Pipe and riser irrigation system saves time and water
Location: Cohuna, Victoria
Water Source: Goulburn-Murray Water
Farming Operations: Dairy Cattle
Keiran Treacy milks 280 cows on his dairy farm near Cohuna in northern Victoria. When Goulburn Murray Water were removing a water supply spur line across his property Keiran jumped at the chance to install a new pipe and riser irrigation system.
“We have installed a new pump to deliver 16-18 ML to 35 risers along 2,750 meters of 400 and 450 mm pipe to water our annual pastures, which mainly comprise clover and rye grass. Our management of the bays has become so much easier.” Keiran said.
“Under the old system each bay was watered through a slide gate from the spur line. Over time the gates wear, and leak and we had to wait a day or two after the cows were removed from the bay to begin watering. With the new system we can begin watering immediately. This means we can get the water onto the pastures at a time when water is needed rather than waiting until we could deliver the water through the old bay gates.”
The system was designed by Luke Fulton of Nutrien Water Cohuna. The system was designed to fit with two existing re-use pumps on the farm so that any run-off from the bays could be recirculated. The design also allow for the system to be expanded to water a greater area when Keiran is ready.
“The pipe and riser system is very easy to manage. “Said Keiran. “We can manage our pastures better; we don’t have to worry about keeping the spur line free from weeds and our water now comes directly from a larger lined channel. So, there are water savings for Goulburn Murray as well.”
The system was installed in March 2020. The ease of management is the main benefit according to Keiran and there is no waste of water filling the channels. There is a time saving as he does not have to wait for the channel to fill before irrigating and he has no more channel maintenance for the section he replaced. He now has the ability to start and stop watering exactly when he wants and has eliminated any work health and safety risks associated with lifting bay gates.
Luke has seen benefits from pipe and riser systems across the district he services.
“Farmers get greater flexibility that is just not possible in a traditional border check set up.” Luke said. “The amount of water you save does depend on soil type, but it is typically between 10 and 20 per cent. Of course, these savings are there for all the years the system is operating. The key is working with our clients to understand their individual soil and landscape so that we can come up with a design that will meet their management requirements.”
For more information contact:
Luke Fulton – Branch Manager
Nutrien Water Cohuna
P: 03 5456 2664
Bushfire protection for heritage Boyd residence
Location: Bundanon Homestead, Illaroo NSW
Operations: Historic homestead, events and art spaces
Nutrien Water Bomaderry installed an ember suppression system to protect the former home of esteemed Australian artist, Arthur Boyd.
He lived and worked for many years at Bundanon Homestead, which came under threat during the Black Summer bushfires in January 2020. The fire came within one kilometre of the 1800s sandstone homestead, but it was saved thanks to the efforts of local fire crews.
Following this close call, the Federal and NSW State governments committed $300,000 to protect Bundanon.
Having worked with Nutrien Ag Solutions Bomaderry before, Bundanon Trust Facilities Manager Josh Turner entrusted them to install an ember suppression system on the significant buildings. This includes Arthur Boyd’s homestead, studio artists-in-residence and musician cottages, and the art collection store.
“Many of the historic buildings are timber, making them very vulnerable to fire,” said project lead Michael McCarthy.
“This new system will play a critical role in protecting the property in the event of a bushfire such as the one we saw in 2020.”
The system includes roof sprinklers, fire hose reels and ground based sprinklers, that wet down the buildings to prevent embers from taking hold and turning into a fire.
The system’s main diesel pump set is connected to two 150,000 litre freshwater tanks. The 44 kilowatt pump can be started via SMS text message.
The system is set up to ensure water is available when it’s needed most. It includes a ball float in the freshwater tanks that automatically triggers a second 44kw diesel pump to pump water from the dam, 900 metres away, to top up the tanks if they get below half-full.
Both pumps run at 17 litres per second and they have a fuel capacity of 13 hours. This provides ample protection for the historic homestead.
Solar Pumping System Benefits Stock
Location: Alpha, Central Queensland Water
Water Source: Dam
Farming Operations: Organic Beef Cattle
Total Eden Rockhampton were commissioned to design and install this 6480 watt Lorentz solar pumping system in Alpha, located 439Km west of Rockhampton in Central Queensland. The 15,417 Ha property is home to 2000 head of organic beef cattle, who require a consistent supply of drinking water to ensure optimal health and growth of the herd.
Drawing water directly from an existing dam, the system consists of 24 x 270watt solar modules supported in a clenergy 24 module fixed array frame. The system is operated via a Lorentz Ps4000 Solar controller, including Aquatron 240V back up box with redundancy, ensuring a consistent water supply to the property. The SJ8-15 submersible Lorentz Centrifugal pump is floated via a Lorentz dam float to keep the pump from pumping mud at the bottom of the dam. By floating the pump in the cleaner water, there is a reduced risk of sediment and debris entering the system.
The system pumps approximately 100,000 litres of water each day with a total dynamic head of 24 metres. The two-kilometre mainline, comprised of 90mm poly, pumps water from the dam to a turkey’s nest on a high point of the property. From here the water is gravity fed throughout the property through a network of 75mm poly pipe.
In addition to supplying stock water the solar pumping system is utilised by the homestead to maintain the gardens and outdoor areas around the home.
New Life for The Pines Golf Course
Location: Hope Island, QLD
Operations: Golf and Country Club
Sanctuary Cove Golf and Country Club’s premier golf course has been rejuvenated thanks to new irrigation works completed by Nutrien Water.
Nutrien Water Nerang was commissioned to renew the 30-year-old The Pines golf course irrigation system at Sanctuary Cove Golf and Country Club on the Gold Coast.
The irrigation system was originally installed in 1988 and had reached the end of its lifespan, so it was decided to replace the whole system.
Working closely with the club’s Golf Course Superintendent Paul McLean, Nutrien Water’s Project Manager Steve Moncrieff headed up the works, which began in October last year and were completed mid-August.
The project was done sequentially, with the team completing one hole of the 21-hole golf course at a time, which allowed the club to continuously offer its members an 18-hole course.
“Whilst we replaced the system, we had to make sure the construction didn’t impact the entirety of the old irrigation system; it was a requirement to keep the existing system as operational as possible so that it could keep the rest of the golf course in playing condition,” said Steve.
The project involved a complete upgrade of the irrigation system including new main line, lateral lines, isolation valves and Infinity™ sprinklers incorporating a Toro Lynx™ Central Control system, allowing the club to have full control of the irrigation system.
“The new system enables the club to apply the right amount of water every time it irrigates, based on an optimal water window and time frame the central control system establishes,” Steve said.
“With the new materials we have used, this new irrigation system will water the golf course for the next 30 years or more.”
Steve explained how the irrigation system was like a human body and required continued upkeep and care.
“It's like a body – there is a pumping heart, which is the pump station. Then there are the pipes, which are like veins, ensuring water is being delivered around the golf course. And you’ve got the brain, which is the computer system,” Steve said.
“It's not a set and forget system, there's always continual, preventative maintenance needed.”