British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposia

Irrigation equipment and design of irrigation systems Van der Gulik, Ted 1980-12-31

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th  Proceedings of the 4 Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Vernon, BC, 1980. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation  IRRIGATION EQUIPMENT AND DESIGN OF IRRIGATION SYSTEMS  by Ted Van der Gulik Ministry of Agriculture  163  th  Proceedings of the 4 Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Vernon, BC, 1980. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation  IRRIGATION EQUIPMENT AND DESIGN OF IRRIGATION SYSTEMS  INTRODUCTION The purpose of this presentation is to present the advantages and disadvantages of different types of irrigation systems currently available to farmers. The main types of irrigation systems used on pasture, corn or alfalfa crops are handmove, wheelmove, guns on tripods, travelling guns and pivots.  HAND AND WHEELMOVE SYSTEMS The  relatively  inexpensive  handmove  systems  are  still  being  used  throughout B.C., but are slowly being phased-out by less labour intensive methods. Wheelmove systems are a good alternative to handmove on larger rectangular shaped fields, and are popular because of the simple operation involved in moving the lateral from one location to another. A false belief is that these systems are capable of independent movement while irrigating; but this is impossible. The pipe would be unable to withstand the torque required to roll the system ahead if it were full of water. The lateral must be completely drained before the system can be advanced. Each section of pipe on the lateral contains a small drain which automatically opens once the water pressure is relieved. There are wheelmove systems available which will automatically advance themselves two positions when required. They consist of a mover with an electronic  timing  board,  and  a  100-foot  length  of  flexible  hose  complete with an automatic valve attachable to the hydrant. When a watering set has been completed, the timing board automatically shuts off the valve which allows the entire wheel line to drain. After a set period of time, the engine is automatically restarted to advance the  165  th  Proceedings of the 4 Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Vernon, BC, 1980. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation  system - usually 60 feet. The engine then shuts off and the valve is re-opened to allow the system to continue irrigating. The advantage of a wheelmove system is that it substantially reduces labour requirements for a relatively small increase in cost. The main disadvantages are that wheel moves are not effective in irregularly shaped fields or rough terrain, and are incapable of irrigating crops such as corn.  GUN SYSTEMS A large percentage of British Columbia's corn crop is irrigated with gun systems. The simplest of these is a gun operating on a tripod. Water is distributed to the tripods by a long flexible hose or portable aluminum pipe. The tripod must be moved from one location to another three or four times per day and, although this can be done quickly, it must be done so often on larger acreages that these systems are very labour intensive. Labour requirements can be reduced by installing a network of underground piping with properly spaced hydrants, so that the portable gun can be quick-coupled to any hydrant. This latter system is expensive because of the extensive lengths of piping required. The advantage of a portable gun system is that it distributes water effectively regardless of the shape or terrain of a field. If the field is larger than 20 acres and a gun system is preferred, a travelling gun is usually the best method to use. These systems are popular because irregular shaped fields can be irrigated with minimal labour. There are two basic types of travelling guns; the winch type irrigator and the reel irrigator. The winch machine draws itself along on a cable anchored at the end of the field, dragging the supply hose behind it. The reel irrigator reels in the hose and gun while the machine  166  th  Proceedings of the 4 Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Vernon, BC, 1980. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation  itself remains stationary. The two types of machines differ greatly in operation but are similar in irrigation performance. To operate a winch type irrigator, the cable must first be drawn out with a tractor and anchored at the end of the field. The hose must also be drawn out and connected to the hydrant as well as to the traveller. When the traveller has completed its run, a purge pump should be used to remove the water from the hose. The hose must then be reeled in on a trailer,  moved  to  a  new  location,  and  then  drawn  out  again.  