You think you have pricey water

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by mitchgo, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    This makes absolutely no sense.

    What are those boat load of negatives?
  2. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    The "boatload" of cons include:

    1. higher installation labor costs
    2. more frequent maintenance and replacement of various components in hard water areas
    3. damage by rodents where it is shallow or surface installed
    4 damage by aggressive tree roots and anyone careless with a shovel if it's a little deeper

    But in most cases these are outweighed by the pros, some of which are:

    1. lower materials costs
    2. more exact delivery to plants as needed
    3. more efficient use of water (less evaporative loss)
    4. more malleable system... components easily moved, expanded or replaced as needed, either because of plant growth or landscape design changes
  3. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    Drip works well here on hillsides. Maybe it's because our soils are mostly clay. Cuts down weed growth vs. overhead watering when you have a sparsely planted hillside and cluster emitters where needed. Drip doesn't need to be level when you're using PC emitters.

    IMHO something like Netafim works bets in long straight plantings like hedges or big loops in groves of trees. I would not use it again in a rose bed or in plantings of perennials or annuals, where it is more likely to be damaged (trust me, this is the voice of experience talking.)

    Drip has been used here since at least the mid to late 70's (3 year drought) and many improvements have been made over the years.
  4. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    In some cases ... yes.

    Lost me on this one.

    PE is more susceptible to rodent damage, although I personally don't see much of any regardless of known rodents in the area or not.

    I agree with these, although good system design will keep the system functional regardless of a line being pinched by a root. Roots in emitters is another issue altogether, but there are also ways to deal with that.

    In most cases I would expect this to be true.

    Not sure where you are going with this.

    With system efficiency that can approach 100% .... there is no more efficient way to irrigate.

    Yes .... but there should be no need as you are delivering water sub-surface, so plant growth does not factor into the equation anymore.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2010
  5. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    Originally Posted by irrig8r
    2. more frequent maintenance and replacement of various components in hard water areas

    Perhaps you haven't experienced extreme hard water mineral buildup in poly tubing. IME, if the tubing is at surface level, and warms up, residual mineral deposits accumulate inside the tubing and then slough off, with large particles (crystals?) effectively blocking emitters. This all occurs after initial filtration at the valve. Happens more with well water in the hills here, but because boron and sulfur levels are too high as the wells go deeper, there's less of that being used now. Meanwhile, municipal water systems here deliver hard water. It means more frequent system maintenance and replacement of emitters.

    This year in particular I've seen more rodent damage than ever before. Maybe there is a boom in the squirrel or roof rat population here, but it's always been an issue in the suburbs where there are lots of untended citrus, etc.

    If you are watering for the plants needs (as opposed to trying for some kind uniform distribution network based on a grid, watering areas between plantings where the water will not be utilized) then you will add emitters towards the expanding dripline of trees as they age.

    In my experience, except in areas of dense groundcover, spotting emitters as needed is a better use of water than Netafim. Any system, including Netafim, can be wasteful. Remember the goal, we're trying to get water to satisfy the requirements of plants, not apply water uniformly across a space.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2010

    Messages: 18,668

    I was referring to drip on a slope in turf.

    TAMU is doing a study.

    They tend to be contrarians and don't get caught up in hype as the IA found out on their ET controller study. I'd give this study time to play out before I'd advise drip in turf.
  7. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    Drip in turf has always seemed like a nutty idea to me.

    Eventually the roots will intrude. And I don't like the idea of using herbicides/ root inhibiting chemicals into an irrigation system.

    So what do you tell the homeowner, that in maybe 7 to 10 years (maybe sooner?) he'll have to have the system reworked?

    Not a chance I will be doing this kind of install. I don't have enough confidence in the idea to sell it.
  8. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,005

    I agree completely. If someone was foolish enough to try root inhibitors, they sure as hell better have a RP backflow assembly. :hammerhead:
  9. Buck_wheat

    Buck_wheat LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 585

    It's difficult to make a universal judgement regarding an emiter system. In my universe, most of the turf is St. Augustine, which is a centipede grass, so turf roots are usually not a problem. Properly installed around ornamental plantings and hedges, roots are also not a problem because the installation is on top of the root systems. Installation around trees & palms is also on top of the root system, so these roots also aren't a problem.

    Here, every irrigation system pulling water from the city must have at least a some sort of back flow preventer (pick one) so cross contamination is not the problem either.

    Regardless of what you use to irrigate, you'll need some sort of maintenace, repair and replacement after 7 - 10 years so that argument is also spurious.

    Saving boatloads of money on water... and not wasting this precious resource may be well worth the investment... at least down here.
  10. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,777

    The ticket would be utilizing waste water from the house to irrigate cutting down on the amount of water going into a sewer or just wasted in a septic system. For this a dripper system would be best. The only thing you really need to do this is an ATU (aerobic treatment unit), I doubt the average homeowner uses more than about 8000 gallons per month, but its 8000 gallons saved from a sewer or wasted in the ground.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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