I have a house which is about 300 feet from a lake and would like
to take irrigation water from the lake.
It is about a 10 foot rise from the lake to the house level.
I would appreciate any comments on the following possible
1) Put the pump near the lake and run 300' of 3/4 pipe to
the house. This requires 300' of buried UF to the pump, which
cannot be buried in the same trench.
2) Put the pump near the house and run 300' of 3/4 pipe to the
lake with a foot/check valve at the lake end. Have a spigot
tap at each end of the 300' intake pipe for initial priming.
(Using a garden hose and city water for priming)
3) Putting the pump halfway in between and running UF to the
pump and 3/4 intake and output lines as needed, with
My preference is for number 2 since it only requires one pipe trench
no buried UF electric. I think that with only a 10' head and
a check valve, it should maintain a prime....
Thanks for your comments on the above...
#3 seems to have the disadvantages of #1 without the advantages of #2.
#2 looks better IMO... but I really think you'll want a larger pipe. 3/4" is
awfully small for a hundred yard run. I'd use 1" at least. This is, for the
most part, a labor-intensive job with modest materials costs (except for the
pump itself). The difference in cost between 3/4" and 1 1/4" isn't all that
great, and there's no extra difficulty in laying the larger pipe.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt.
And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
The Hazen-Williams equation says 300' of 0.75" smooth pipe with a 5 gpm
flow has a 0.0004227x300x5^1.852x0.75^-4.871 = 10 psi pressure loss...
1" makes 2.5 psi, 1.25 makes 0.84, and 1.5 makes 0.347.
If one end of the pipe is always under lake water and the flow is shut off
while the pipe is full and the pump runs every week or two, this might work
fine with a leaky foot valve.
Thanks for turning me on to the Hazen-Williams equation, which now
is a part of my engineering program collection..... This was a good way
of showing the increase of performance with increase of pipe size....
(My background is EE, and this Civil E stuff is handy to know)
And thanks to all who replied . Lots of advice here, and I will
be considering it all before I start digging a trench....
Regarding putting elec and water in the same trench, I realize it is
not an NEC requirement, but local municipalities often have increased
restrictions..... Since I live in a rural area, I will probably use a
single trench regardless.... unless I have several hours left on the
trencher, in which case I will go from the other direction and use the
dirt from the second trench to fill up the first (grin).....Besides,
fun to use a trencher.....
Regarding taking water from the lake. It is permitted here if you
own shoreline property, providing one buys a permit from the water
district.... This lake has 330 miles of shoreline and is unlikely to
run dry from watering my lawn, which runs back into the lake
Thanks again to all who replied. I will even consider digging a
well with a shovel. Might do that anyway, just to see if it works.
Andy in Texas (retired engineer)
1) Pumps push better than they pull.
2) You can buy a pump with a gasoline engine, and run it when you need -
this eliminates an electrical trench, but probably reduces the convenience
3) If I was you, I'd go with your first option.
Where does this myth come from?
There may be some utilities that don't want co-mingled services in a
right of way but it is certainly not a code requiremernt.
The real problem with this plan is voltage drop.
If you ran a 240v pump and #10 wire it should be OK though. I do agree
you need bigger pipe ... for the same reason you need bigger wire.
300' is a long way
Know? Environmental concerns for one. If everyone starts drawing water,
the lake may disappear over time.
It happened where I live. A big lake disappeared from too much acerage
development. No more water in
The pump needs to be as close to the source of the water as possibe, I
recommend no further than 10 feet from the source (can have longer pipe out
into the lake as long as not out of the water)
If there is access to do so I would have the electic utility run a seperate
line and meter to that location with an outside breaker box to run the pump.
They would need access to read the meter, must be a sutable drive.
If that is possible, I would then run a low voltage wire pair to the pump to
control a pump relay. I would run 12-10 size wire for that distance. There
may be some sort of radio control options that would work.
I would go with a high volume/low pressure pump of about 1-1/2 hp and run a
1-1/2 to 2in line to reduce friction. Really depends on what your water
demands will be.
Also filter the water real good if using any gear driven sprinklers, sprays
If need more pressure can always install another pump of same type at the
other end for boost, about a 1 hp should do.
Dad and I did sprinkler installation for years in TX. Only saw one
installation like you are proposing. It was a very high maintenance
arrangement. The footvalve would pick up debris and the pump would lose
prime. Another unanticipated problem was no matter what arrangement of
inlet we used, the system would always pick up sand causing the hydraulic
valves to malfunction. We were there at least 2-3 times a summer to
disassemble and clean the valves. The owner spent more money on system
maintenance then he saved on water costs.
I can't speak to the basic problem, but as one who moved into a house
with such a set-up, it was a loser. This was a much smaller lake,
with occasional algae problems. The intake hung into the lake from
under the dock--down about 4 feet.
The "sprinkling system" consisted of moveable yard sprinklers on long
hose runs. No matter what we did, every filter in the sytem, or the
sprinklers, soon got completed clogged with debris---mostly algae.
Sank a 15' well, installed in-ground system. Works great.
On Wed, 30 Mar 2005 22:03:17 -0600, "Ron Bridwell"
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