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irrigation off lake

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by 7474, May 6, 2010.

  1. 7474

    7474 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    Have a lake in the backyard. Wanted to explore the option of tapping it for irriagation of my 3/4 acre lot. What should I be looking for in terms of equipment? I was looking at tractor supply at various pumps, 4 HP range, 150 gpm, gas. Probably overkill but figure more the better, can run more sprinklers simultaneously, sprinklers will be above ground not in. Does the water need to be tested for suitability for irrigation (it is essentially a 4+ acre retention lake for storm sewers)?

    I am sure there are a lot of things I am overlooking. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    Last edited: May 6, 2010
  2. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    I am not raining on your idea for irrigation, but have you done some research from your state and federal districts on using non potable water for irrigation?
    What I mean is, most times you have to be cleared of using natural water and stay within the guidelines of immediate run off or back siphoning contaminated herbicides and fertilizers into the ecosystem. You will definitely need a back flow preventer installed. These are license required mechanisms and need to be done. I have seen farmers utilize ditch and pond water for irrigation, but they are under the articles of agriculture and some how get away without inspections. You are wanting to use the same process for a residential home.........big difference.
    Ohio may not be as stringent on this subject, however in my area, it is a no--no!!!
    I would hope some LCO's from the Ohio region will chime in and tell us more on this subject. Sorry for not being more informative...
  3. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,777

    In my area you can pull 100,000 gallons per day without a permit from the EPD...it should be the same almost everywhere.

    My father irrigates from a small creek behind his home and he uses a self priming electric pump that has a relay that turns pump on when the irrigation system operates. The main problem irrigating from a creek is debris clog his pre filter which would not be as big of a problem with a lake since the area is larger and there would be time for debris to settle out.

    The pump used is one from Home Depot and I think its a 220v FlowTec. The pump feeds a 2-3" (I should remember since I installed the pipe) PVC pipe. Since my father is a civil engineer he sized all pipe to allow for the least amount of restriction and the highest amount of flow. He also designed a filter system and a sump where he sandbagged the creek that allows some of the larger particles to settle out before being pushed through filter.

    We tied the existing irrigation system into the new pump system and his per gallon cost is much lower than city water and he can water at anytime and not worry about restrictions.

    here is a Wiki on water withdrawal permits http://sogweb.sog.unc.edu/Water/index.php/Withdrawal_permits

    It appears OH laws are similar to GA in that you can withdrawal 100,000 GPD without permitting. Since I am not a lawyer, nor did I read the law you should probably check prior to installing a pump, but generally you should be ok. You should also be considerate of people downstream which may use water to irrigate crops or livestock as a source of income.

    Last edited: May 10, 2010
  4. bmyownboss2005

    bmyownboss2005 LawnSite Member
    from Saxe VA
    Messages: 30

    7474 if you figure out your withdraw regulations and decide you want to do this , I have a few suggestions. I am doing the same thing and when I first started using to lake water I had a gas pump. It did good the first year. But the second year the pump was hard to start and I was constantly working on it and priming the pump. I got old real fast because I was using the irrigation twice a day.So I upgraded to an 220v electric pump. Sweet. Flip a switch and sit back and drink an cold glass of iced tea. No worries as long as you paid your electric bill..LOL.
    I used the Stainless steel self priming pump from Brekely(Sta-Rite)
    This pump will get er done. She is a workhorse:weightlifter: My pump is 325' away from my house and it pumps up hill from the lake. Which is a pretty steep incline. It discharges into 1-1/2" flat hose to a sprinkler gun.
    I am not sure what the pressue it is but I know you can not easily fold the hose or collaspe the hose by driving across it with a car. Its like a fire hose.
    It has a spray pattern of about 120'. The specs say 195' and it probably will depending on your set-up.
    I like cgaengineer's idea about the sump. I think I'll look into that for mine. But I just have my suction hose connected to a Foot valve(a must) placed into a five gallon bucket with 3/4"holes drilled in it and a hole big enough thru the lid to fit the foot valve. Then wrap it with screen. I even put in a wye strainer up stream prior to going to the sprinkler gun. It works like a charm Never had any cloggin issues.
    Actually the minerals in the lake water is an plus for your grass. I paid abot $800 for the pump $200 for the sprinkler $150 for the flathose $75 for the suction hose set-up... oh and the wire was pretty expensive. I think that was approx $700. But I got aluminum wire. You can get the cheaper copper wire but I wouldn't suggest it. Just my two cents.
    Lets us know what you decide.
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,568

    Good suggestions Bemyown,
    Actually this is a question for an irrigation expert. You may need an electrician to install the circuit and underground wiring. You probably have no need for a large pump. 20 or 25 gallons per minute at 60 pounds pressure may be enough. Depends on how many feet uphill (head) you have to go (more pressure may be needed). You should be able to run about 3 heads per zone. (If the head puts out about 4 gals per min.) Allow for some exaggeration by the pump seller. And allow for some degradation in pump performance after a few years of wear. Allow for pressure loss if the pipe is long. Allow for voltage drop if the wire is long. Be sure the pump is close enough to the water or foot valve works so that that it will not lose prime. Make sure filter will prevent clogging by debris. Make sure the pump is protected from freezing in winter. You may need a filter system on wheels so you can pull the pipe out in fall and roll it back in spring. Its a cold tough job in a bathing suit and waders. You really need an underground irrigation system set up by a professional. They need the work--they will deal.
  6. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,777

    If you set it up right you can have the pump turn on when your irrigation system switches on...this is how my dad has his setup. We installed the pump, the line to the pump and the irrigation system. We then tied the existing irrigation in the front lawn to the pump as well.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,568

    And ...of course you need a doghouse...to put over the pump to protect it from rain. The city water department will be worried that there is no "cross connection". They will not permit any kind of system that could, under any circumstance, result in pond water entering your house water--you cannot also use city water if the lake is low or something like that. They are anal about this. (Because in the past pond water got sucked into all the pipes and all the houses in a large suburb...when a fire truck started sucking on a hydrant.)
  8. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,777

    That's why you don't say anything and just hook it up. Make sure you have the city valve closed at all times. Some things are best not discussed with the city.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. dsfinney

    dsfinney LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I am new at installing irrigation systems and I have a lawncare customer that wants one installed. They live on a small private lake right on the water and I would like to pump from the lake does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations for a pump the lawn is approx 18k sq ft and where to purchase it
  10. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,568

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