The  traveller must also be moved to the new location and the cable drawn out.  The reel irrigator requires less labour then the winch irrigator for two reasons; the hose and gun are drawn out together, and the machine reels in the hose as it is operating. When the irrigation cycle has been completed the entire system can be towed to a new location. The hose used on the reel irrigator is a nard durable plastic and is not collapsible as is the hose on the winch irrigator. Most travelling guns are powered by available water pressure. The two basic types of driving mechanisms available are the piston drive and the turbine drive. A piston drive system is a bit jerky and needs to release some water from the system as it moves. This water must be disposed of near the machine. The turbine drive is quiet, smooth and does not discharge any water; however, it requires slightly more power than the piston drive. The limitations of all travelling guns are their: a.  high water application rates so they do not operate very efficiently on soils with low infiltration rates (i.e. muck or clay)  b.  requirement for a much higher connection pressure than other systems because of the friction losses in the hose and power required for the driving mechanism  167  th  Proceedings of the 4 Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Vernon, BC, 1980. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation  c.  need for special care and attention in operation because of the high pressures and the intricate mechanisms involved.  CENTRE-PIVOT SYSTEMS Centre-pivot  systems  are  popular  in  the  United  States.  They  are  generally permanent installations on very large acreages and are available with either hydraulic or electric drive. Twenty to thirty of these machines are working satisfactorily in British Columbia. Most British Columbia farms are of small acreage,  so pivot manufac-  turers have developed (but not yet marketed in the  province) a small  pivot which can be end-towed from field to field.  The advantages of  the small pivot are that it can: a.  irrigate odd-shaped parcels of land by distributing water in partial circles;  b.  be set up and then operated with minimal labour;  c.  apply the exact quantity of water needed by the crop;  d.  operate on much less pressure than travelling guns because low pressure nozzles can be used.  Its principal disadvantage is that it takes three to four hours to move them from one location to another.  IRRIGATION SYSTEM DESIGN For proper irrigation system design, information regarding crops, soils and climate must be acquired. It is also necessary to know the type of crop, soil depth and soil texture (see Figure 1). The evapotranspira-  168  th  Proceedings of the 4 Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Vernon, BC, 1980. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation  tion rate is also important, consequently, to assess this, wind speeds and precipitation data are required. The system can be designed by completing the 13 planning steps which follow: Step 1  Determine the effective rooting depth of the crop. From Table 1 we find that alfalfa, for example, has an effective rooting depth of four feet.  Step 2  Determine the soil texture and the depth of each soil layer.  Step 3  Determine the available water storage capacity. Unce the soil texture is known, the available water storage capacity of that soil can be determined from Table 2. (Sandy loam 1.5 in./ft.)  Step 4 Calculate the total available water storage capacity for the entire rooting depth. Assuming we have four feet of sandy loam soil, then the total available water storage capacity = 4 x 1.5 =6.0 inches of water. Step  5  Determine  the  maximum  allowable  soil  deficit.  Alfalfa  can  effectively extract only 50% of the total available water storage capacity before it begins to suffer (Table 3). The maximum allowable soil deficit is therefore (6.0 in. x 0.50) = 3.0 inches of water.  169  th  Proceedings of the 4 Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Vernon, BC, 1980. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation  Step 6  Determine the maximum design application rate. Soils have the capability of absorbing water at a certain rate over a specified period. The intake rate decreases as time increases. For most irrigation designs we are interested in  a  long  application  period.  