If you live near a stream, river, pond or lake, you may be wondering whether you can use the water present in those bodies as sources for irrigation projects you may have. While it is physically possible to do this, you need to do some research before you make any kind of equipment investment because failure to do so could cost you more than you bargained for.
To begin, you need to make sure that you have the right to take water from non-municipal water sources. This means that you will have to talk not only with officials at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department, but also the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and maybe even state regulators. If you don’t, you risk incurring huge fines and other penalties.
If you get clearance to use the water for your land, it’s not difficult to construct a pumping system to get the water where it needs to go. You’ll need to get a portable pump that you can mount less than eight feet above the water level–the closer you can get it, the better. You’ll also need to get a pad that you can put under your pump.
You may opt to use a submersible pump instead of a portable one. But you should beware that a submersible should not sit on the bottom of a stream or river if there’s a lot of mud and silt that could get sucked into the pump. Many individuals find that the best place to locate a submersible is on the side of pier pilings.
You’ll also need to set up a control system for the pump. If you opt for something simple and manually-operated, the costs will be much less than if you need to get an electrician to do the wiring for an automated system. One option you may want to consider is a pre-constructed pump unit, which allows you to hook up the necessary pipes and wires and turn it on.
It would also be wise to invest in a storage tank for the water. If you do this, you could pump a small flow continuously from your water source to fill the tank. Then, the water would be pumped directly out to the irrigation system by a second pump. It could also be located three feet or more above the level of the irrigated area, which would allow you to use gravity flow from the tank for watering purposes.
Regardless of the nature of your irrigation project, the experts at South Austin Irrigation can get you going on the right foot. We’re here to help you save time, money and one of our state’s most precious natural resources, water. When you need advice, equipment or repair services, let us be your one-stop go-to source in the Austin area. Contact us today!