• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Haasl
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Dave Burton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Ash Jackson
  • Kate Downham

Getting water from a pond

 
Posts: 20
Location: Woodstock, CT
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have a large beaver pond. We’re having a long dry spell and I’d like to get water from it up to some gardens and fruit trees.  It’s 4-500 ft away and 40-50 ft elevation, thru a hay field.  Is this a simple project or a major undertaking?  
 
master steward
Posts: 8705
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
2508
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Rebecca, do you have power available near the pond?  Can you lay a pipe/hose on the hay field?

Here's one that would likely do the trick:
Wayne 1 hp SS sprinkler pump


Pumps push water much better than they lift it.  So you need to put the pump as close to the elevation of the water as possible to get the most lift and pressure at the business end of the hose.  This pump can easily push the elevation you need.  You might need to give it a bigger hose than a garden hose if you want to run a sprinkler or two.  But I think it would work with a garden hose for a trial.

On the inlet, they sell various doohickeys to keep the junk out of the pump.  They often have them for sale right by the sprinkler pumps.  So have the person at the store set you up with the right pieces and you should be all set.

If you don't have power at the pond, there are issues with just running a long extension cord to the site.  50' would probably be fine but a couple hundred feet of cord may not give enough juice to the pump.  So there could be a balance in deciding where you set the pump.  Closer to the electricity but a higher lift may be a compromise you'd have to entertain.
 
gardener
Posts: 1778
Location: southern Illinois.
404
composting toilet food preservation homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In my world, this is simple.  You do not mention the distance nor your finances. I have a large pond near my garden I use a gas pump from Harbor Freight to pump the water into 150 gallon tank.  I use a hose attaches to the tank for watering.

You will have to make several decisions, such as electric or gas for the pump.  Also the size of the hose attached to the pump.  I chose 2 inch to increase versitility. The small the hose opening, the likely debris will block the hose and also damage the pump. In any case, it is a good idea to put the end of the hose that goes into the pond in some kind of cage. The pump will came with an inlet filter, but I go beyond this with a cage made of 1/4 inch hardware  cloth.

The water exiting the pump will have considerable pressure. So that is one reason for the tank.  Using gravity creates less opportunity for the water pressure to destroy my garden.
 
John F Dean
gardener
Posts: 1778
Location: southern Illinois.
404
composting toilet food preservation homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Excuse me, you did state the distance.
 
Rebecca Hyde
Posts: 20
Location: Woodstock, CT
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks, several things I hadnt thought about — push vs pull and mitigating pressure using the tank. No power near the pond so it’s either gas or learn about solar.
 
pollinator
Posts: 151
8
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Totally agree on the Wayne pump.  I have used ours for years.  You cannot use regular extension cords.  I had some 12 Gauge? from a contractor neighbor that worked easily out to 200 feet.

In our new place the pond is further than the 200 feet.  I am thinking of buying a small generator like a Generac and use that to run the pump.  I could also use it for the house when the power goes out.  

We used orchard tubing which is really cheap and we ran two sprinklers at a time.
 
Rebecca Hyde
Posts: 20
Location: Woodstock, CT
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That’s true, I own a portable generator!  
 
master gardener
Posts: 664
Location: Lasqueti Island, British Columbia - USDA zone 8-9
299
goat books chicken food preservation pig solar homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So it is very easy to hook up a solar panel which is matched to the power requirements of the pump. I have a 12v pump which is powered by 130W. If i remember correctly the pump is rated for 12v 10amps.
So i have 2 50w panels and 1 30w panel, hooked together and than i have the power going thru a normal house light switch. The pump has a fuse on it. The pump is right on the edge of the pond and i store the water in a 300gallon tank, which than gravity feeds down to the garden which is at the same height as the pump.

The panels were sourced second hand from our community, and the pump i bought new from a irrigation store, along with the plumbing bits and bobs.

If a photo is require i can get some. I have less time this morning to do so:)
 
Posts: 826
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
113
  • Likes 1 Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Rebecca, the most reliable pond water pump is a gasoline pump by a reputable company that has been making water pumps for a very long time.   All you have to do is keep gasoline handy and it runs regardless of the weather.

I have one that comes in a frame, which can be tied down to the dock or ground it is on, so it won't vibrate itself into the water.  It should be as close to the water, with the shortest intake line you can manage.  Mine has a 6-foot intake line, is on a dock over the water.  I have about 15 feet of head over a 300-foot distance, the last 100 feet of which is downhill.  I bought a middle-of-the-road pump first, it wore out in 2 years.  Then I got one that was real quality, and it's been excellent, doesn't use as much gas.

The distance and lift you need is a lot, so a small household pump would not hold up under those conditions, if it could even lift it that much over that distance.