From  Table  4,  the  maximum  application rate is 0.45 in./hr. for a sod cover. Step 7  Determine the evapotranspiration rate. From Table 5, for One Hundred Mile House the evapotranspiration is 0.20 in./day.  Step 8  The safe irrigation interval is the maximum soil water deficit over the evapotranspiration rate. 3.0 in./O.20 in./day = 15 days  Step 9  Select an appropriate application efficiency. A figure of 72% is a good value to use for a sprinkler system.  Step 10  Calculate the depth of water that must be supplied by the irrigation system. 3.0 inches = 4.16 inches 0.72  Step 11  Calculate the minimum time of application. 4.16 inches (Gross water required) =9.2 hours 0.45 in./hr. (Max. appl. rate)  170  th  Proceedings of the 4 Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Vernon, BC, 1980. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation  Step 12  Select an appropriate application time. e.g.  11-1/2 hours leaving 1/2 hour for moving the  The design application rate =  4.16  =  system.  0.36 in./hr.  11-1/2 Step 13  Select a sprinkler. After a spacing is chosen, Table 6 can be used to select a sprinkler. Application rate = 0.36 in./hr. Sprinkler nozzle:  3/16" x 3/32"  Pressure:  49 psi  Flow rate:  9.0  gpm  Application efficiency: The  final  system  design  72% consists  of  9.0  gpm  sprinklers  operating at 49 psi on a 40 x 60 foot spacing. The net amount of water applied to the crop in 11-1/2 hours is 3.0 inches, which will allow for an irrigation interval of 15 days on the sandy loarn soil.  171  th  Proceedings of the 4 Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Vernon, BC, 1980. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation  Table 1 EFFECTIVE ROOTING UEPTHS OF CROPS GROUP 1 Shallow Irrigation (1-1/2’) Peas Beans Lettuce Onions squash Radish Spinach Celery Cauliflower Cabbage Ladino Turnip Cucumbers Pasture species  GROUP 2 Medium Irrigation (3’)  GROUP 3 Deep Irrigation (3’ plus)  Potatoes Beets Broccoli Carrots  Alfalfa Asparagus Tree fruits Hubbard  Strawberry Cane fruit Squash Corn (sweet) Cereals Tomatoes Peppers Eggplant Brussels sprouts Red clover  Corn (field) Grapes  Table 2 AVAILABLE WATER STORAGE CAPACITY (AWSC) INCHES OF WATER PER FOOT OF SOIL TEXTURAL CLASS  Sand Loamy Sand Sandy Loam Fine Sandy Loam Loam Silt Loam Clay Loam Clay Organic Soils Muck  172  Available Field Permanent Water Storage Capacity Wilting Point Capacity 1.3 1.7 2.2 2.6 3.3 4.0 4.5 4.6 to be added  0.3 0.5 0.7 0.9 1.2 1.5 2.1 2.2  1.0 1.2 1.5 1.7 2.1 2.5 2.4 2.4 3.0  th  Proceedings of the 4 Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Vernon, BC, 1980. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation  Table 3 AVAILABILITY COEFFICIEHT (MAXIMUM FRACTION OF AVAILABLE WATER STORAGE CAPACITY TO BE REMOVED BEFORE IRRIGATION IS REQUIRED)  CROP  AVAILABILITY COEFFICIENT  Potatoes  0.35  Tree Fruits (Coarse textured soils) (Other soils)  0.40 0.50  Peas  0.35  Remainder of Crops (Until additional data available)  0.50  Table 4 MAXIMUM DESIGN APPLICATION RATE  INCHES PER HOUR Grass Sod Cultivated Sand Loamy Sand Sandy Loam Loam, Silt Clay Loam, Clay Peat and Muck  Loam Silty Clay Loam  0.75 0.65 0.45 0.35 0.30 0.25 1.0  0.40 0.35 0.25 0.20 0.15 0.10 1.0  173  th  Proceedings of the 4 Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Vernon, BC, 1980. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation  FIGURE 1 GUIDE FOR TEXTURAL CLASIFICATION  Per cent Clay  174  th  Proceedings of the 4 Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Vernon, BC, 1980. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation  Table 5 DETERMINATION OF MAXIMUM DAILY WATER USE FOR VARIOUS AREAS IN B.C.  MAXIMUM AVERAGE DAILY WATER USE FOR LOCATION Lumby Lytton Malakwa Merritt Nanaimo Natal Notch Hill Oliver One Hundred Mile House Osoyoos Oyster River* Parksville Pitt Meadows Port Alberni Prince George* Princeton Quesnel* Radium Riske Creek* Saanichton* Salmon Arm Smithers Spillimacheen Sumas Summerland Terrace Vancouver Vanderhoof Vavenby Vernon Walhachin Westwold Williams Lake  10-day period in inches/day  20-day period in inches/day  0.23 0.29 0.20 0.26 0.19 0.18 0.20 0.25 0.20 0.28 0.17 0.17 0.17 0.20 0.22 0.25 0.23 0.20 0.24 0.17 0.17 0.17 0.20 0.17 0.25 0.20 0.18 0.20 0.20 0.23 0.25 0.26 0.24  0.22 0.28 0.18 0.25 0.17 0.17 0.19 0.23 0.19 0.27 0.15 0.15 0.15 0.19 0.18 0.24 0.22 0.19 0.22 0.16 0.16 0.15 0.19 0.16 0.24 0.19 0.17 0.19 0.18 0.22 0.24 0.25 0.22  30-day period in inches/day 0.21 0.27 0.18 0.24 0.16 0.16 0.18 0.22 0.18 0.26 0.13 0.14 0.13 0.18 0.16 0.23 0.21 0.18 0.21 0.15 0.16 0.14 0.19 0.15 0.23 0.18 0.16 0.19 0.17 0.21 0.23 0.24 0.21  *Values adjusted to actual field experience.  