July 6, 2012

The Last Pieces Of The Puzzle

Over the last few weeks we have been slowly finding and locating some of the lost mainline valves and quick couplers on the irrigation system.  For a couple of days I felt like the wire tracer and metal detector had become a permanent fixture on the end of my arm.  While I did find quite a few buried "valuables" of our irrigation system with the metal detector, I also dug up countless buried aluminum cans, bottle caps, and even a few quarters.

After locating and digging up as many of the old components of the irrigation system as possible, we were left with only a few missing pieces.  There was no quick coupler for 5 green, and the quick couplers for greens 3, 8, 12, and 16 were located too far from the green, making them essentially unusable. 

I had planned on at some point adding or moving these remaining quick couplers to give us the ability to hand water these greens at some point this summer, but with the recent heat wave I decided sooner would be better than later.

We rented a vibratory plow on Thursday and put together a few spans of 1 1/4" PVC pipe and added or moved all five of these quick couplers in one day.  It was a lot of holes to dig, and some serious pipe reconstruction, but it was much easier to do it all in one day while the irrigation system was shut off and the water drained out of the pipe.  We were also able to add our last mainline valve on hole 8 to allow us to isolate the section of irrigation mainline that feeds holes 8, 15, 16, and the tee side of 17. 

Although our irrigation system was designed and installed in 1985, we have now added enough updates to feel like we have finally entered the 21st century of water delivery....barely.

Blake guiding the pipe in as Andy pulls it up toward 3 green.

A tie in to the mainline by 12 green.  The quick coupler used to be tapped right into
the mainline here, our new line puts the coupler 80 feet closer to the green.
Our new hand watering trailer, makes watering greens fast and efficient

All of our irrigation updates seem to have come together just at the right time, as our recent heat wave has proven.  The month of June wrapped up last week and continued the trend of the last 11 months:  monthly temperatures were 2.4 degrees warmer than average, and we received only 2.38" of rain compared to an average of 3.48", so we were just over an inch short of average rainfall.  Another interesting note, our low temp for the month of June was 38, and the high temp for the month was 93.  These two temperatures occurred only 3 days apart, the low of 38 was on June 9th and the high of 93 was on June 12th.  That is a pretty dramatic temperature swing in a 3 day period.  The weather here in North Dakota always keeps us on our toes....

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