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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m looking for suggestions on getting water to a part of my property that I just mowed for the first time in 20+ years. (Only broke a tail light lens, so felt good about that!)

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There’s about 1.5 acres of flat, mowable ground at this part of my property. Plan is to clear the alder trees, plant a second orchard and keep some animals over there. The problem is it over 1000 feet from water or power.

How would you get water there? Lots of hoses? A more economical water line? A tractor-based option? Something else entirely?

Thanks in advance for sharing your ideas and experience!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good questions.
My hose bib is about 30 feet vertically uphill of the site. Site slopes slightly down away from the hose bib.
My creek and pond are further away from this site than the nearest hose bib, so pumping from that would still require moving the water a thousand feet.

It rains most of the year here (foothills of the Cascades), so watering is really just a July-September/Oct endeavor.
 

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If you've got house-pressure water already available at about 1000', 1" PVC is likely the cheapest option (maybe even 3/4" is enough...you'll need to do the math for your needs). Dunno in your area, but around here it only needs to be 18" deep. Should be doable for $1000-$1500.
 

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My brother-in-law runs a 10,000+ acre ranch in Montana and watering is always a challenge for him. Most of the time for long runs like you are describing he uses a trash pump to draw from the closest creek / pond and hooks it to an elevated tripod sprinkler to get the farthest throw possible.
 

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If you've got house-pressure water already available at about 1000', 1" PVC is likely the cheapest option (maybe even 3/4" is enough...you'll need to do the math for your needs). Dunno in your area, but around here it only needs to be 18" deep. Should be doable for $1000-$1500.
I would agree although I'd run the bigger pipe in case future needs open up. We ran a 1 1/4" line about 500' to a cattle waterer with about half of your drop. The drop means you will have plenty of pressure at the other end.

1000' is 50 sticks of 20' plus fittings plus trenching. It's definitely possible to do it yourself by renting a trencher. Check for leaks before filling the trench in, lol.
 

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I would agree although I'd run the bigger pipe in case future needs open up. We ran a 1 1/4" line about 500' to a cattle waterer with about half of your drop. The drop means you will have plenty of pressure at the other end.

1000' is 50 sticks of 20' plus fittings plus trenching. It's definitely possible to do it yourself by renting a trencher. Check for leaks before filling the trench in, lol.
I thought about recommending 1-1/4", but a few things kept me from it:
  • It's only 1.5 acres
  • 1-1/4" can be far more expensive
  • Given it's attaching from a "hose bib", it would be really unlikely the source pipe is any larger than 1". Probably only 3/4".
But, yeah, if 1.25" is in budget, it's a great choice.

EDIT: Also, PEX can be direct buried in lots of jurisdictions and it's probably the same total price. A little more for the pipe, but far fewer joins. Easier to lay and turn corners, too. 3/4" and 1" are common and easy to find. 1-1/4" is much less common, but does exist.
 

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Pvc is to brittle. Wrong material. PE or HDPE.
Size is dependent on how much water you need.
What makes you say that? PVC is the standard irrigation material anywhere around here and seems to work well. Granted, you must bury it well under the frost line to avoid rupture. PEX and other related PE-based pipes are more forgiving, though you should still set them under the frost line. I have 300' of 4" PVC that actually winds its way down a curving path without any issues. (Of course, tight turns use elbows and are encased in thrust blocks. 1" pipe, though, should not need thrust blocks.)
 

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What ever you do if the system is going to be charged with a hose bib is remove the frost free faucet and replace with a ball valve. When I put drip irrigation for my orchard, replacing the frost free with a ball valve increased flow from 6 GPM to 15 GPM. In order not to freeze in the Northern climate here, a 2nd valve valve on the 3/4" line was installed inside, the pipe was slope for drainage and a petcock installed for draining in the Winter.

I went from only being able to water 100 trees on a zone to 300 at once
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. This is pushing water through 3/4" hose into 1/2" drip line a good 700' from the house and 30' uphill. I normally run a good 30 PSI, at the time this pic was taken, too many 2 gallon per hour emitters were running.
 

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okay. a subject I know a little something about. Every market is different, but around here, the cheapest common pipe would be SDR21 (or numerically higher) glue pipe. This is what is common in irrigation systems. Some people do use sch40, but it is more expensive, and is far more brittle. SDR IPS sized PVC pipe is forgiving, you could run it over and it would deflect, maybe crease, but wouldn't break. Sch40 pipe would crack or shatter. Personally for 1000' I would use 2", it doesnt cost that much more, the real cost is installing the pipe. Also, I dont like glue pipe, get gasketed pipe if you can find someone to sell it to you, PVC pipe is not as easy to get as it used to be. Where I work we don't typically do cash sales for PVC pipe, it is a supply chain issue. Also, PVC pipe is expensive now, 3 times more expensive than just 18 months or so ago. PEX and poly are excellent products too, I am not sold on PEX for direct bury yet... the fittings are the weak part and certain soils can shorten their lifespan considerably.

