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drawing water from a stream below

 
Posts: 79
Location: Tuscany, Italy
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Hi all,

Apologies if this post is in the wrong place but it seemed the most appropriate category, if there is some place else that is better just say so and I'll head off over there.

So, I have just been clambering through our woods for the first time since buying our house, or at least this part of the woods where there is a small stream/river.

We would love to be able to harvest this for irritating our veg garden in which wewill have 180sq. meters of beds.

The stream is about 300 metres from the house and around 15 metres below is so the question is how can we get the water up this small incline to our 6000 liter storage tanks.

Thanks in advance for all your advice.
 
pollinator
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I would suggest one of these https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydraulic_ram
 
Stuart Smith
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thanks for the reply David! I had heard of these but don't think they will work in our stream, but what do I know? the river is a trickle but with the occasional shallow pool to draw from.
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Stuart Smith
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had thought of that Tyler but there is no direct sun anywhere near the stream.
 
David Livingston
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I think if this is a year round stream it could be enough as although you will not get a great flow you will get it 24/7 depends also on your usage . I would top up with rainwater too .
 
Stuart Smith
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that's exactly what I'm hoping David,  the 6000 liter tanks we have ate currently collecting rainwater from the roof but in summer here it might not rain for a month!!

We just need a way of drawing up a constant dribble from this stream.
 
David Livingston
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The big question then is what is your expected usage ?
Plus how about having a second system just for the toilet or have a  waterless toilet  system plus you will need water for irrigation ; How big is your roof could you not just increace your water storage . Plus how about grey water usage ?
David
 
Stuart Smith
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we only want this water for irrigation, we're happy on metered water for the house as our usage is not high and we've made tweaks where possible to make savings.

I'm thinking about a grey water system but this isn't going to be a quick job to do with the plumbing we inherited and the land we have to deal with so for now it's good water and the stream.

I guess we go through up to 500 litres a day forn irrigation in the height of summer.

6000 in tanks is as much as we can store next to the house without impacting on valuable parking and turning space however I'm also thinking of adding more tanks below the house in the veg garden and directing the overflow into these to increase capacity.

Thanks for the replies David!
 
David Livingston
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so you only have enough for 12 days ....... and want to put about three inches of water on each sq inch per week approx (if my maths is correct )
 
Stuart Smith
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your maths are better than mine!! 😁 i haven't calculated that far yet as this year will only be our third and each year we make the veg plot a bit bigger, last year we watered when needed using drip irrigation so it wasn't regular and not all beds at the same time, I just know we were getting through that kind of amount. Sorry to be so vague!
 
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A hydraulic ram doesn't need a high flow, but it does need some drop from the water source in order to pump some of the water higher. From your photo, it looks like your landscape may have the right kind of available drop. Would it be possible to put an intake pipe in a permanent pool high up on the creekbed, run it 50, 100 or 200 feet to a safe spot 5 or 10 feet lower, and put the ram there?
 
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Not sure if the stream has enough head but it might be possible to get an Archimedes screw to do the lifting of the water for you.  There are many versions out there now, some powered, some powered by hand crank.  
 
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Have a look at the Glockermann in-stream pump (http://www.glockemannwaterpumps.com/glockemann-320/). This is not a ram pump but does use the energy in the stream to pump a small proportion to a higher elevation.

I have not used the Glockermann pump (and have no association with the supplier) but have installed and operated a ram pump for a period. I eventually replaced the ram pump with an electric pump because I had to clamber down the hill to manually start the pump when it stopped. My neighbour did not like the noise. The Glockermann pump is quiet and does not need the steel drive pipe that is fairly important for a successful ram pump installation. The supply head to the Glockermann pump is lower than the ram pump but the required stream flow rate is higher. A ram pump would be the least cost option.

I suggest you measure the flow. Clearing some rocks so you can catch most of the stream in a bucket would be a very worthwhile exercise. You will also need to work out a rough estimate of the gradient of the stream (supply head and length of supply or drive pipe) and the height of the tank above the pump (discharge head).

My stream flow is about 1,200l/h, drive pipe was 12m, supply head was 5m and the tank was 30m higher than the pump. The ram pump was purchased on Ebay for about $350 and delivered close to 2,000l/day.
From the picture, the flow in your stream and the gradient seem to be quite a lot more than mine. You might have the right conditions for a small fountain as well as more than ample water for irrigation.

Let me know if you would like more details.
Druce
 
Stuart Smith
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Thanks for the responses folks!!

Druce..this Glockemann looks IDEAL!!

The link to their website doesn't work however, hope they are still in business!

 
David Livingston
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mmmm however the cost is over $1000 its really just a ram with some fancy publicity so beware
 
Stuart Smith
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ahh! you found a price!? I couldn't access the website at all!

A grand seems like a lot of money when all I want to do is water a few veg.

 
David Livingston
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+try the link again

They compare their product with a petrol pump and say it costs 50$ a year for twenty years therefore one assumes that the cost will be 1000
 
Druce Batstone
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If cost is a problem (when is it not), you could start very cheaply with a DIY ram pump. There are loads of designs on the web. The process will be very informative and you have a very good chance of reaching your modest goal. I am guessing that after you have water flowing up the hill, you will gain a great deal of pleasure and benefit if my experience is any guide. Druce
 
Stuart Smith
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thanks everyone!! I know what my options are now.

I'll post when I've got whatever system I choose installed and working.
 
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An all PVC inline ram pump is quiet compared with a traditional ram pump.
 
Stuart Smith
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that IS quiet!! more food for thought! I'll browse around for some calculations to see if I can achieve the necessary head of water. Thanks!

P.S. I contacted the Australian pump manufacturer,  the small 320 pump is around €1400!
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