We had the basics of our gravity flow watering system set up and the 1,100 gallon water storage tank was already full. We needed another tank! Since the first one was installed behind the tool shed, we figured we would use that one as our main “gathering” tank. We siphon the water from that first tank when it was full to the second tank that we would put closer to the garden. The second tank would be our “delivery” tank and would be the one the timers and watering lines would be connected to.
So we went online to check out prices and found that Tractor Supply was the cheapest in the area for what we wanted, and once an area near the orchard was prepared, we went down to our local Tractor supply and bought another 1,100 gallon water storage tank. Again, it fit easily into the back of the truck. We tied that tank down to the truck with lots of rope and straps, then set out on our merry way up to the property.
Unfortunately, it was a very windy day. Instead of hearing the ropes and tie-downs sing to us, as was our experience with the first tank, this time it was scary. We took the back roads and kept away from the highway, just in case. An empty tank is surprisingly lightweight in spite of it’s large size, and the wind was catching the tank and blowing it to and fro. We stopped and checked our ropes after a few miles and everything seemed to be okay, so we cautiously continued on our way. Then a huge gust of wind hit the truck and the tank and, as quick as a wink, the tank tore through the ropes and went sailing across the road. We took the back roads because the traffic was usually light, but as luck would have it a car was coming from the opposite direction just as the tank went free and was nearly hit. I could see the whites of that poor guy’s eyes! We stopped the truck and looked around to see if the guy was okay. He had pulled over to the side (probably to check his underwear) but then suddenly took off. We were expecting to at least apologize, but he didn’t give us the chance. So, if you are out there and recognize yourself — we are so sorry for probably giving you the scare of your life!
The tank itself was scratched up a bit, but really was not harmed at all. It took a bit of doing, but we got it back up on the truck and this time used twice as much rope and tie-downs and bungees and come-alongs and whatever else we could find! Luckily we made it up to the future homestead without any more incidents.
Once the tank was set, we needed to figure out a system to get the water from the tank to the trees. Ray devised two manifold systems from PVC pipes and fittings. The manifold was fed water from the tank by a short hose and then the manifold divided up the water into 5 or 6 separate hoses that each went to a tree. This worked great. But now we had to find a timer turn on the whole system when we weren’t there. Believe it or not, with all the new hype on rainwater systems and such, it’s hard to find a timer that will work with little to no pressure! Seriously, look at most of the timers you can find at your local box stores or even online – most require at least 10 pounds of pressure. You don’t get 10 pounds of pressure from rain barrels or most rainwater systems. To get water pressure from rainwater, you need to elevate the storage tank. For each foot of height you get 0.43 PSI (pounds per square inch) of pressure. So to be able to get the required 10 psi, we would have to raise our water storage tank about 22 feet. That is why most municipal water storage towers are so tall.
Luckily, while doing his research on the internet, Ray discovered a water timer that works on 0 pressure! He bought two of the Gilmour zero pressure battery timer at Drip Works (please see note below) and we have been very pleased. Now our irrigation system is complete and the orchard is watered whether we are there or not. Isn’t convenience wonderful! Posted at Small Footprint Fridays
NOTE: I got a heads-up today that my link to Drip Works for the no pressure timer no longer works. On further investigation, I found out why….. unfortunately, Drip Works no longer sells these no pressure timers! Why? Because Gilmour no longer makes them! 🙁 🙁
NOTE: Hooray! DripWorks now has the Toro Zero Pressure Battery Operated Timer. It isn’t digital like the old Gilmour one (which might actually be a good thing) but costs about the same! You can use it on rain barrels and such because it does not need water pressure to open the gate valve – the battery does that! Yes! Here is the link: http://www.dripworks.com/category/s?keyword=TOZPT This will bring you directly to the dripworks page that sells this Toro ZPT (zero pressure timer). At the time of this writing – September 12, 2013 – the cost is $35.95.