OP, for your application, a portable water source maybe appear to be a good choice, same as several long 1" hoses, but if you are buying for the long haul, buy pipe and trench it in. Install "yard hydrants" and read the instructions for them, they drain when off so they need a sump to drain to (typically a 5 gallon buckets worth of washed stone). If you tee off for multiple locations, use valves at your tees and use a turf box to access them.

I live in the south, so if you are up north, sounds like good advice above /\

Good luck and let us know what you do, and get a few pics. We all do projects and enjoy seeing what others do.
 

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okay. a subject I know a little something about. Every market is different, but around here, the cheapest common pipe would be SDR21 (or numerically higher) glue pipe. This is what is common in irrigation systems. Some people do use sch40, but it is more expensive, and is far more brittle. SDR IPS sized PVC pipe is forgiving, you could run it over and it would deflect, maybe crease, but wouldn't break. Sch40 pipe would crack or shatter. Personally for 1000' I would use 2", it doesnt cost that much more, the real cost is installing the pipe. Also, I dont like glue pipe, get gasketed pipe if you can find someone to sell it to you, PVC pipe is not as easy to get as it used to be. Where I work we don't typically do cash sales for PVC pipe, it is a supply chain issue. Also, PVC pipe is expensive now, 3 times more expensive than just 18 months or so ago. PEX and poly are excellent products too, I am not sold on PEX for direct bury yet... the fittings are the weak part and certain soils can shorten their lifespan considerably.

OP, for your application, a portable water source maybe appear to be a good choice, same as several long 1" hoses, but if you are buying for the long haul, buy pipe and trench it in. Install "yard hydrants" and read the instructions for them, they drain when off so they need a sump to drain to (typically a 5 gallon buckets worth of washed stone). If you tee off for multiple locations, use valves at your tees and use a turf box to access them.

I live in the south, so if you are up north, sounds like good advice above /\

Good luck and let us know what you do, and get a few pics. We all do projects and enjoy seeing what others do.
Isn't SDR21 just another rating for PVC? At least around here, you can get PVC in SDR21, Sched 40, and Sched 80. Along with CPVC.
 

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Isn't SDR21 just another rating for PVC? At least around here, you can get PVC in SDR21, Sched 40, and Sched 80. Along with CPVC.
Sorry for the long reply off topic here... this is work related for me and... well I am kind of a nerd with this stuff.

They are different plastic compounds. SCH40 pipe is very rigid, SDR pipe is much more flexible. SCH40 fittings in the winter, you drop them they can shatter or at least develop a long crack, Class 200 IPS fittings for SDR pipe (typically used in potable water systems) are just much heavier and the plastic is less rigid.
SDR21 is what we call class 200 pipe, it is rated for max 200psi internal pressure. SDR17 is a heavier wall pipe, I think rated at 265 (not common in my area) SDR13.3 is even heavier rated at 315psi. SCH40 pipe is rated at 180psi I think (we dont typically use SCH40 pipe for pressure pipe, although the common sewer service pipe we use is dual rated for pressure and DWV). SCH40 fittings dont have a pressure rating if I remember correctly, and there are mulitiple types of SCH40 fittings, there is pressure rated SCH40 and DWV SCH40 fittings (DWV stands for Drain, Waste and Vent) and even the electrical conduit fittings can be SCH40, do not mix and match to use them, they will all glue together but do not perform the same at all. We do use some SCH80 for LPSS sewer systems in my area, but internal pressures on these systems are usually less the 20 or 30 psi and are more dictated by elevation change than pump pressure. CPVC pipe is for inside a building or house and is rated for hot water. CPVC stands for Chlorinated Poly Vinyl Chloride, they just added another component to the plastic recipe. SDR stands for Standard Dimension Ratio, and IPS stands for Iron Pipe Size. I may be wrong here, but I believe the pressure ratings on SCH40 are burst ratings, or they may be dual labeled with a working pressure and burst pressure, SDR pipe is a true working pressure.

The pipe industry is WAY more complicated than it should be... There is another standard for PVC pipe, C900, and it involves a completely different set of manufacturing and testing specifications. To be honest, I sell the stuff for a living. I focus more on what is required where, than what all the tech specs are, but over the years I have retained some of the tech stuff, and I have endless resources for it.
 

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Sorry for the long reply off topic here... this is work related for me and... well I am kind of a nerd with this stuff.

