View Full Version : Gravity feed irrigation control system?

Denver Dave
09-08-2011, 06:31 PM
One way or another, we would like to take water from a stream and use it to irrigate land above the level of the stream in an area without electricity. See discussion water 2 pump water:

Many of the approaches do not pump enough water at one time to supply a ditch or a water water sprayer. So I'm thinking maybe we pump water 24 / 7 to a holding tank at a higher location and then release the water periodically to sprayers at a lower location.

Anyone know of a control system that would sense when the tank or pond gets full and then releases water until its empty, then shuts down until refilled? Sort of like automated lawn sprinklers, but the level of water in the tank rather than the day and time would trigger the release.

09-08-2011, 07:07 PM
Not sure they're large enough in diameter for what you want, but how about two stock tank valves? They operate like the tank valves in a toilet, a float shuts them off. One to fill your tank would shut off at a set level, and one turned upside down would drain the tank until the water level drops enough for the weighted float arm to shut off the discharge.

09-14-2011, 09:55 PM
A tank fill valve like grumble said would be ideal to fill the tank. It would allow water to flow in until a proper pre-adjusted level is reached. On the discharge side I would use an actual Toilet Flush valve. The flapper, with it's floatation, could be attached to a float (a simple plastic bottle or ball)that would trigger the flapper to rise. It would then remain open until the level lowered enough to allow the flapper to seat. Just like a toilet. The float could rest in a simple support cage that only allows it enough vertical travel to raise the flapper. As soon as the level decreased the fill valve would open again but simultaneous opening time would only be a bit longer than actual tank drain time. After the flapper seats the tank would fill again.

Just a couple of bent pennies into the discussion! :)

Denver Dave
09-17-2011, 03:14 PM
What an interesting idea. Relatively low tech and operates without electricity. Seems like might be a wide audience for situations where there is some water coming in at a location above area to be irrigated, but not enough. Accumulate up until there is enough and then release.

Takes a lot of force to release the release valve, maybe there could be a 2nd smaller tank on top of the release handle which when heavy enough triggers the release.

If anyone runs across a working example, please post.

Seems like would be useful. Think rainwater irrigation.

Thanks. Dave