“The biggest satisfaction I get from my job is meeting a wide variety of farmers, understanding their unique needs and working with them to deliver the optimum stock water solution”, Iplex Pipelines Rural Territory Manager Chris Thomson says. Case in point was a recent development Chris became involved with on behalf of Farmlands Christchurch at Long Spur Farm.
This property has been farmed by William and Jo Innes for the last 30 years. Located north of the upper Rakaia River, on 980 hectares of hilly to rolling country, the couple wished to increase the stock carrying capacity of a 60 hectare block to 150 cattle and 150 calves. William identified that this 65 percent increase to 50 LSU/hectare couldn’t be achieved without upgrading the current stock water system.
This is where Chris became involved. “The stock water on this part of the property was supplied by a series of dams, with all their inherent issues – difficult access, uncertain supply, poor water quality and high upkeep costs.
Fortunately a spring fed pond, located at height, was capable of supplying enough water to meet the increased stock numbers peak water demand.” This allowed the design of a low cost, gravity reticulation system, with no ongoing pumping costs. There were issues to resolve however. These included the need to manage the high static head and a problematically pipeline route, through trees and down into a gully.
Surveying the property established where a break pressure tank needed to be located to manage the excessive pressure and select the correct diameter and pressure classes of pipe required. A mixture of 40mm and 32mm Greenline and Redline metric OD pipe, supplying a single trough in each of the eight paddocks was the outcome.
Recognising future plans to have higher stock numbers on additional lower paddocks also saw extra water delivery capacity built into the system, with the break pressure tank also functioning as an additional water reservoir. “I couldn’t be happier”, William says. “It was good to have Chris talk me through the things like the hydraulic advantage of metric OD PE pipes compared to traditional Alkathene and the various Plasson compression fittings options available to connect the system together.
Installation by a local rural contractor also went smoothly. This block of land will now be more productive and I have the option of extending the system further, without the need to increase the mainline pipe diameter.”
“The Innes’ needs were specific to their property and outcome they desired”, Chris says. “Every stock water system is different and no two jobs are the same. It’s great to have a new challenge every day and work with people to achieve great outcomes.”