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When the Watts family decided to convert their 200ha sheep and dry stock farm to Dairy they went to WaterForce for their water needs. The conversion presented an ideal opportunity for a fresh approach to the entire farm infrastructure.
The Watts farm is mostly hill country, which presented challenges in design over flatter farming platforms. WaterForce’s specialist design team worked closely with the Watts family prior to work commencing to achieve excellent results in design and layout of services.
The design process began with a full GPS survey of the site by WaterForce, which was then imported into IRRICAD software. The Watts requirements included cost effective installation, future proof and provision for sufficient back up services. Everything is recorded on the IRRICAD design software, making future expansion and changes to the system through to locating services buried in ground a breeze - thanks to modern GPS locating equipment.
The water supply for the farm comes from a single bore with an existing submersible pump. Variable speed drive controls were provided for efficiency and to prolong bore and motor life. Four 30,000-litre water tanks store the bore water. A total of eight tanks provides two days backup water supply, should anything go wrong with the single water supply. Approximately 30km of pipeline was laid throughout the farm to connect pumps, tanks, troughs and irrigation services.
The irrigation system was installed to cover the 70ha area of the farm suitable for irrigation. Approximately 25ha of the irrigation area is also used for effluent disposal. The IRRIPOD sprinkler shift system was selected for both irrigation and effluent disposal. Being a flexible, low-pressure application system, the IRRIPOD was an ideal solution for the Watts farm operation.
The IRRIPOD layout was designed by Richard Koorey, WaterForce’s Senior Design Engineer. Careful design is the key to a successful IRRIPOD system. In the installation, IRRIPOD hydrants were located over the irrigation area. A pipeline is run from the hydrants, onto which the pods are connected.
SENNINGER sprinklers were selected for the IRRIPOD system. The SENNINGER sprinklers are a high quality, highly uniform plastic impact sprinkler designed for irrigation and effluent disposal in pod systems.
The IRRIPOD system has been supplied with an IRRIPOD ATV tow trailer, which enables the IRRPOD line to be caught, relocated and released without the farmer having to leave their vehicle. A total of 330 IRRIPODS are run in three, eight-hour irrigation shifts. At the end of each shift, the sets of pods are moved to the next location while the next group is put into operation.
For their effluent management, the Watts have selected a two-pond system, sized for a one-month storage capacity as per council regulations. WaterForce has designed a three stage filtration system and incorporated an industrial grade AMIAD SAF Automatic Self Cleaning filter, which operates before the liquid is piped off to the IRRIPOD effluent sprinkler system. For the Corbins, this will minimize potential blockages to the pipelines and the small IRRIPOD sprinkler nozzles, ensuring trouble-free operation of their effluent system.
The Watts dairy conversion project has run smoothly, due to close involvement by all parties including the WaterForce design team and installation and contracting crews. WaterForce is proud to be involved with the Watts family farm and look forward to working with them as they continue dairy operation in Hawke’s Bay.
Calf Accommodation
There is an amazing looking calf shed that has also been newly constructed by Short Construction from Hastings. Steve Short says they build a variety of sheds, from calf sheds and stable blocks to workshops. The pole shed is designed so a tractor can come in the side roller door and drive right down the centre aisle and out the other side door. It has easy access for dropping off calf shavings and calves.
There are two rooms at the end of the shed. One room encompasses the pumps and electricals for the houses and farm.
The other is a supply storage room. “The client had a huge input into the design of the shed, and once we know what their requirements are, we will build to their needs.” says Steve. “We don’t just have one or two sets of plans, it is very flexible.”
The pole sheds can also be constructed with no centre poles at all if required. Ian, Eileen, Trevor and Angela are very much looking forward to the completion of his new dairy shed by mid July so he can commence calving on the first of August.

Written by Lois McKinley Sun Media Ltd, www.sunlive.co.nz

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