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Author Topic: Want to pump water very long distance from brook  (Read 9545 times)

Offline Going Galt

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Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« on: November 11, 2009, 05:29:17 PM »
Some of you may have seen from other posts that I bought some off grid unimproved land, and that I'm hoping to plant some apples and other permanent crops there.  I do not live on this land and will only be there occasionally for now.  So, I need to come up with a reasonable way to water plants when I'm not there.  There is no electricity, no well and not yet any cleared building site.  There is a brook, and depending on where the brook is relative to where I would plant things -- the vertical rise ranges from 50-100 feet, and the distance would be 700 to 2700 feet (with 2700 feet being the most reliable water supply as the 700 foot distance to the brook is probably going to be intermittent).

Someone else suggested drip irrigation from 55 gallon drums.  This sounds like a good idea, if I can only figure out a way to fill them.  Carrying that much water through thick brush is unrealistic, and even if I managed to clear a path it'd still be way too much effort.

So, I have to pump it.  It would be acceptable if I only filled them by running a generator to power a pump for a little while when I'm there, then let the drums drain out slowly on their own when I'm away.  Better would be some kind of solar powered thing that slowly pumps every so often every day (it is quieter and wouldn't have the risk of me not making my scheduled visit in time.)

Is this even possible?  Are there affordable ways to pump water that far?  If so, then I at least have a starting point and can then figure out if I want to power it temporarily with a generator, or use solar.



Offline Going Galt

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Re: Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2009, 05:39:02 PM »
Actually I wouldn't need a generator at all if the pump were already gas powered.  However, that would rule out solar and require that I bring the pump there each time I want to top off the drums.


Offline Going Galt

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Re: Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2009, 05:52:53 PM »
Would this do it?

http://www.utilityfree.com/solar/waterpumping/slowpump.html

Its $500, then I guess I'd need to buy the solar panel and of course all the hose.  (PE pipe?)


Offline Cacinok

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Re: Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2009, 09:09:14 AM »
check this link]http://www.riferam.com/]link, they sell a couple of pumps that might work for you.  i don't know of any purely mechanical pumps that will get the water as far or high as you need, the height is the main problem.   i'm not an expert, however, so there might be something out there.

a ram pump might get your lift close, but you need both flow and drop for it to work.

the sling pump on the site i linked will lift water 82' and it just needs flow to do it.  iirc, these are also called spiral pumps and have been attached to the side of water wheels.  it's basically a hose wrapped in a circle attached to something ridged, such as the water wheel.  there is a small funnel on the hose at the outermost end.  as the water wheel spins, the funnel gulps water and then air, then water.  as the wheel spins the water spirals towards the center.  w/ the constant air/water/air/water pattern the previously gulped water gets pushed up and you essentially have a pulsing water flow.  i don't recall the lifting distances, but it was pretty good.  i've seen videos on the web of one working, it was impressive.  

you may need to use a ram or spiral pump to get the water up to a holding tank and then use the solar pump to move it the rest of the way.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiral_pump

i wish i had a stream flowing through my property so i could experiment w/ this stuff.  (i think i might be a nerd)
« Last Edit: November 12, 2009, 09:14:39 AM by Cacinok »

Offline Going Galt

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Re: Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2009, 04:53:20 PM »
Unfortunately, a ram pump won't work for me because I have neither flow (it trickles) nor drop.  All 1500 or so feet of brook that I own is pretty much at nearly the same level to itself... it probably goes down a few feet from one end to the other but you could never tell.  The flow does pick up near the end of it where two branches combine, but that is even further away (2700 feet) from where I want it.

I don't really want to do this, but the brook is not on the border and there is more land beyond it.  It might be possible to plant way back there, where the land would be at the same level as the brook.  I'm not sure how wet it is going to be though (apple trees don't like to swim in water), plus it'd be very far away and may require some clearing first.




