I've been in Tx for 34 years. I see stock tanks bone dry and cracked that have always held water and have seen a local creek that has always been wet dry up 3 times so far this year. And still no rain in the foreseeable forecast...

DanaMac
08-08-2011, 08:44 AM
Isn't it the La Nina trend that is causing this for you? Same with us. The Front Range, which is everything on the eastern side of the Rockies, was dry as could be this winter and spring. Only the recent summer monsoon rains have made things better. But the farmers and ranchers are hurting.

txirrigation
08-08-2011, 10:09 AM
Actually for me business is getting better. People have completely lost thier lawns, and can't keep up with them watering by hand. Also repairs on comm systems are through the roof, with the ground shifting it is braking 90's and a lot of male adaptors on valves.

I just had to hire another tech to keep up with the service calls. One property we have has had 2,500+ repair bills each of the last 3 months. That is also after cutting our repair rate in half because of all the work they have given us.

We are also getting a lot of calls to come out and fix coverage on below par systems. Seems like the weather is bringing out every weak spot on the systems.

DanaMac
08-08-2011, 10:14 AM
Actually for me business is getting better. People have completely lost thier lawns, and can't keep up with them watering by hand. Also repairs on comm systems are through the roof, with the ground shifting it is braking 90's and a lot of male adaptors on valves.

I just had to hire another tech to keep up with the service calls. One property we have has had 2,500+ repair bills each of the last 3 months. That is also after cutting our repair rate in half because of all the work they have given us.

We are also getting a lot of calls to come out and fix coverage on below par systems. Seems like the weather is bringing out every weak spot on the systems.

You know, that makes sense. I forgot that in '02 I was doing the exact same thing. Service was booming, hired another guy, was contracted by the city to handle some stuff as well. I would think though that people would wait on adding new irrigation and landscaping until weather conditions improve. But probably not.

Kiril
08-08-2011, 10:19 AM
Seems like the weather is bringing out every weak spot on the systems.

Funny how hot and dry does that.

txirrigation
08-08-2011, 10:30 AM
You know, that makes sense. I forgot that in '02 I was doing the exact same thing. Service was booming, hired another guy, was contracted by the city to handle some stuff as well. I would think though that people would wait on adding new irrigation and landscaping until weather conditions improve. But probably not.

Landscape installs have pretty much stopped because the landscapers won't warranty anything without a system, and some give no warranty at all.

I do not do landscaping, but we install for a few companies and they have pretty much closed up shop except for maintanence accts.

FIMCO-MEISTER
08-08-2011, 10:39 AM
Landscaping in the Texas summer is the first clue you are dealing with a clueless landscaper.
Install impatiens in full or afternoon sun and you really know the landscaper is clueless.

Sprinkus
08-08-2011, 08:15 PM
Thanks for the kind thoughts.
We're staying busy enough out here with repairs and add-ons.
The local Stage 2 restrictions only allow for once a week watering but that hasn't slowed us down too much. Everyone's lawns and plants are extremely stressed but we're still able to keep them alive.
When Stage 3 hits it'll be once every other week, which should really get the phone ringing!

FIMCO-MEISTER
08-08-2011, 09:05 PM
I remember one drought that moved to once a week watering but the system could be run while being serviced. Had a few customers all in the same grapevine that called me out to do service but basically wanted me to walk through the system real slow for an hour.

txirrigation
08-08-2011, 09:42 PM
I remember one drought that moved to once a week watering but the system could be run while being serviced. Had a few customers all in the same grapevine that called me out to do service but basically wanted me to walk through the system real slow for an hour.

I sit in a parking lot and eat lunch at one of my high dollar comm accts and let the entry zones run/I mean service them.

DanaMac
08-08-2011, 09:52 PM
In '02 I was contracted by the city to work on some of the lower income housing developments to get the systems up and running, and make them a little better. We just went to our first ever restrictions. We were working on the systems at about 10:00 or 11:00 one day, and the water police drove up and said "no watering from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM". Well sir how am I supposed to work on the system? From 6:00 PM to 9:00 AM? Ain't happening. Get in your little car and go away.

