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Permacultura Aralar
Permacultura Aralar
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Pumping water

Project: Permacultura Aralar

Posted by Victor Barahona almost 12 years ago

How we pump water in our permaculture site

In Permaculture Aralar have significant height differences, so it is necessary to pump water. We have tried to take advantage of gravity and as result we are able to irrigate 1 / 3 of the site at the moment. In the future we will extend this capability to higher places using renewables. We show now how we do it.

First of all, a picture of our beloved ram pump. It was installed decades ago and now does not work but we will repair this year. A neighbour tell us that 30 years ago when he was a kid he saw it running, it was loud and splashed a lot of water :) The important thing is could pump water for free. In the future we will distribute water all over the site without power, that moment will be a milestone for us.

Ram pump

Currently we distribute water from a small earth dam, and from it raise water to the water tanks on the highest point of the site, using a pump. Here is an image of the point where we couple the dam to the tanks. They are 80 m apart and 10m high, we use a 6ATM agricultural PE pipe and 1 / 2 ". When not in use remains plugged and covered with a tarp and vegetation. From the dam comes a tube of 1 "which reaches the lower part of the field, but here we see an outlet valve (bottom right in picture). The joint between dam and tanks is made with the white tube of 1 "and fast connections, so the installation is mounted very quickly when needed.

Pluggin dam - water tanks

Here we see a detail of one of the fast connections, they are brass pieces that fit together if giving a quarter turn and they' don't need screw, tools or anything else. As the brass pieces are 1 " there is a reduction of 1 / 2" to attach to the PE pipe. On the side of the white tube the piece of brass has a link with clamp. In the end that attaches to the dam have a similar union.

Fast connection

Here we see the first tests we did, the red piece is a pump drill, it works with any 500 W drill or more at a speed of 3000 rpm. The cost of this pump is about 25EUR. It is coupled to the drill and can pump up to 3500 l / h, depending on the height. This model can theoretically pump to more than 20 m which was sufficient for us. We see attached the drill to a small generator of 700 W that cost around 100 eur. The set works well but the problem is the drill is not designed to operate continuously and last 15-30 min until the thermal protection turns on. So it is not very suitable for this use.

Pump with drill and generator

So we decided to buy a pump specifically designed for pumping water, the model you see in the picture is cheap, cost around 60EUR, has 600W of power and can pump continuously without problems, very quietly. Since 3500l / h at the same level and up to 35 m in height. Pay attention, we must read carefully the flow charts of the pump to know how many liters could be pumped as a function of height. If you have a mistake with that the pump could not fit correctly. In our case don't have any problem and we are very satisfied. We have coupled the pump to the two white pipe sections we saw in the picture above, at the ends keeps brass fittings and so can be putted in place to pump very quickly.

Electrical pump

And finally here are the water tanks with 2000 liters of capacity. At the moment only used for drip irrigation of kiwifruit. We pump only in spring-summer, 1.5-2 hours of recharge each time, and do it once every 3 weeks-1 month. When we extend irrigation to more fruit trees we have to do this more often, hopefully we can use the ram pump.

Water Tanks




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