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Running two systems off shared well?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by kobisk, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. kobisk

    kobisk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 23

    Hey everyone, Just wondering if you could give me any ideas I haven't already thought of on this one, and or what would be the best way to tackle this. I have a client that we are going to be doing a new irrigation install for, and he and his neighbor are wondering if it was possible to share a well. I told him it was possible. My current plan is to run the two irrigation systems from the single well by utilizing a single controller and pump start relay, basically just one big system covering two properties. There are several problems with this setup 1)location of the control box, as both will want it located convenient for them, 2) the fact that it will run off one person's electrical, and finally scheduling. Does anyone have any ideas on how to connect two separate systems to the single well each with their own controller , pump start, and power supply. Oh the pump will probably be in the range of 20-GPM 1 HP 220V, pump start is 24V realy. Thanks for your time an ideas I know time is very valuable this time of year.

  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,650

    And when one house gets sold, and the sharing arrangement falls apart? Probably the best way to do it would be to set up the well's owner with an ordinary sprinkler system, and stub out a line to the other property, through a sort of 'reverse master valve' that would be off whenever the well owner is watering his lawn. The non-well-owner gets a chance at the water whenever the well owner is done. Two separate systems, each to their own property. The system for the non-well-owner would need to be carefully designed, so just in case the sharing doesn't work, it can be run from city water, with the mainline going to the house, so a RPZ backflow preventer could be connected between mainline and city water. Since the city water might not be capable of matching a 20 gpm flow, it might be necessary to design with 10 gpm zones, and run two of them at a time when using the well water. Except for your design headaches, and the RPZ for the non-well-owner, it's basically two separate systems, with an interconnection. They do make normally-open electric valves, but it would probably be cheaper to hook a relay to the well owner's master valve, and have it cut off a regular master valve at the interconnection point, said master valve getting it's power from the non-well-owner's controller.

    My bill will be in the mail. :p
  3. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    We have many sites that share a pump but there's pressure tanks and no pump relays on them. They're just calculated on the overall output of the one pump.

    Now... We do have a sitch where two sites (elementary and middle school) share one well and it doesn't work. When the middle school was built years ago it was decided to scrap a new well for it and just hook its irrigation system up to the existing well at the elementary school. Problem is that no one calculated that well's output and then they threw a booster pump on top of it for the middle school fields' controller. This booster pump robs everything when it is on and nothing else can run at the same time. Therefore, the schools cannot be watered on the same nights and they're limited to three nights of watering each per week. BOTH sites suffer tremendously and there's been squabbling between the sites' administrators over the years. :dizzy:
  4. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Wow! that gave me a headache. Made sense after reading it the 3rd or 4th time.
  5. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    No paragraph breaks. (JK Boots) :laugh:
  6. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,650

    ....and I figured it all out in less than three beers. :drinkup: ~ Now let's see fans of various controllers can recommend one for the non-well-owner that could use the relay switching from the well owner's controller to run with either city water or well water, and at different flow rates, if necessary. Could be time for a cycle-stop-valve!

    (I considered a paragraph break or two, but I didn't think it would improve comprehension)
  7. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    Did Wet Boots say cycle stop valve?

    If the well is equally shared, equally maintained, equally paid for all parties, then I'd probably just setup each person with his own controller. I don't think there would be a problem with both controllers being able to control the same pump relay switch. Scheduling would be important as well as safeguards against running the well dry.

    I used a Century 102 as a normally open valve. It comes normally closed, but you can change it easily.
  8. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Especially when you'd already had a couple of beers??? :laugh:

    I need to find a little pic to use as the "paragraph police" that would complement your Compression Police picture. :drinkup: :laugh:
  9. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,650

    Nah, even breaking it into paragraphs of a single sentence wouldn't help. Send the whole thing back to the Rewrite Department.

    If the well's capacity allows for it, you could use a cycle-stop-valve, and design both of the systems at around half the well's output. Then, you'd get acceptable pressure without having to synchronize controllers.

    Using the cycle-stop-valve, in conjunction with a small pressure tank, would eliminate the need for any pump relays, since a pressure switch could control the pump operation. That would give a mainline under continuous pressure, and eliminate any need to run wires from one property to another.

    The neighbors get a chance to see that the well has enough capacity for simultaneous sharing. It might have to be drilled deeper than for single-family usage.
  10. NC_Irrigator

    NC_Irrigator LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Posts: 1,415

    I have only TWO customers that share a well. Theyre systems are separate (2 controllers) we have them setup on opposite watering days.

    & to speak of its one of the worst wells ive seen for Iron discharge. Its awful, everything in their whole yard is stained with rust...

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