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Irrigation from syphon system
#535391 05/19/21 08:45 PM
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Okay I need your help determining if this will work or not. I'd rather not invest the time or money if there is no possibility of success. Currently I have a 5 acre pond with a 12" syphon system. I have installed a butterfly valve on the outlet of the 12" pipe as a means to hold the pond at a higher level. Please don't freak out. I have a more than adequate concrete overflow spillway. I currently hold the water level a few inches below overflow and can open the valve should a substantial rain event occur. My question is, can I tap into the 12" pipe before the butterfly valve, install a hose bibb, and water the grass growing on the backside of the dam? The 12" pipe stays completely full and if I open the valve it will syphon as it should. Those of you familiar with a syphon system are aware of the volume of water that leaves the pipe when in syphon mode.

Please share your thoughts, suggestions, and ideas.

Thanks, Dean

Re: Irrigation from syphon system
Deancutler #535396 05/19/21 09:05 PM
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Dean:

That all depends on what the 12" siphon system pipe is made from, and if the 12" pipe in front of the butterfly valve is full of water when the valve is shut.

1/4" wall or thicker steel pipe? Maybe. If it was mine, I'd open the valve, drain all the water out. Cut a hole where you want the hose bib. Weld on a bung that is threaded for the hose bib. Install bib, close butterfly valve.

PVC? Maybe. I'd feel a lot better cutting the butterfly valve out glueing in a "T" and necking down the one end of the "T" to accept a hose bib. You can glue the butterfly valve back on to the other side of the "T"

Any other material, I doubt it.


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Re: Irrigation from syphon system
esshup #535397 05/19/21 09:56 PM
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The 12" pipe is made from pvc and yes the system is completely full of water. The butterfly valve is steel and I have bolted in onto a flange that is glued onto the 12" pvc pipe.

I posted a picture of the valve in the image gallery.



Dean

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Last edited by Deancutler; 05/19/21 10:08 PM.
Re: Irrigation from syphon system
Deancutler #535400 05/20/21 05:33 AM
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I cant help ya besides posting the picture for ya. Good luck
[Linked Image from forums.pondboss.com]


The people who say I can't do it can just sit the @^#% down and watch me. Friends call me Rusto I also subscribe to pond boss mag. http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=504716#Post504716
Re: Irrigation from syphon system
RStringer #535402 05/20/21 06:52 AM
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Thanks, RStringer

Re: Irrigation from syphon system
Deancutler #535407 05/20/21 08:12 AM
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Dean,

You could do it with this limitation:

The positive pressure will be limited to less than the pond height while water is flowing through the siphon and to the pond height when the valve at the bottom is shut.

I would prefer there be no valve at the end of the siphon that manages your water level. It may be better to create an irrigation siphon additionally out of a smaller diameter polypipe that would service the irrigation system..


Common sense is not so common - Voltaire

It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


Re: Irrigation from syphon system
Deancutler #535412 05/20/21 12:28 PM
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Something to consider...What is the elevation difference between full pool and where you would put the irrigation bibb? That distance will be what gives you the water pressure, hence water flow. eg. 10 foot elevation difference would give you just over 4 psi. That's not much, double it (20 foot - 8.6 psi) and it is still a very low pressure/flow. Assuming you would want to water the back side of the dam higher than the bibb...you will lose gradually pressure/flow the further above the bibb that you go until you reach the full pool elevation and flow stops.

My house well system runs about 30-40 psi and can run one of those Impact Sprinklers MOST of the time. Let the washing machine kick on and the sprinkler can stop clicking and it will hang up and just spray the water in one direction. It might start back up after the washing machine shuts off, maybe not...That's at 30-40 psi. 10 psi is not going to run a sprinkler well, if at all.


Fish on!,
Noel
Re: Irrigation from syphon system
Deancutler #535417 05/20/21 03:36 PM
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Quarter Acre,

That is my concern about the amount of pressure that I would have. Would the linear length of the 12" pipe have any affect on the pressure or just the elevation distance? I know that the psi is a greater concern than the volume of water. It just seems like there is a lot of pressure when water is leaving the pipe during syphon. Even if I would be able to run only one sprinkler, I would count that as success. I consider that "free water" that I can irrigate the grass with.

Dean

Re: Irrigation from syphon system
Deancutler #535419 05/20/21 04:02 PM
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Dean, The amount of flow and pressure is determined almost entirely by the elevation drop for your scenario. It has next to nothing to do with any vertical travel (at least not until you go vertically a long ways and it reduces flow, not improves it). The exiting water of your pipe has a lot of force, but very little pressure (pressure is the force over an area - a 12 inch pipe would be exerting over 1000 pounds of force with only 10 psi of pressure driving it).

Again...What is the elevation difference between full pool and where you would put the irrigation bibb? We can closely estimate the amount of pressure you could have available.

At 5 to 10 psi, you MIGHT be able to run ONE of the cheap plastic sprinklers and cover a 5 foot circle...Just my guess. And, you would want to use a large diameter hose...the shorter the better. My gut says that this experiment would leave you disappointed.

You would be better off taking a garden hose and getting it to syphon over the dam and testing a sprinkler. The two systems (your modified syphon drain and a syphon hose) will be very, very comparable to one another in terms of flow and pressure.