Offline Uncle Bob (he ain’t right)

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Re: Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2009, 06:08:17 PM »
A good friend of mine does this with a 6HP gasoline powered pump. They cost about $250 at farm supply stores. He uses old fire hoses to pump through. He obtains the old fire hose from differant fire departments after they don't pass their hydrotest. He has about a 60 foot lift with this setup.

Hope this helps

Offline Going Galt

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Re: Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2009, 07:20:30 PM »
Do you happen to know any details about this gas powered pump? 

Interesting idea about the fire hose.  I had been wondering what kind of hose/pipe I'd need to run.  I was thinking of your usual black PE pipe, although that will be a chore to unroll and get to lie flat.  Plus, I hate trying to get those hose clamps to stay on PE pipe (and I need to be able to attach/detach the pump at least twice a season since I'm not leaving it for the winter).  If I could get a hose that is cheap, easy to roll and can be attached by screwing it onto a fitting -- that would be ideal.





Offline Going Galt

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Re: Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2009, 07:42:44 PM »
Is this an example of the gas pump?

http://www.tractorsupply.com/agriculture-farming-ranching/transfer-pumps-tanks-parts/transfer-pumps/champion-5-5-hp-3-in-water-pump-2145000

I'm not sure what "head size: 98 feet" means though.  Is that the vertical rise it can pump?

The price is right, but 264GPM is a wee bit high.  After I turn it on and run back to the end of the hose, there will be thousands of gallons all over the place. 



Offline Cacinok

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Re: Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2009, 04:00:24 AM »
Unfortunately, a ram pump won't work for me because I have neither flow (it trickles) nor drop.  All 1500 or so feet of brook that I own is pretty much at nearly the same level to itself... it probably goes down a few feet from one end to the other but you could never tell.  The flow does pick up near the end of it where two branches combine, but that is even further away (2700 feet) from where I want it.

I don't really want to do this, but the brook is not on the border and there is more land beyond it.  It might be possible to plant way back there, where the land would be at the same level as the brook.  I'm not sure how wet it is going to be though (apple trees don't like to swim in water), plus it'd be very far away and may require some clearing first.





definitely hard to do w/o much of a flow or drop.  one interesting thing about the ram pump is that if there's a hill by your brook, you can create an artificial drop, but it kind of defeats the purpose - go down to go up.

Offline Uncle Bob (he ain’t right)

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Re: Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2009, 04:14:44 AM »
Is this an example of the gas pump?

http://www.tractorsupply.com/agriculture-farming-ranching/transfer-pumps-tanks-parts/transfer-pumps/champion-5-5-hp-3-in-water-pump-2145000

I'm not sure what "head size: 98 feet" means though.  Is that the vertical rise it can pump?

The price is right, but 264GPM is a wee bit high.  After I turn it on and run back to the end of the hose, there will be thousands of gallons all over the place. 




Offline Uncle Bob (he ain’t right)

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Re: Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2009, 04:24:13 AM »
Is this an example of the gas pump?

http://www.tractorsupply.com/agriculture-farming-ranching/transfer-pumps-tanks-parts/transfer-pumps/champion-5-5-hp-3-in-water-pump-2145000

I'm not sure what "head size: 98 feet" means though.  Is that the vertical rise it can pump?

The price is right, but 264GPM is a wee bit high.  After I turn it on and run back to the end of the hose, there will be thousands of gallons all over the place.  
The head is the lift it can do. And the flow is rated without restrictions. You also don't have to run them at full speed.

« Last Edit: November 13, 2009, 04:27:15 AM by Uncle Bob (he ain’t right) »

Offline Going Galt

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Re: Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2009, 04:24:34 PM »
Is the max head affected at all by horizontal distance?  e.g. if head is 98 feet, will I still get up to 98 feet up with it even if it has to go 1000 feet horizontally in order to go up that high?  It seems like there would be more weight of water to push if the hose were longer.  But I was also thinking that I could do fine with a narrow hose, an inch or less, so there'd be less water to push.  Your typical 1.25" or 2" PE pipe would support way more flow than I could ever possibly need.