With your distance and head (elevation it has to lift), you'd need a minimum of a 1 1/2" intake port on the pump and a 1 1/2" output port on the pump.  A 2" intake and outputport  is okay, just use PVC fittings to reduce the output down to 1 1/2" or 1", depending on your line to the garden.   The pump should be rated for more head than you need.  They are called general purpose pumps, one that can put out at least 75 gallons of water per minute.  100 gallons per minute is better, but more expensive.  

You'll need minimum of 1 1/2" or 1" PVC line glued properly for that distance, with the proper fittings at each end.  A pantyhose foot over the strainer, that ought to come with it for the intake line, keeps crud out of the line.  Be sure to mark the 400 feet of line so it won't get mowed or driven over and broken.

Most of the good ones are cast iron, which is strong enough to withstand the pressure involved in pumping water.  But it rusts, so the right kind of maintenance is crucial, emptying water out of it if it's not used every day repriming it before starting.   A good one will last a long time if taken care of properly.
 
Cristo Balete
Posts: 826
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
113
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
And good pumps are expensive, but if you have a mature orchard that is at risk, the cost of a pump is not much compared to losing some trees and starting over, putting in years of growth before fruit production.  
 
Rebecca Hyde
Posts: 20
Location: Woodstock, CT
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I read a bit on lawn/sprinkler pumps and it seems they’re rated to 25 ft lift and 100 ft distance. Since I’m looking at 40-50 ft elevation and 500 ft distance, maybe its not so simple.

But now I see Cristo addressed this more thoroughly.

Cristo, is there a brand of general purpose pump you recommend?
 
pollinator
Posts: 386
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
161
dog
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't remember the ins and outs, but a ram pump may solve your issues.
 
Ed Waters
pollinator
Posts: 151
8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm kind of out of my league on the gasoline pumps since we never have used one.  Here are the specs for the electric pump

https://www.waterpumpsdirect.com/Wayne-PLS100-Water-Pump/p2771.html?gclid=CjwKCAjwlZf3BRABEiwA8Q0qqwnuKdgNM-_R0d3m54gN_XKC4MobzJpdKUSqFCTcmiId4V4xkcQ9oBoCtJYQAvD_BwE

We only used the electric for overhead watering on our salad greens.  Tomatoes squash berries we dripped and we used the water supply from the house.   We had to put a pressure regulator on it or it would blow all the fittings.  Really doesn't take much water at all.  The amount of water going through a gasoline motor is huge and if you have a large operation you will need one.

Cristo is 100% correct good ones are expensive and if you are going to use it a lot get a good one.  If you get one with a Honda engine they can run 1500 dollars.  

 
pollinator
Posts: 1374
Location: Bendigo , Australia
87
dog gear plumbing earthworks bee building homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am more worried about the Beavers.

But, as  water engineer, I am sure 500ft is going to take some planning.
The 50 ft lift will also add to the amount of power required.
Pump capacity required can be calculated and the variables ate flow rate, distance, pipe size and lift.
Flow rate is the volume of water per minute or hour required.

The smaller the pipe, the greater the friction through that pipe for a given flow rate.

For your purpose it would pay to assume you need at least 100ft head to overcome the lift and frictional losses.

Myths about irrigation pumps

This explains what happens with a pump as you change your requirements

sizing a transfer pump
From the above chart you will see that to increase horsepower you need to have a bigger pump impeller.

Horsepower loss
The second chart on this paper shows the loss of horsepower due to friction etc

Cirtrifical pump chart
This pump shows the horsepower needed for a transfer pump.
In you case a flow of say, 30 to 60 gallons a minute with a total head of 100feet needs a 3-5hp pump.

pipe sizing

This shows the effect of changing the pipe diameter.

pipe size chart

From this chart you can determine the following.
Allowing a 20psi loss over 500ft- gives us a 4psi loss / 100ft
Looking at a 2 inch pipe you can see with a loss of 3psi that pipe gives us a flow of 40 gallons per minute.
Looking at a 1 inch pipe you can see with a loss of 3psi that pipe gives us a flow of 6.5 gallons per minute.

So you select a pump to suit that flow and pressure.


 
Posts: 112
Location: Dry mountains Eastern WA
22
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Look up what a water ram is
 
John C Daley
pollinator
Posts: 1374
Location: Bendigo , Australia
87
dog gear plumbing earthworks bee building homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You need running water to operate a water ram.
 
Rebecca Hyde
Posts: 20
Location: Woodstock, CT
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Why is it easier to push water than to pull it?

Ram pumps:  I think these work by using a gravity flow to build up pressure in a container, and then the pressure is released suddenly, pushing the stored water uphill. If so, could one build up said pressure with a pump?  

Trees pull water up, could we do something similar?  Listening to a 4th phase of water discussion.