Fish on!,
Noel
Re: Irrigation from syphon system
Deancutler #535459 05/21/21 08:44 AM
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I've experimented with syphon irrigation in my kitchen garden. The garden is located very close to the back side of my pond dam, with ~8' of elevation difference between
the full pool mark and the garden bed, so ~4psi at best down there. Drip tape wants 10psi to work properly, and 10psi won't begin to run any kind of sprinkler system.
Whirlybird sprinklers are designed to operate in the 30-50psi range, and they work a lot better at 50psi than they do at 30psi.

In my estimation, you will need a sprinkler pump and a source of power for that pump if you want to irrigate the back side of your pond dam with pond water.

Re: Irrigation from syphon system
Deancutler #535494 05/21/21 09:58 PM
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To be sure any system that requires substantial head to operate isn't going to irrigate vegetation located on the dam without a pump. It would take a drip system. I am sure Dean could figure one out. I 'd bet he could design his own system and it would work. I say give Dean a chance to prove RStringers signature to you.

Last edited by jpsdad; 05/22/21 09:58 AM.

Common sense is not so common - Voltaire

It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


Re: Irrigation from syphon system
Deancutler #535500 05/22/21 09:54 AM
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I have a irrigation tap,(if you will) on my pond before the drain valve on a four in pipe and with around 28 to 30ft of head pressure I can get a lot of volume that I fill watering tanks with and also spray rigs, granted the pressure is not great but I have a 1 1/2" line to fill with, takes no time to fill a tank, also at that depth the water almost smells septic which seems to make the plants grow.
And as for tapping into a 12" pvc, its a piece of cake, the water companies do live taps everyday with a tapping tool that you can usually rent from your local water and sewer service pipe supply place, or just buy the band from them for whatever size syphon pipe you have and whatever size tap you want for your irrigation pipe and install it on your pipe when it is empty sometime. Good Luck!


All the really good ideas I've ever had came to me while I was milking a cow.
Re: Irrigation from syphon system
Deancutler #535886 05/30/21 10:55 PM
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Like was said, tapping into the pipe will not be a problem. As for irrigating, without anything to boost pressure the only type of irrigating you can do is flood type irrigating with an open discharge hose.


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Re: Irrigation from syphon system
Deancutler #535900 05/31/21 02:18 PM
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I run eight low-pressure (gravity fed) drip irrigation systems at our farm and house.

My experience is that they work very well for "spot" irrigation, such as getting a few trees, shrubs, or tomato plants established and watered during drought periods.

I cannot envision any easy way to irrigate an "area" with that type of system.

I agree with Augie, a sprinkler pump would be by far the best solution to watering an area of any significant size.

Especially, if you have electricity at or near your pond.

Re: Irrigation from syphon system
Deancutler #536115 06/05/21 10:48 AM
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Dean,

Irrigation systems using pumps and sprinklers with pond water need to be filtered also.

I still think a system using gravity feed could be implanted so I will give you some ideas that I think will help if you go through with this..

1. A tap could be too restrictive to flow at heads it must work at in order to provide water near the pond elevation height. So if you were trying to irrigate the dam 8" below the pond water elevation height you would have 8" of head to work with at the maximum. Toricelli found that the velocity of water exiting an orifice is a function of head. I've take the liberty of calculating the volume of water that would exit a 1/2" tap at 8" below the pond elevation height (the least restrictive scenario). The maximum volume of water would be:

Vol= Area*velocity = (PI*(.5*2.54)^2)/4 * sqrt(2*98.1*8*2.54) =79 cu cm/sec

or 1.2324 gallons/min OR 1774 gallons/day.

This is the maximum flow and so distributing the water across the dam by means of gravity would reduce what you could deliver to the dam.

2. Low head conduits are sufficient to move enough water for irrigation. To understand how much water you can move ... go to this site. The numbers are metric but the data there shows that 3" poly of 14 ft in length will carry 1 gallon per sec under only 8" of head. To put that into perspective that is 60 gallons per minute or 3600 gallons per hour or 86400 gallons per day. So yes gravity could supply a very large quantity of water to the dam ... enough to irrigate your dam.

3. IIRC, your pond is supplied by a stream that flows almost continuously. This gives you some other options for using gravity to flood irrigate the dam.

Essentially any low head system will be flood irrigation even if the flow through any orifice of the distribution system "seems to be dripping". Low head distribution would require larger orifices of course but it is simple to calculate that the area of the distribution orifices must be a high proportion of the area of the distribution conduit. In other words, if you use 3" conduit to distribute water and the sum of the areas of the orifices is ~ the area of the conduit ... the orifices (the drip/flood holes) would carry a high proportion of what the conduit would carry and there would be "balance".

It occurs to me that you only need irrigation in dry weather when the risks of high water events are less frequent and more predictable. You may only need 2 maybe 3 flood irrigations to supply the irrigation you are seeking. Under such a scenario you could shut the main syphon and allow the maximum pond elevation to develop. A hopper in the emergency spillway would provide a reservoir at maximum head to supply distribution conduits. These could have full opening valves that could be shut off when irrigation isn't wanted. If rain is forecast, then you don't need irrigation anyway so this is good time to open the main syphon for protection of the dam and emergency spillway.

Just thinking.


Common sense is not so common - Voltaire

It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers



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