Every irrigation project is different, which is why each case should have its own unique assessment. Both commercial and large scale projects require careful planning and design that will make sure the system’s performance is never affected. Some of the factors that can have cause issues are pressure loss due to friction or elevation changes. The total flow of any system should always be carefully evaluated.
Type of Water Source
The first thing we do is determine what kind of water source you will be using. For example, this will either be a pump, or a city water meter.
If the system is to run off a pump, it is important to size the pump correctly. Pumps that operate at pressures and flow rates too low for which they have been designed will run inefficiently. This will cause the pump to wear out faster over time. The correct pump size will be determined by our desired total system flow. In most cases, this will be a maximum flow of 50 GPM at 60 PSI.
Maximum Total System Flow
Next, we determine your maximum total system flow. If you are using a pump as a water source, this information will already be known when sizing the pump. If you are using city supplied water for your source, this is determined by three constraints:
- Maximum allowable flow through water meter
- Maximum allowable flow through service line
- Total length of service line
The most limiting constraint will determine your total system flow.
After determining what type of water source you will use, as well as the maximum total system flow, we are ready to start drafting your irrigation system. The design software allows us to accurately place sprinkler heads in what is called “head-to-head” spacing. This is standard practice in the industry, and ensures the most uniform coverage.
We determine all the locations of the sprinkler heads for the whole project before any further steps are taken. At this point the drafting software will help us determine the number of heads per zone, mainline pipe size, and lateral pipe size. We have now taken the necessary steps in planning a high quality irrigation system that will operate hassle free for years to come.