So, speed can be controlled, like a lawn mower's throttle typically has?




Offline Jackncoke

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Re: Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2009, 09:33:18 PM »
Check out

 http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/pumps/ecatalog/N-bir/No-30?op=search

It's where I work, and we carry about 300+ pages of pumps, plus like a gazillion other things. Don't pay attention to the price. If you find something you want, I'll try to get you the best price I can on it. I'm not a sales rep, and I don't get commission. I'm just trying to help a fellow forum member.

To answer your question...head is the total 'vertical rise' the pump has to push the fluid. Let's use your typical basement sump pump as an example. If you plumbing has to go up 5 ft, then exit your wall and drain straight out, or down hill...it has 5 ft of head. If the plumbing continues outside through, say a 100ft. garden hose, then you need to measure the how high the hose gets. This measurement gets added to your total head. An easy way to measure this additional height would be with string and a tape measure...

There's a few additional things to consider in your set up. You may want a screen to keep particles from destroying your impeller. It sounds like you won't need a continuous duty pump, so that will keep price down. The diameter of the plumbing is going to effect the flow of water like you pointed out. To control this, use a ball valve or something similar. If you have more specific questions, let me know.
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Offline Going Galt

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Re: Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2009, 02:02:42 PM »
Thanks for the Grainger link; I will have a look.

One thing I'll need is a hose or pipe.  The cheapest I've found so far is this plastic piping called "PEX".  Does anyone know anything about it?  HD sells 500 feet roll of 1/2" PEX pipe for $125, but I see it for even less online.   I just need to make sure it'll work and that there are fittings which let me connect and disconnect it from a pump (what nozzle does a typical pump have anyway?)



Offline Jackncoke

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Re: Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2009, 03:27:20 PM »
I'm not familiar with the PEX piping. For your application, I think a normal garden hose would work fine. As far as fittings go, pumps are threaded in NPT (National Pipe Thread). Garden hose is not threaded the same, so you would need an adapter, usually just a few bucks.
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Offline “Mark”

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Re: Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2009, 08:59:24 AM »
How much rain do you get? An alternative to pumping water is to hold the water you do get in the ground. Look into using swales.
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Offline Cacinok

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Re: Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2009, 09:50:10 AM »
Thanks for the Grainger link; I will have a look.

One thing I'll need is a hose or pipe.  The cheapest I've found so far is this plastic piping called "PEX".  Does anyone know anything about it?  HD sells 500 feet roll of 1/2" PEX pipe for $125, but I see it for even less online.   I just need to make sure it'll work and that there are fittings which let me connect and disconnect it from a pump (what nozzle does a typical pump have anyway?)



PEX is primarily used for indoor plumbing.  i don't know how well it will hold up to sunlight and getting drug across the ground definitely check w/ the manufacturer.

Offline Going Galt

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Re: Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2009, 04:08:31 PM »
How much rain do you get? An alternative to pumping water is to hold the water you do get in the ground. Look into using swales.

Like anywhere in the northeast, probably 40 inches a year.  All the low points on the property that would be a possible "swale" are also as far away as the brook is - and yes there are plenty of places where water just sits around, although they eventually all drain into the brook anyway.  I want to do most of my planting along the ridge of the hill, which is nearby where I will be building someday.


Offline outoforder2day

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Re: Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2009, 03:59:13 PM »
PEX is primarily used for indoor plumbing.  i don't know how well it will hold up to sunlight and getting drug across the ground definitely check w/ the manufacturer.
PEX will degrade in the sun in a matter of months. Do not use it outdoors.

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Offline mxitman

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Re: Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2009, 05:20:20 PM »
You will need the black plastic pipe, it's rated for UV/outdoor use. I'm assuming your trying to do this for the lowest cost?

