Leamington Area Drip Irrigation is a group of 13 tomato farmers who wanted to improve water efficiency for their operations. In 2009, an irrigation system consisting of 36km of pipeline was laid throughout Leamington that helps increase farmers yields from 30-40 tons/acre to 50-60 tons/acre. Dillon was retained to design a new communal irrigation pumping and filtration building that feeds over 2,500 acres of tomatoes at one time and is capable of irrigating 6,000 acres on rotation.
The overall system comprises:
- A pump house
- Five vertical turbine pumps
- A vacuum system
- A solids handling system
- Intake screen backwash air system
- Chlorination system
- Filtration system
The pump house is supplied by a 120m long HDPE, 900mm diameter, intake fed from Lake Erie. The intake screens are submerged roughly 3m below lake level. Raw water is siphoned up the intake line to the pump cans using a vacuum system. Once the system is primed, the pumps are capable of providing up to 7,000 USgpm of water to the irrigation system.
The filtration system provides high quality irrigation water by reducing solids and dosing sodium hypochlorite to prevent biological growth in the irrigation system.
The new fixed structure of the installed irrigation system eliminated the need for much of the annual set-up associated with traditional drip irrigation and has reduced water costs in the growing season by 66%. Participating growers have seen a reduction in energy and input costs and an increase in the quality and yield of their crops.
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