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Low performance solar water pumping  RSS feed

 
Angelika Maier
pollinator
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Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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Our site is fill on swamp. So naturally the water table is very low beneath the surface maybe 70 cm. But the soil on the top of the water table is bone dry. We dug a hole, maybe a meter or so away from the house and approx. 70 cm deep. In the picture you see as well the waste water pipes running there. The hole naturally fills up with what seems clear and clean water, around 10- 20 cm deep.
What we want is to pump this water on the surface to irrigate our garden. A second great effect might be that underneath the house were it is always damp gets drier (the house sits on 50 cm stilts).
We want to pump maybe 10-20 litres an hour (we don't want to suck the swamp dry). Solar might be the best, because we have many days without wind and the need for water is there when there is sun. We want to raise this water either on the surface were the well is or a meter or so higher into another pond. From there and some swales it could seep into the ground.
All what I found so far are either submersible pumps for ponds, or high performing farm pumps. The submersible pumps do overheat when not submersed and I guess they won't last very long either. We thought of an archimedes screw pump too. We are a bit technically challenged.
Any ideas how to stick a system together? Thanks for the input! (I've added a picture hope it is visible)
well.jpg
[Thumbnail for well.jpg]
 
allen lumley
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Angelika Maier : Unless your neighbors who have been there many many years report to you that they have lived with cycles of a drop in the water table in the swamp, I
personally would rather spend my time worrying about the posts my house was sitting on !

Figure out the acreage of your swamp, adding in an extra foot around the perimeter for natural drainage into your swamp and figure the result in Acre Feet, You would
need an 8 foot diameter well and a fire truck to visibly lower the water table under your house ! and minutes to refill it !

Even with global climate change I do not see a drought in your situation ! But do check with your neighbors ! for the crafts BIG AL
 
Dale Hodgins
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Posts: 6816
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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An air lift pump could do the job. They come in small aquarium sizes.

Is the soil quite sandy ? With such a high water table, I'm surprised that you need to water. Hugelkultur mounds that are burried, would wick water to the surface. Wooden posts driven into the water would also wick it upwards.
 
Angelika Maier
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Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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True Allan, the house sits there for about 20 years. The neighbours sit a bit higher and only our site is filled ( I don't know who did that).
Dale, the soil would be naturally sandy, but as I said it's fill and very compacted. Every bit is different and there is a lot of clay. I will google for air lift pumps but I quite like the non technical approach you suggested with the sticks. How does this exactly work? How would that look like?
I actually did a huegelculture bed (vegetable garden 9 x9 meter) on another site which is buried with sticks, but there is not much wicking going on. It didn't rain enough for some month and the soil is quite dry (I usually only water until the seeds are up and going). I hoed there yesterday and the soil was not moist (perhaps it would have been drier otherwise who knows)
 
Dale Hodgins
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Any plant material that goes deep enough into the soil will absorb moisture and that moisture will be drawn to drier areas near the surface. Sometimes silt is mistaken for clay. It doesn't wick as well.

Your hugel bed may not have been burried deep enough to contact the water table.

The amount of vertical lift required to get water to a raised storage vessel is very low. I've used sump pumps to keep basements pumped by digging 2 feet into the water table and then setting the pump on a patio slab surrounded by gravel. A lot of water is lifted in a short amount of pump time. Sump pumps automatically shut down when the hole runs dry and they resume again once it refills to a certain level. They are cheap.
 
Angelika Maier
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Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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The huegel bed is actually reaching the water table (we have a hole to control the water). Maybe because I cut the sticks up it does not work so well. (the bed works awesome otherwise).
 
Agustin Magnus
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Hello there,

my suggestion would be to find a place as high in the landscape as possible where the water behaves like this. Preferably above the garden area to be irrigated. Dig a hole such as that pictured, but deeper with vertical sides. Place a quality AC or DC(with solar!) submersible pump like a sump pump with a float switch attached into the hole once it is well and filled. Be sure to write down the volume per unit time of the pump(ie GPH). Turn the pump on and pump to a vessel of a known volume. Write down how long it takes to fill the vessel AND how long it takes to empty the hole until the switch turns off and record those values. Next, take the pump out and put a few inches of gravel in the bottom of the hole. Then place a bucket with lots of holes in it(say 0.25 inches), or one of those commercial spring boxes with holes into the hole and put the pump in. Back-fill the hole around the pump box and cover the hole with something handy like a piece of plywood or get fancy if you want.
Now you have a working system either to pump to your gardens, or my second suggestion, which is to a large reservoir like a bushman tank or something. If you pump to a high tank you can increase system pressure by tapping that tank for your irrigation...

salud
 
Angelika Maier
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Posts: 1058
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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That sounds neat. Tanks. I haven't been around for a while, was so busy and we were so utterly unprepared for these bushfires.
I had the plumber here and he told me that he does not know of any decent solar pumps, he says that they are all crappy quality.
Pumping it into a tank makes a lot of sense, because it seems to get a lot drier.
 
Stuart Davis
Posts: 18
Location: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
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Angelika, I believe there is a cost effective way to get your pumping done via solar. Don’t mean to plug my stuff here and my site is not the best yet, but I have been testing the eHarvester load controller with various inexpensive pumps on my property for a few years with very good results. You can connect a float switch to the eHarvester so the pump will turn off and not run dry if the water level gets low. The eHarvester can be purchased at www.WiserWorks.com . Let me know if you would like me to package the eHarvester with a solar panel, battery and charge controller if you are unsure as to how to use it. I am working on some easy to used packaged pumping systems now. Check out the videos about the eHarvester to get details on how it works and please let me know if you have any questions.

I would recommend using a 12V Shurflo (google “12V Shurflo” )( use intake strainer ) as an inexpensive durable pump. The diaphragm components of the pump can be purchased separately and replaced if need. Also it is not going to break the bank if the pump does need to be replaced. I keep a few of these pumps around for replacements given they are inexpensive. They are normally used in RV and spraying applications but they work well for moving water around a property as well.

If you do not need to lift the water very high then a 12V submersible pump would work well and because there are fewer moving parts they are more durable. For a 12V submersible/bilge pumps, I would recommend something from Rule (google “rule 12v bilge pump”)as an inexpensive durable choice.

This is an inexpensive solar solution. I hear often there are no cost effective ways to move/pump water via solar. It is just not true. Hope I am not out of line for plugging this, but I could not help it. It fits.
 
r john
Posts: 134
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Another vote for using a shurflo pump. I have one on my canal boat and the quality is excellent. Even if it gets blocked the diaphram is easy to dismantle and clean.
 
bob day
Posts: 475
Location: Central Virginia USA
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yes, shur flo is a good quality pump

I thought i was going to have replace one the other day when it was trying to pump ice, but once everything thawed it went right on supplying my whole house with pressurized water,, 12 v dc, runs dry all the time and then starts pumping when water comes back,(i try not to run it dry but stuff happens)]been working many years now
 
Angelika Maier
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Posts: 1058
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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Thanks!
 
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