But this is what i would do if I were you. I would find the largest tank you can handle for the money and for transporting. Preferably one with a capped or small opening not a stock tank, but that could work for you. I would dig a hole right where your water is, so it runs into the tank filling it up. I would replace the cap or cover with a stainless steel mesh or pump basket, to keep the tank clear. Even a kitchen strainer basket would work. I would then add one of these for your pump;

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=1479
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=47906

or gas powered;
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=95976
http://cgi.ebay.com/Kenowa-Tools-Portable-Water-Pump-Gas-2-5-HP-249-Retail_W0QQitemZ120492774025QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item1c0dedd289

Or this guy might have something that is hand powered or solar but will cost a bit more. I might even try the hand pump option UPC#2 . http://www.survivalunlimited.com/handwaterpumpdeep.htm
http://ricksdiy.com http://heezy.com/ http://woodybeds.com

I'd rather have it and not need it, than not have it when I do need it.

Offline “Mark”

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Re: Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2009, 06:51:07 PM »
My grandparents used black plastic piping. It lasted at least 20 years, and is probably still in use today. You do have to drain it in freezing weather.
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Offline Going Galt

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Re: Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2009, 09:42:52 PM »
The black PE piping is just a bit expensive and inflexible (it doesn't want to lay flat until you leave it out in the hot sun for a while).  It comes in 100 foot rolls, so I'd also need quite a few couplings and clamp them together.  Then, when I'm done for the season, I'd need to undo it all and roll it back up somehow.  I was thinking a garden hose would be a whole lot easier to deal with, although it probably isn't much cheaper.




Offline “Mark”

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Re: Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« Reply #22 on: November 19, 2009, 10:45:02 AM »
The black PE piping is just a bit expensive and inflexible (it doesn't want to lay flat until you leave it out in the hot sun for a while).  It comes in 100 foot rolls, so I'd also need quite a few couplings and clamp them together.  Then, when I'm done for the season, I'd need to undo it all and roll it back up somehow.  I was thinking a garden hose would be a whole lot easier to deal with, although it probably isn't much cheaper.

It survives -20C quite nicely. Just make sure you completely drain the pipe before it freezes, and the easiest way to do that is to make sure there are no dips in the line.

You probably want to go with at least a 3/4th inch inside diameter. If it's smaller, it'll make a lot of resistance for the pump. I'm not too knowledgeable on the math there though, so perhaps someone else can give some insight.
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Offline Going Galt

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Re: Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2009, 08:10:44 PM »
It survives -20C quite nicely. Just make sure you completely drain the pipe before it freezes, and the easiest way to do that is to make sure there are no dips in the line.

And that's why I'm quite concerned about using that pipe and leaving it there.  It is going to be impossible to avoid any dips... the slope is not consistent (even goes back up a little in some places before going back down further).  If I use a garden hose, I can just let the water drain out at the end of the season as I coil up each section.



Offline “Mark”

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Re: Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« Reply #24 on: November 20, 2009, 02:34:29 PM »
And that's why I'm quite concerned about using that pipe and leaving it there.  It is going to be impossible to avoid any dips... the slope is not consistent (even goes back up a little in some places before going back down further).  If I use a garden hose, I can just let the water drain out at the end of the season as I coil up each section.

Well, you have four options that I can see:
  • Follow the contours. It may require a lot more piping.
  • Suspend the hose over low spots using fenses or posts (my grandparents did this on their farm).
  • Bury it underground, below the frost line (3ft to be safe).
  • Install extra bleeder valves in all the low spots.

I wouldn't recommend garden hose for a few reasons:
  • It may not be safe for drinking.
  • It may not withstand the pressure needed to pump that far or that uphill. At least 50 PSI will be needed for the elevation, and who knows how much for the resistance through 2700 ft of hose.
  • Garden hose tends to have a narrow inner diameter, which greatly constricts the flowing of water. You'll want at least 3/4" inner diameter hose if you're doing the half mile run, which is not cheap for garden hose.
  • Is easy for critters to chew through.

Now you can get high pressure garden hose, with sufficient diameter. It'll run you a little under a dollar per foot.

