de l’Escaille (1)

Underground supply pipes

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de l’Escaille (1)

Case Study Contents

About Farm

Farm Name

de l’Escaille

Year of foundation

1979

Location

Limburg, Flanders

Farm area/size of the organisation:

300 ha (145 ha cultivated)

Number of workers:

3 workers

Farm main activity:

General field crops

Climate and soil characteristics

Temperate climate with adequate precipitation. Good sandy soils

Measure Information

Description of the measure

Use of underground supply pipes to bring water to the sprinkler reel.

Objective of the measure

To save water reducing evaporation and leakage losses and to save time spent for irrigation.

Justification of the choice

Underground pipes to transport water are less subject to deterioration, not sensitive to differences of pressure, these are fixed and do not need to be removed after every use, with consistent saving in terms of workforce, maintenance, and water use.

Where did You get information of the measure from?

From Dutch farmers using the technique and from the Kruisberghoeve in Belgium

Description of the situation before the measure implementation

Water was pumped from channels causing huge damages to the field and also in the rotor-drum of the “Bauer Rainstar” system.

Stakeholders

Stakeholders involved

Agriland farmers

Description of stakeholders’ role

Technical support

Implementation phase

Materials used

PVC pipes and hydrants placed at the right distances to serve the irrigation/watering paths system.

Costs for the implementation

12 euro per meter

Implementation / building

The pipes must be placed by an experienced operator equipped with a laser system to ensure that they are placed correctly and evenly and that none of them are damaged as this will lead to leakage and differences of pressure when operating the system.

Required maintenance operations

Checking that the hydrants are not damaged and that the feeders are well in place and have not been destabilised during the period of use.

Recommended knowledge / skills / training / courses / education desired before starting the measure implementation:

Before the implementation of the practice is necessary to have an adequate knowledge of the soil.

Impacts

Even though the installation costs are higher, for its implementation much less labour is required, hence significant economic savings are achieved.

Additionally, the system is very durable and lasts many years.

Reduced water losses
Reduction of work needed. In fact, once the pipes are laid, very little work is required to use them.

Innovation

Innovation elements

Using good hydrants and systems indicating potential losses of pressure allows to intervene at a very early stage and avoid repetitions.

Key element for success

Well placed network with easy to access hydrants.

Constraints

Physical constraints

Trees’ roots which could damage the pipes; it is necessary to avoid installing the pipes close to the trees.

Technological constraints

Hydrants need to be well fixed to the ground to avoid them springing into the air.

Proposed solutions to above constraints

For the hydrants, a solution is to increase the weight of the material fixing them in the soil.

Lesson learned

Farmers’ experiences

Best solution to be fast and efficient in irrigation

Testimonies

“I don’t want to use any more mobile pipes because they are generating too many concerns and too much work, usually at the wrong time. Underground pipes are the dreamed solution.”

Measure sustainability

Environmental sustainability

The measure presents no negative impacts on the environment but only positive effects, mainly an increased efficiency and water savings.

Economical sustainability

The system lasts for very long times–(the oldest system is already 28 years old and will be used for another 30 years) makes it on yearly basis very cheap to use.

Transfer of the measure

Replicability conditions required

  • Access to groundwater
  • appropriate technical skills to accurately place the pipes
  • have a coherent and packed group of land parcels.

Conclusion remarks

The system is very recommended due to its proved efficiency and reliability, given that proper installation is done.

Future plans

To install other 500 meters (in process)

Open problems

If not well placed, additional works for repairs and management is required.

Advice/recommendations

The best depth for the network is at 80 cm.

Make sure the trenches made to lay the pipes have an equal profile. Properly place the hydrants at the right distance.

A cooperative of neighbour farmers or a small cooperative using the network together is advisable.

AGRIWATER project has been funded with the support from the European Commission, with the reference number 2020-1-CZ01-KA204-078212. The content of this website reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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