Irrigation: Your questions and answers

By Alistair September 3, 2022 11:11

Unsurprisingly, irrigation expert John Kidson has been asked a lot of questions in the last few weeks. Here are some of the most common ones.

In the last issue I shared some tips and ideas regarding irrigation controllers. Recently, and more than usual, I’ve been asked to appraise / audit systems with the all-important questions: ‘Do we require a new system?’ and ‘Can we add fairways?’

With the recent weather causing stress to us all, I can’t imagine there aren’t many sites not discussing water storage, reservoir locations and whether our fairways will come back.

Within one page of content, I can’t cover these questions, so I’ve tried to break down a few commonly asked questions I receive regularly. Over the next few issues, I will cover these items more in depth.

Can we add irrigation to our fairways?

Nine out of ten times, the systems won’t have the capability to handle adding fairway irrigation unless they were designed to include this addition on installation.

You would also require a large volume of water, 150m3 plus purely for fairway irrigation on top of your current volume used.

Can we add extra rings onto our tank for more storage?

No is the simple answer. The rings look the same but they have different thickness at the bottom compared to the top. Generally, this would not be a cost-effective solution.

Can we add more tanks and link them?

Yes, gravity would need to be on your side and best to make sure each tank can be isolated and work independently in case of future leaks. Other ideas include tanks being further away with pumps pushing into the main tank.

Can we use a travelling sprinkler?

This question has quite a few answers. Look at the flow rate of the travelling sprinkler and work backwards against the information on your pump(s). Double check against the sprinklers you have on site, that is if your travelling sprinkler has a rate near the same as four times the green sprinklers and your system can handle four times the green sprinklers then in that scenario the travelling sprinkler should be fine.

Could we add approach irrigation to our system?

In most cases, yes. The main thing to consider is your irrigation controller and its max station limits, particularly if it’s a wall-mounted controller – read the August issue of GreenKeeping for some tips on these.

John Kidson

How much water do we use?

This is a question I can’t answer without extra information. If you don’t know, work on an average from your water meter. If you want to work it out more, and don’t have a PC controller, then work from the sprinklers, check the brand / type and nozzle. Look up the metric nozzle chart online. Then work the litres into minutes / times with your run time and that’s the output. The answer is not easy as there are way too many factors!

Can we harvest water from our site?

Yes, in general rainwater off a roof direct to a tank is an easy setup. I recommend you have a filter to stop debris entering the tank.
Car park water requires further thought with items such as an oil interceptor to filter the water and this item requires servicing / clearing out so make sure you take this into account with the location and budget.

Reservoirs is a hot topic right now. Just remember a licence to abstract is needed for more than 20m3 a day from any source on the site combined. Any golf course will require more if the reservoir is more than just a top up to a system with another water source such as a licenced borehole – 20m3 won’t even cover a greens cycle!

I will be back next issue with some more hints, tips, and answers to your questions.

Ask John Kidson questions for the next issue on Twitter @JKIrrigation


By Alistair September 3, 2022 11:11

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