Thanks for all the pump specs details.

And dont worry about the beavers. It’s a 50 yr old pond with a long dam, the water covers several acres, I dont think they’ll bother the pump or vice versa.
 
Ed Waters
pollinator
Posts: 151
8
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Whatever you decide to do I can assure you of one thing.  As soon as you buy it all it will start to rain.  Happens every time.  
 
Janet Reed
Posts: 112
Location: Dry mountains Eastern WA
22
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

John C Daley wrote:You need running water to operate a water ram.



True.

There’s a very large water ram here that has run since before I was born...it is fed by a pipe from a huge beaver pond.  Gravity pushes the water through the pipe from the pond to this ram and fills it.  Then the ram pushes the water uphill to 3 houses.  I love the swooshing sounds of that ram working.

Terrain makes a difference obviously.
 
Janet Reed
Posts: 112
Location: Dry mountains Eastern WA
22
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Janet Reed wrote:

John C Daley wrote:You need running water to operate a water ram.



True.

There’s a very large water ram here that has run since before I was born...it is fed by a pipe from a huge beaver pond.  Gravity pushes the water through the pipe from the pond to this ram and fills it.  Then the ram pushes the water uphill to 3 houses.  I love the swooshing sounds of that ram working.

Terrain makes a difference obviously.



And I’m not an engineer.  I just see that it works and very simply.
 
John C Daley
pollinator
Posts: 1374
Location: Bendigo , Australia
87
dog gear plumbing earthworks bee building homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You dont need to be an Engineer to see that a water ram works very well.
I am in Australia, and know little of Beaver dams.
I realise now that there is running water from them.
A water ram will work there.
The flow rate is vry small, but thats not an issue, if it goes 24 /7 a lot of water will be moved.
It would be necessary to have a large tank at the house, 5000 gallons at lest to ensure you have enough water when you use it.

I have seen some charts for pipe and ram sizing , I will look around.
Maybe even search the permies site.
 
Janet Reed
Posts: 112
Location: Dry mountains Eastern WA
22
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

John C Daley wrote:You dont need to be an Engineer to see that a water ram works very well.
I am in Australia, and know little of Beaver dams.
I realise now that there is running water from them.
A water ram will work there.
The flow rate is vry small, but thats not an issue, if it goes 24 /7 a lot of water will be moved.
It would be necessary to have a large tank at the house, 5000 gallons at lest to ensure you have enough water when you use it.

I have seen some charts for pipe and ram sizing , I will look around.
Maybe even search the permies site.




Actually the one here does not have water runnning from it..it was piped with Gravity to the ram from a standing Beaver pond. Dinkum!
 
Lorinne Anderson
pollinator
Posts: 386
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
161
dog
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Then there is the KISS method (Keep It Simple, Silly!). Get a small gas powered pump with caged hose and truck water.

Get one or two of those cube water tank thingy's (with the metal cage, 4x4x4 feet). First option, mount one on a towable trailer, fill, haul and park; OR mount in the back of a pickup, fill haul and decant into a second tank where needed.

Another option, depending on rainfall, would be digging a water collection pond, rerouting a stream or channeling a spring to fill it.  Build a simple roofed structure like a pole barn or green house for rainwater harvesting.  

Geography may offer a spring, requiring a spring box; or perhaps there is the option of a shallow well (would not need to be potable); our neighbor hand dug a 5 foot well that MORE than meets his needs for their 1 acre food garden.

Lastly, utilizing all methods for water conservation in gardening from plant types to mulch or mound gardening could lessen the need for water to make the simpler options viable long term.
 
Lorinne Anderson
pollinator
Posts: 386
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
161
dog
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
How about old school windmill power - that has been used to move water for centuries!
 
Mike Haasl
master steward
Posts: 8705
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
2508
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Rebecca Hyde wrote:Why is it easier to push water than to pull it?



I'm not sure if it's technically easier, but pumps can only lift water about 32 feet.  They can often push it up much farther.  The reason has to do with atmospheric pressure.  If a pump is sucking from 33 feet, the vacuum needed is more than atmospheric pressure so the water won't get sucked up.

A completely unrelated observation that has nothing to do with it is that you can blow air at someone 3' away and they'll feel it.  But if you try to suck air from their direction they'll just look at you funny and maybe laugh.
 
John C Daley
pollinator
Posts: 1374
Location: Bendigo , Australia
87
dog gear plumbing earthworks bee building homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Windmills are great, they are quite expensive  and some areas do not have enough wind to wok efficeintly.
Its needs to be investigated.
 
That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger. I think a piece of pie wouldn't kill me. Tiny ad:
Rocket Mass Heater Plans - now free for a while
https://permies.com/goodies/7/rmhplans
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic