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Friday, May 28th 2010, 9:47pm

retrofit existing system to get supply from lake

I have a 20 year old existing irrigation system (6 zones - mostly rainbird rotors) that is supplied with city water. They raised the rates during the last drought with a hefty summer surcharge - and didn't lower them after the drought ended :( I lived on a 20 acre lake with a very stable water level and would like to draw water from the lake via a pump & tank. The main problem is where to tap into the existing system. I have been told that I need to run a pipe from the pump to the point where the irrigation system currently taps into the water supply. The current connection is at the front of my property & the lake is at the rear - probable 200 ft. After 20 + years there are MANY large tree roots between the 2 points. I do not want to lose the trees & it will be very difficult to dig through them. There is also no other space between this area & the neighbor to run a supply line.


Basic question is - can I tap into the current system at any other place?

Any help would be very appreciated.

Thanks

HooKooDooKu

Supreme Member

2

Saturday, May 29th 2010, 1:00am

All you need to do is tie in anywhere between the city water source and your manifold (where all the valves are grouped). If the valves are not grouped, then you just need to get to the source side of any valve, because logically they are still all connected on the source side.

The other thing to keep in mind is that your pipe doesn't HAVE to go in a strait line. You could cut a zig-zag path through the trees trying to stay as far away from the trunks as possible. It will be a lot more pain, but it's an option.

Another possibility is to not dig very deep and do your best to stay away from the base of trees. That way, you only kill a few surface roots. Normally this wouldn't be a good idea as the line for someone on city water would be under constant pressure. But your system will only have pressure when the pump is turned on, and then worst case you're wasting electricity running a pump thats sending lake water to a leak (and presumably running back down into the lake). Of course the shallower the pipe, the more likely it's to get damaged. If you're running a low flow system (say MPRotators) you'd MIGHT get away with 3/4" copper pipe, or use two sets of pipe (sleave the main pipe inside a larger "protection" pipe). But that can get $$$.

3

Saturday, May 29th 2010, 8:47am

Thanks. That is the answer I was hoping for. I know that the valves are scattered out & that there is at least one at the end of my driveway - past the trees. I cannot do the zigzag or even the shallow option because the city water is between my driveway/house & the property line. That space is only about 5 feet and the maple trees in that space are shallow rooted while the oaks are deeply rooted & the roots cover the whole space. I do understand that if we tap in further down we will need to cap off the place where we currently access city water.

I will be renting a valve finder soon to specifically locate the valves as the original installer has only rough memory of where they are ( I couldn't remember that after 20 years either). Hopefully there is one near the lake that will make the process easier still.

Thanks again

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,080

Location: Metro NYC

4

Saturday, May 29th 2010, 9:16am

You will have a steep buy-in to escape city water. If you are lucky, you will have a mainline system with zone valves in multiple locations. anywhere on that mainline will be an acceptable tie-in point for the lake water. Of course, you FIRST lose the city-water connection. Not afterwards. Not just by turning a handle, but by removing pipe and capping ends. Remember that. I don't know your location, but doing this lake-water supply in violation of applicable laws can get you hammered with fines and evicted from your house.

5

Saturday, May 29th 2010, 3:01pm

Yea, I know the pump, tank, etc will be costly but the summer excess fee can mean $200/month - they are really trying to discourage lawn watering with city water. I do understand that I have to cap off from the city supply first and the implications of that. We happen to own the lake and many of our neighbors are currently using the lake water for irrigation. It is spring fed and was never low even in the worst days of the drought. Using lake water is preferred by the city (much greener than using processed water)

Thanks

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