Making progress at Downes Nursery Sydney new site

Things are progressing well with Theresa Park and we have 200 x 200lt trees ready to go in the ground in the next week or two!

Over 3km of 200mm and 150mm PVC main line has been laid for our irrigation system, and our pump station is ready to be commissioned in the next few days. To control our massive pump station which has a flow rate of 40 litres per second at a pressure of 800kpa – Brooks Irrigation have installed the Techsys Dolphin Plus controller which provides constant pressure variable speed control for 4 Grundfos Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) pumps.

This system features an easy to operate touch screen panel that can either send an email or text message in the event of a pump or flow error, it also has the ability to be managed remotely via the internet.

Before the irrigation can be used the new dam has to be settled and being a fresh dug dam there are a lot of suspended particles in the water. Rather than set up an expensive injection system to add flocculent, we have used a non toxic polymer based brick flocculent which simply needs water flow over it. After the dam has been initially settled the wetlands area will take over to keep the water clean.

A large Amiad Filtomat 120 micron screen filter has also been added to the pump station which cleans itself automatically by using differential pressure on either side of the screen. Once particles build up on the screen and the pressure drops below a certain level, hydraulic vales are triggered which clean the screen and flush the contents out.

The Rain Bird LF1200 sprinkler heads have been set out in a triangle formation which performs better in windy conditions.

To tie the irrigation system together and control the solenoids and weather sensors, we have chosen Rain Birds Site Control system. This features an easy to use graphical interface which will display a map of the nursery on the computer as well as maps of the pipework and solenoid valves which can simply be clicked on to make adjustments. One thing I have noticed is a lot of nurseries are often unaware of what our pumps are capable of. To overcome this, SiteControl can communicate with the pump station to check on available pressure and either turn on or off extra valves during the irrigation cycle which can shorten complete cycle times. SiteControl can also communicate with our temperature, anemometer and rain tipping bucket and make adjustments to the irrigation cycle as needed (i.e. turn on frost control, pause irrigation during rain etc this all helps to make sure we are using our water wisely).