The bleeder valves will probably be your best option, all said and done.  You'll have to drain the hose every time there is a possibility of freezing, but it's probably your least expensive option.
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Offline survivininct

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Re: Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« Reply #25 on: November 20, 2009, 02:55:05 PM »
It may be easier to get a small portable pump and a tank behind truck or ATV and drive the water up the hill and then dump it in the drums near the trees.  Just a thought.

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Offline Going Galt

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Re: Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« Reply #26 on: November 20, 2009, 03:49:24 PM »
It may be easier to get a small portable pump and a tank behind truck or ATV and drive the water up the hill and then dump it in the drums near the trees.  Just a thought.

True, except for:
- I need to clear a path first (see my other thread)
- I need an ATV (I want one anyway, but it won't be in the next year)

Hey, how hard would it be just to install a well point and a hand pump at the top of the hill?  The water should not be too far down.  I've never put in a well point before.  Someday, I'll have a drilled well and an electric pump (probably with solar panels on the camp), but I don't have the building site cleared (or identified) yet... so for now I'm looking for an option that's a lot cheaper and simpler.



Offline survivininct

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Re: Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« Reply #27 on: November 21, 2009, 08:02:01 PM »
Hey, how hard would it be just to install a well point and a hand pump at the top of the hill? 

Depends, how is the soil?  See a lot of rocks on the surface or do you have a feeling they exist down a ways?  They only work in gravel or sand type areas - you aint pounding one into bedrock! 

If you have a bit of land, you may want to look for a wet spot near (preferably above in elevation) where you want to plant and dig a spring.  Look for trees that have the roots spreading on the surface of the ground - clear indication of a high water table.  Look at the base, if it goes in straight, its dry, if it is flaired at the dirt line significantly, it is wet.. 

Also, of course, any seeps or wet areas would be a good clue.

You would be surprised how cheap one can get an old ATV or tractor (even a small lawn or garden one) to pull a cart and your water!
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Offline Pathfinder

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Re: Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« Reply #28 on: November 21, 2009, 08:52:09 PM »
Revisit the idea of hauling water - in the long run it may be simpler and easier all-round. If you can get a pickup where you want the water, look into pickup tanks which old hundreds of gallons. I used one for years to run water to my cows' stock tank - 375 gallons (make sure your pickup can handle almost 3000 pounds of water in the bed!) during hot dry summers when my creek basically dried up. You can then put a comparable tank topside with the appropriate bung fittings to step it down to your irrigation system. You can get ones smaller than 375 gallons for pickups. TSC carries a number - her is one like mine:
http://www.tractorsupply.com/pickup-tank-425-gal-42-in-h-x-67-in-dia--2125937

ATV mounted tanks will be a lot smaller - I had a 25 gallon sprayer on my ATV (Arctic Cat 350) and I would not put a bigger on on that specific ATV. The bigger ATVs may handle larger tanks, but even if it is 50 gallons, that is a lot of repeat hauling to keep the water in place. They do have tanks on small trailers that can be hauled by ATVs (like below) but again, make sure the ATV can haul the water load uphill. Here's a 40 gallon version -
http://www.tractorsupply.com/trailer-sprayer-40-gal-2137269

If you stay with the pump and hose motif, how about putting in a small dam into the creek, something to give you maybe 500-100 gallons pooled up while you're away, allowing you to pump a new supply of water uphill, and then refilling while you're gone?

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Offline Going Galt

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Re: Want to pump water very long distance from brook
« Reply #29 on: November 22, 2009, 09:42:32 AM »
Many of these suggestions would require a pickup truck, which I don't have.  I have a small SUV now with 4WD, which lets me drive along my part of the logging road, but no further.  I suppose I should ponder getting a used one.  It'd also need to be big enough to move an old travel trailer, once I eventually get one.

If I drive further along the logging road to the neighbor's land, the brook eventually intersects the logging road.  A pickup truck could make it there, but not my SUV (it gets too muddy as I approach the intersection).