Mike Leary
08-08-2011, 10:21 PM
I've got one in the middle of the month where the kids are getting married at my mega. I'm hired to sit by the pool and make sure the catering crew puts their tent stakes where my stuff is not. Best gig I've ever had; dues paid. :clapping:

mitchgo
08-09-2011, 01:49 AM
That's just insane.. I can't believe it's been so crazy there

On the opposite end.. Seattle hasn't had more then 24 hours of weather above 80

txgrassguy
08-09-2011, 08:45 AM
I'll tell you how bad the drought is becoming - inattentive truck drivers pulling trailers equipped with safety chains are starting more fires than people flicking cigarette butts out the window - it's that dry outside.
Yesterday a rancher had a chain fall off the hitch and bounce along. Started what ended up being almost a 500 acre fire, endangered multiple residences, live stock not to mention requiring two helicopters, two fixed wing tankers, fifteen departments and approximately 100 FF's to extinguish. Last count on water use was approximately 150,000 gallons. Eight 2,000 gallon wheeled tankers, 1 6,000 gallon tanker, the heavy lift helicopter dumped 1,200 gallons at a time and the count on the heavy chopper was over twenty dumps in under and hour and a half. And boy oh boy where the other ranchers royally p.o.'d since the choppers lift primarily from what water remains in their stock tanks essentially meaning now the live stock (what remains) now has to have water hauled in.
All because a good old boy "bubba" type couldn't or wouldn't pay attention to his trailer set-up.
This is the fourth time in less than two months idiots like this caused me to have a long day. Got into the office at 06:30, toned out at 13:19 and returned to my house at 23:00 that night.
To make matters worse the fed's have sent US Forest Service Wild Land FF's on two week rotations into Texas. The problem being most of these guys are from the more northern states. One FF from Ky ended up in the hospital since he had heat related seizures - seems it being 108*F with humidity over 75% hammered the dogshit out of these northern guys.
I used to get a bunch of flack about arriving at a scene in shorts but after yesterday at least thirty FF's said they were going to start wearing all cotton based shorts instead of blue jeans under their gear.
And there is no realistic end in sight, according to NOAA Texas is not expected to begin to receive measurable rainfall for at least two more months at a minimum.

Sorry about the rant but my patience is being tested by these country bumpkins.

DanaMac
08-09-2011, 08:48 AM
During our dry drought spells, we were getting a lot of grass fires from trains causing sparks along the tracks.

FIMCO-MEISTER
08-09-2011, 08:54 AM
@TGG Your post should be in every newspaper in Texas.

txgrassguy
08-09-2011, 09:02 AM
Dana, that happened yesterday as well right during the task force deployment for the 500 acre event.

All of the VFD's are stretched really thin right now.

At least for the time being my existent client base understands and applauds my participation but I am fast approaching call saturation. Simply put, too many more call outs and I may have to start "qualifying" what events which I respond and others that may become bad luck.

Thanks Pete.

txirrigation
08-09-2011, 10:53 AM
Dana, that happened yesterday as well right during the task force deployment for the 500 acre event.

All of the VFD's are stretched really thin right now.

At least for the time being my existent client base understands and applauds my participation but I am fast approaching call saturation. Simply put, too many more call outs and I may have to start "qualifying" what events which I respond and others that may become bad luck.

Thanks Pete.

Was that the one that sparked off in Burnet?

Last month my guys sparked one off with the exhaust pipe of the mower. Good thing all my guys know irrigation because they started running around turning on valves to contain it. The fire department came but we had it out by the time they got there, all were very nice a stuck around for a while to make sure all the hot spots were taken care of. I also have fire extengishers mounted on the rops bars of all the mowers, and on every trecher we have. The prop owner told us to shut down the irrigation on the back part of the property to save $$$ and it was bone dry out there, this almost turned into a really bad choice.

txgrassguy
08-09-2011, 03:20 PM
Yep, both of 'em, the 500 acre fire and the one along side the RR tracks.

txirrigation
08-09-2011, 06:05 PM
Yep, both of 'em, the 500 acre fire and the one along side the RR tracks.

I was just up there at our lake house last weekend. Things are starting to get pretty nasty. There was a pretty big one in Manor this week also, we could see the smoke from our house.

Stay safe out there!