175  th  Proceedings of the 4 Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Vernon, BC, 1980. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation  Table 6 SPRINKLER SELECTION FOR 40' X 60' SPACING  APPLICA- SPRINKLER PRESSURE TION NOZZLE AT RATE SIZE NOZZLE Climate (in/hr) (in) (psi) 0.13 0.14 0.15 0.16 0.17 0.18 0.19 0.21 0.22 0.23 0.24 0.25 0.26 0.27 0.28 0.29 0.30 0.31 0.32 0.34 0.36 0.38 0.40 0.42 0.46 0.48  176  1/8 9/64 9/64 9/64 5/32 5/32 5/32 11/64 11/64 11/64 5/32x3/32 5/32x3/32 5/32x3/32 5/32x3/32 11/64x3/32 11/64x3/32 11/64x3/32 11/64x3/32 3/16x3/32 3/16x3/32 3/16x3/32 3/16x1/8 3/16x1/8 3/16x1/8 13/64x1/8 13/64x1/8  51 37 43 48 37 41 46 38 42 45 38 42 45 48-1/2 40 42-1/2 45 74-1/2 40 44 49 40 44 49 46 50-1/2  FLOW PER NOZZLE  APPLICATION EFFICIENCY COEFFICI- _______________________ ENT OF WIND Cool Hot UNIFORMITY RANGE Climate  (US gpm)  (%)  3.25 3.50 3.75 3.95 4.30 4.50 4.76 5.23 5.51 5.70 6.01 6.25 6.48 6.73 7.03 7.25 7.46 7.70 8.00 8.50 9.00 9.48 10.00 10.50 11.50 12.00  86 85 86 83 80 86 87 86 86 86 82 77 79 82 82 83 85 84 84 83 84 84 88 90 85 89  1-3 1-2 2-5 2-7 0-1 2-7 5-7 2-5 4-6 3-4 3-6 5-10 5-7 2-6 3-4 2-3 4-7 3-6 3-6 3-7 0-1 1-2 3-7 0-1 4-7 4-8  (%)  (%)  75 74 74 74 74 74 74 74 74 75 74 74 74 74 74 74 74 77 78 74 74 74 80 80 78 80  73 72 72 72 72 72 72 72 72 73 72 72 72 72 72 72 72 75 76 72 72 72 78 78 76 78  th  Proceedings of the 4 Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Vernon, BC, 1980. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation  DISCUSSION RELATED TO TED  VAN DER GULIK’S PAPER  Questioner Unidentified: On how steep a slope would you consider gun irrigation? Answer: We don't really have any figures on that, but it would be determined by your application rate. You should check the application rate of the kind of gun you have. At the Ministry of Agriculture, we have a manual called the B.C. Irrigation Guide which contains a slope correction factor. If you have, say, a sandy loam soil, and an application rate of 0.45 inches per hour, and you're on a slope, you should decrease the rate by maybe twenty-five percent so you're allowing only 0.3 inches per hour. Then find out what your gun can do, and if it's putting out more than 0.3 inches per hour, you shouldn't be using it. There are many different kinds of guns, and their size will make a big difference to the application rate. The kind of vegetation cover you have is also an important consideration.  Questioner Unidentified: Well, assuming a sandy loam, what would be the maximum slope? Answer: You should use a small gun on a slope of not more than ten or fifteen percent. It depends upon the type of gun; for example, if you have a gun on a tripod, and your slope is twenty-five degrees, you may have difficulty in keeping the tripod upright.  Questioner Unidentified: Do you have any costs, say, on a per acre basis and on equipment that can be rented?  177  th  Proceedings of the 4 Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Vernon, BC, 1980. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation  Answer: When I was in Calgary we rented a system for 80% of the cost of the system. We had to consider possible damage to the rented system. If the guy laid it out in the field and then ran tractors over it, it would come back all bent and beyond further use. So, people will rent, but I'll be very surprised if they'll rent to you at a reasonable rate. The only reason the guy wanted to rent from us was because he needed just a little bit of water for a week. We charged him 80% on the understanding that if it came back in good shape, he would get a rebate of some sort. Renting is not really the best approach, for if you find someone who will rent equipment, you're pretty lucky. The per-acre cost depends a lot upon the size of your acreage. If you have a wheel system and you're irrigating 40 acres, I would say the cost could be about 300 or 400 dollars an acre. If you have a travelling gun system, it would probably be about 500, 600, or 700 dollars an acre. If you're looking at a solid set for orchards, then it would be roughly 1,000 dollars per acre. These costs are only rough estimates. Obviously, a guy can buy a travelling gun and have only twenty acres to irrigate, while the machine is capable of doing forty acres, so his acreage costs are doubled. Costs per acre also depend upon where you are getting the water from, for it may be necessary to pump it a long distance.  178  

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