subsurface irrigation

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by bluemoon, Feb 25, 2003.

  1. bluemoon

    bluemoon LawnSite Member
    from Kansas
    Posts: 114

    Is there any info on subsurface irrigation?
    When I talked to a Hunter rep and Rain Bird rep for the south central ks area, they said won't work.
    However , I know a farmer in the area who uses it and his works. I know there is some difference between farming and home lawns, but the idea was dismissed so quickly and without any explanation.
    I have some info from Netafim, but would like to talk to somebody else with some actual hands on experience.
    In this area , I believe sooner rather than later, traditional irrigation will be regulated so tightly , that people will look for a better solution.
    I like the idea of subsurface.
    Maybe I am crazy.
    Any feed back would be appreciated.
  2. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,712

    Efficiency can be touted all they want but the idea isn't practical or will not be widely accepted for thefollowing reasons.

    1. Expensive to install the massive amount of pipe footage to do the job.

    2. Residentially and commercially the physical installation process will be so time consuming and disruptive that it will not be well accepted by the consumer.

    3. Although drip is gaining more acceptance, there is a huge acceptance problem trusting something that can not be seen at work.

    4. Unless recommendations have changed, the shallow depth I saw in the past it was to be installed at meant that it could be in the way of things like aeration equipment.

    5. How are you going to water new seed or sod, fertilizer, insecticides or fungicides applied to the surface into the lawn?

    6. No one will install dual systems to compensate for this.

    7. You'll get cheap skates and morons selling this product, botching the job and alienating consumers to the concept.

    8. Unlike conventional surface irrigation which can sometimes be altered if the original install and design where poor, there will be no go backs on subsurface as a screwed up job.

    No, I don't have strong feelings on this. What makes you ask that? :D
  3. Ground Master

    Ground Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 505

    ditto on harold's comments.
  4. dougaustreim

    dougaustreim LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 488

    We have used drip for flowerbeds etc. but I beleive that using it for turf is totally impractical. Even for beds, it is a pain and quite expensive compared to regular irrigation.

    Austreim landscaping
  5. It has it's place and I have seen it work great on some bentgrass tennis courts in North Scottsdale.

    that being said, it is expensive and the payback in water savings isn't enough to recapture even after 5 years.
  6. Clay

    Clay LawnSite Member
    Posts: 236

    If you like a striped lawn, you will love it because you will have green grass, brown grass, green grass, brown grass.... :)
  7. devildog

    devildog LawnSite Senior Member
    from sc
    Posts: 270

    Did one (and only one) years ago, at the insistence of a customer. It really did work well. It was also extremely expensive to install; system, top soil, amendments, hydro gels etc. The only time we ever heard of a problem was in period of extreme drought.

    Few years ago the new owner called "my system is leaking all over the lawn".......... our tech called me later, seems the new maintenance guy they hired thought the turf needed aeration.
    Needless to say, he destroyed the drip pipe, and we got paid again to convert it to spray.:D

    Harold is dead on target, too many problems. The payback time for the job we did, was estimated to be 10-12 years. It can work, someday, someone will figure out how to make it fool proof and reasonably cost effective too. With Regards... devildog
  8. Joes94tt

    Joes94tt LawnSite Member
    from So. Cal
    Posts: 4

    Did a search and found this thread. I was curious if anyone in So.Cal has tried drip on turf successfully considering the cost of water is now anywhere from 3-10 dollars a unit. Most of the reasons for not trying seem to be not able to recapture costs. I think that is not necessarilly a problem anymore.
  9. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,829

    I have participated in a couple of installations here in So Cal. They were experimental installs where we plowed in the tube and then established new sod on top of it. It worked fairly well however I have some reservations about the whole concept and it's practicality in certain settings. There are a lot of situations where sub surface is an ideal way to water turf and there are many where it just will not work. I know that there are a few guys up in Las Vegas who have been watering turf with subsurface for several years now with great success.
  10. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,980

    We researched it when "Aquapore" came out. I spec'd all our ball fields stay with rotors.

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