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Drip irrigation for large turf area?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by justgeorge, May 8, 2005.

  1. justgeorge

    justgeorge LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 353

    I had a customer ask me for a quote on doing drip irrigation for his yard (and also quote it using standard rotors). 15k square feet of turf area. I'm starting to research it, and it looks to me like it's not even feasible for an area that large? The calculator on netafim.com says I'd need 10000 feet of dripperline and nearly 7000 drippers. Looks like I could break it up into 5-6 zones and keep it under 10 gpm.

    Has anyone done a turf area that large using drip irrigation? If so, what kind of price tag did it carry?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,267

    ...because it can and will foul drip emitters. I wonder what the longest lived subterranean drip installation folks here have on their roster. A top-notch sprinkler head installation will have a life measured in decades. Drip?
  3. justgeorge

    justgeorge LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 353

    Also forgot to mention that this is in a northern climate and it would have to be winterized......
  4. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Drip is NOT for turf,Drip is for flowerbeds and perimitor plantings.It was not designed to water lawns and will not water it properly and there is no way to get full coverage with drip on a lawn anyway.Do not even try it.
  5. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,661

    They have done it on football fields and baseball fields in Anne Arundel county Maryland . They seemed to work ok , but the test of time isnt there yet. They used a farm tractor , 4wd with 6 shute blades 6 inches apart , a custum rig . they laid the drip for an entire field in 3 hours .
  6. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,274

    Well, then I guess those folks in San Antonio at the Water Board offices better go dig up that drip that they have had under their turf for the past 12 years. It was installed using the drip line with Treflan impregnated emitters. Emitters spaced 12" on the line, rows 12" apart. Regulators, filters, flush plugs, air vents, etc.

    Palo Alto College in San Antonio has a couple turf areas with a total of about 100,000 feet of drip line. Been in for over 10 years.

    City of Corpus Christi has miles of drip along the street in the park strips.

    Drip can be used under turf, but it must be maintained on a regular basis and monitored closely. It is a pain in the butt to keep up with it. Regular flushing of the lines is a must. The lines need to be attached to a header rather than looped back and forth so that they can be properly flushed.

    So, it can be done, has been done, and is still being done. Cost is the main prohibitive factor. Either a trench every 12" or dig up the sod, lay the drip line down and then add good topsoil mix and resod.

    Jerry R
  7. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,187

    yes it can definitely be done. Not that I have done but I know a few who have done elarge turf areas. took a class from a guy doing a park
  8. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    Reading this thread, I just realized I've been out of college 15 years now........
    I haven't researched much turf drip lately. It does work, it's longevity is still suspect. As I understand it, "leaky pipe" installations have finally been abandoned. Soil type is a key factor here and it will be EXPENSIVE compared to anything else. Also, the examples of existing systems are all experimental installations. Why is the customer interested in drip? Well installed and presure regulated rotary installations are almost as efficient with much less cost, but even these installations are maintenance intensive. When working in the DFW area, I didn't get the short straw to work on the bad valve at the cotton bowl. One of the other techs for the company I was working for did. Those are presure regulated brass valves. I said and was later told that I was correct, that the problem withe the valve was in the regulator adjustment. The irrigation crew on site had torn this valve apart, completely rebuilt it and torn it back apart numerous times before giving up and asking for help. This type of expertise must be available to maintain any experimental system.

    If you take the high road, good luck and keep us posted on the nightmares :)
  9. Ground Master

    Ground Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    Netafim has been around since the mid 60's

    They are the are the second largest irrigation manufacturer in the world.
  10. johndarron

    johndarron LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    We have sub-surface drip irrigation that has been in the ground since the mid-1970's still works great. We started installing it first in orchards, vineyards, ag-crops and of course on shrub/flower beds. In the early to mid-1980's to the present day we have had new installs as well as renovations from conventional irrigation to subsurface drip. The two products we prefer to use on our jobs are Toro/Dripin treflan impregnated product or the netafim with the treflan impregnated filter cartridge.

    The trick to making sub-surface irrigation system work is by proper design and installation of the system/products you are using. Netafim has a great design manual for sub-surface systems. If you need further info. send me an email.

    Darron Bryant

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