They are different plastic compounds. SCH40 pipe is very rigid, SDR pipe is much more flexible. SCH40 fittings in the winter, you drop them they can shatter or at least develop a long crack, Class 200 IPS fittings for SDR pipe (typically used in potable water systems) are just much heavier and the plastic is less rigid.
SDR21 is what we call class 200 pipe, it is rated for max 200psi internal pressure. SDR17 is a heavier wall pipe, I think rated at 265 (not common in my area) SDR13.3 is even heavier rated at 315psi. SCH40 pipe is rated at 180psi I think (we dont typically use SCH40 pipe for pressure pipe, although the common sewer service pipe we use is dual rated for pressure and DWV). SCH40 fittings dont have a pressure rating if I remember correctly, and there are mulitiple types of SCH40 fittings, there is pressure rated SCH40 and DWV SCH40 fittings (DWV stands for Drain, Waste and Vent) and even the electrical conduit fittings can be SCH40, do not mix and match to use them, they will all glue together but do not perform the same at all. We do use some SCH80 for LPSS sewer systems in my area, but internal pressures on these systems are usually less the 20 or 30 psi and are more dictated by elevation change than pump pressure. CPVC pipe is for inside a building or house and is rated for hot water. CPVC stands for Chlorinated Poly Vinyl Chloride, they just added another component to the plastic recipe. SDR stands for Standard Dimension Ratio, and IPS stands for Iron Pipe Size. I may be wrong here, but I believe the pressure ratings on SCH40 are burst ratings, or they may be dual labeled with a working pressure and burst pressure, SDR pipe is a true working pressure.

The pipe industry is WAY more complicated than it should be... There is another standard for PVC pipe, C900, and it involves a completely different set of manufacturing and testing specifications. To be honest, I sell the stuff for a living. I focus more on what is required where, than what all the tech specs are, but over the years I have retained some of the tech stuff, and I have endless resources for it.
Thanks for the info!

Code around here allows Sched 40 for irrigation work as long as there's a valve ahead of the pipe and, as such, is not under pressure unless in use. In reality, everyone uses it pretty openly. That said, I'm on the west coast in a place where the air freezes on rare occasion, but the earth does not. The frost line is basically at the surface. Cold weather brittleness is not an issue, especially for buried pipe.

My 4" PVC line is for my fire hydrant and I don't honestly know what spec it's at. It's one of the few water projects I contracted out. The hydrant line, unlike the potable water line, was code required at 36", which is more than I care to try myself. Also, I don't trust myself to get the thrust blocks right. The previous line needed to be replaced due to a complete lack of thrust blocks and the ensuing pipe cracks (was not the cold, previous owner just massively cheaped out on the system). It bent far easier than I expected it to for such a fat pipe around the curves down the hill. So, I'm guessing it's not 40.

Also, I have no PVC above the surface. Code here calls for all fire-fighting lines above the surface to be metal. I chose to also have the rest of the system metal as well above the surface, as they draw from the same tank. A melted house line would drain the tank, and then what would be the point of a metal hydrant line feeding from an empty tank? I'm grandfathered in on the tank: current code calls for a 10,000 gallon fire-fighting tank that's not mixed with a 3,000 house tank. I only have the single 10,000 gallon. If I were to update to code, I'd likely go with two 5,000 gallon tanks for the house. 3,000 seems far too small. If the well goes dry, that only gives me a month or two of house water to figure it out.
 

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Was looking around to see what's spec'ed for community fire hydrants in the area. Looks like it's the C900 spec you mentioned in passing, @ridesdirt ! Haven't found the actual code for residential hydrants on fire-prone land like mine. I'm guessing it's a looser code, but haven't located it yet. Was running everything in the previous message from memory when I researched this a few years ago, so it's possible I get a detail here and there wrong.
 

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What makes you say that? PVC is the standard irrigation material anywhere around here and seems to work well. Granted, you must bury it well under the frost line to avoid rupture. PEX and other related PE-based pipes are more forgiving, though you should still set them under the frost line. I have 300' of 4" PVC that actually winds its way down a curving path without any issues. (Of course, tight turns use elbows and are encased in thrust blocks. 1" pipe, though, should not need thrust blocks.)
What makes me say that is the fact that pe is better than pvc for this application.
Just like pvc is better than clay tiles....
Better in many ways....
That does not mean pvc is total garbage. Its jist not as good.

What aspects not as good?... not as flexible, brittle, cost, temperature rating, pressure handling. Etc.
Does that mean it cant be used?... nope... you definitely can... but why would you?

What does PVC do better than PE?
 

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does the US have an equivalent to our Australian poly pipe?

we have “rural greenline” which is imperial sizes and the fittings are a bit more annoying to use and “metric blue line” which is metric sizes and the fittings are super easy to use especially modifying the plumbing later on to add new risers or taps.

can backhoe a trench and drop it in or a single tine ripper with a “pipe layer” which is a bit of relaxed radius 2-3inch steel pipe.

we’ve put miles of the stuff under ground and it’s bullet proof, just fill the trench back in and never worry about it.

personally I always use 1 1/4” for pressure systems and 2” for gravity. seems to do the job irrespective of distance.

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