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Field Day Advice gets Osbornes water running

Rural Case Study

Peter and Raewynn recently bought a 195ha steep coastal property just south of Porangahau in the Central Hawke’s Bay, next to the peak with the long name. After many years in the high-stress fuel industry, it was time to slow down and enjoy the lifestyle of running a mid-size farm. After looking at many different properties, location, the Hawke’s Bay climate and the opportunity to place their own mark on the property won them over. The farm has a large covering of regenerated bush and scrub and some tracts of native trees.

Peter and Raewynn are both self-confessed environmentalists, so their plan is to develop some of the regenerated scrubland back into pasture, while retaining the native flora. Peter has already started to fence off several natural waterways, limiting stock access. A reticulated stockwater scheme is a priority. This was reinforced by the drought of2016, leading to the river, creek and springs on the property drying up.

Peter and Raewynn’s search for advice on a new water system started at the Central Districts Field Days, held in Fielding in March. Noting in the programme that Iplex Pipelines had a site next to Farmlands, their main on-farm supply company, made the search easy. Peter Carswell, Iplex’s Rural Projects Manager, arranged to visit the farm for a detailed GPS survey of topography, geographic positions, pipeline route and water source.

Before Peter’s visit, the Osbornes found an excellent spring-fed dam quite high on the farm. They did some remedial work to enlarge the storage and fence off the area from stock. Following the survey it became evident that due to the property’s steep nature, the static pressure would need to be managed, as the dam was situated at 300m above sea level, while the lowest tank was at 41m. This was achieved without compromising the required flow by positioning four break-pressure tanks to control the pressure to troughs the tanks supplied.

Pipeline lengths and pressure ratings were then determined, along with dam-holding capacity, to supply the 12,000 litres required per day for the 250 mixed-age cattle, and the pipe diameter needed to cope with the 2,000 litres per hour peak water demand.

 “Field days still have their place in the New Zealand rural scene”, says Peter Osborne. “Where else could I have got the professional advice needed, next to the company that I purchased the materials from and arrange delivery through – it was a very seamless and efficient process.”