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What equipment will I need for pond irrigation

Discussion in 'Irrigation Pumps & Supplies' started by jodyscoggins, Jul 6, 2018.

  1. jodyscoggins

    jodyscoggins LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    See attached image for layout map. I am about to build my home on 30 acres. There is a draw at the bottom that we are about to dig a tank/pond. It is about 1,200 feet from that new pond to where my home site will be. I would like to know what all I will need to be able to use that tank water along with possible rain water collected from my shop to water my landscaping. Any guidance is much appreciated. Thank you

    Irrigation System.jpg
  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 52,949

    You need to turn your site data into numbers you can plan with. For instance, an inch of watering on one acre of land is equivalent to about 27,000 gallons, so a 30 acre property would take about 800,000 gallons to apply an inch of water. One inch of watering per week is a starting point for planning, and actual needs could be higher, depending on climate and soil.

    Those numbers are at maximum possible distribution efficiency, so real-world water requirements would be higher. Can your pond supply a million gallons per week? That's a fair benchmark for making an assumption that you could green up the property from corner to corner.

    If you meet the million gallon requirement, then you can work out what you need to push that water around. Since there are just over 10,000 minutes in a week, you get to a pumping capacity approaching 100 gpm to feed all 30 acres, if said pump is running 24/7

    At this point, the idea of watering every square foot of the 30 acre property might have to be abandoned, but you might keep that 100 gpm number in mind when laying out a mainline for the system, choosing a pipe size with nearly zero pressure loss in the 1000+ foot run from source to zone valves. The greater your operating efficiencies are, the lower your operating costs will be. Overbuild your plumbing at the start, and the operating savings are forever.
    enorl76 likes this.
  3. OP

    jodyscoggins LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Thank you for that suggestion. I never thought to break it down like that. My thoughts are to use underground storage tanks closer to where I will be building my home and shop. The reason for the storage tanks would be so I can collect rain water first then if a dry season I can fill the storage tanks with pond water. I will be irrigating approximately 3-4 acres around my home site.
  4. BrandonV

    BrandonV LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,282

    3-4 acres is large enough that you need someone with experience doing the project or at least designing it for you. Pump systems let alone one that large throw in lots of special situations. Rain capture systems are cool but for doing a area the size your talking it’s prohibitaly expensive. The pond will be your best storage solution.
    jodyscoggins likes this.
  5. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,516

    Do you need to realistically irrigate 30 acres?
    Is this for farming or for vanity?
    If you live in wild fire country you can have a formal landscape of five acres around the house with the other 25 being “buffer”
    You won’t need head to head coverage and you won’t need it on weekly (lowering your install costs and water needs)
    If there’s fire danger in your area you can activate irrigation on certain secondary or tertiary zones to mitigate fire danger and make sure fuels are reduced on the 25 outer acres monthly.
    The inner 5 can be lush and green all the time, the rest depends solely on weather most of the year.
  6. OP

    jodyscoggins LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    No only irrigating 3-4 acres around the house, the rest of the land is used for raising cattle.
  7. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,516

    Oh my bad

    That’s a long run for the irrigation
    You will need to calculate friction loss and likely use a bigger pipe (like starting out with 3-4”)

    Then you will also need to calculate foot/head for the pump
    What’s your elevation above sea level

    I suggest calling grand junction pipe in Colorado and buying your pump from them
    Then you’re sure it’s right
    They are the best in the business
    jodyscoggins likes this.
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 52,949

    Strictly for the money, you get more bang for your buck by oversizing your plumbing than you will with storage tanks.

    Is there considerable elevation difference between the area to be irrigated and the pond?
    1idejim likes this.
  9. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,869

    You should contact the https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/site/national/home/
    Office in your area. They can not only help point you in the right direction, they can also help you with grants and low interest options for installing your irrigation infrastructure.

    Since you’ve not posted your location it’s difficult to know what your delivery options may be.

    It’s pretty obvious your checks are running east to west if north is top of photo, at that and without a topological map, your retention pond may be too far north.

    Where is your nearest moving body of water? River or creek? Nearest foothill, mountainous country.

    Again your location means a lot.

    What’s your ingress/egress path? Your barn and corrals? Irrigation rotation plan for pastures? Although it happens more often than not you shouldn’t run livestock on pastures while they’re under irrigation. Where are you going to put them? Are you cross fencing? Year round grazing or summer pasture?

    I have 40 head of mixed heifers and 3 bulls on 37 irrigated acres of mixed grasses and clover summer pasture. They tear crap out of the ridges and checks. I’m helping develop 20 acres we’re cutting for the time being. The new owners have their own ideas, some work while others don’t.

    Personally I’d quarter that piece, build the barn and corrals at the entrance with the residence a ways in after the barn area. That way you have to drive through coming and going so you see any changes comings and goings on.

    Your dog kennels will spook away the weak hearted thieves and water will run away from the working infrastructure.

    Landscape irrigation is secondary to the livestock and there’s a lot more involved that it first appears.

    Contact your local Ag and NRCS depts
    hort101 likes this.
  10. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 52,949

    I wonder how the wind is on the property. Some wind-driven wells might pay off their investment, as being able to keep the pond filled, if local rainfall comes up short.

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