Journey: Thoughts and Reflections along the path. 

Sheldon Haynie
July 7, 2015 | Sheldon Haynie

Digging in

With the mult-year drought that has been ongoing, we have been very careful to irrigate only as we needed to. Last year we noticed that the Athena's Vineyard irrigation was not reaching as far out the rows of the 4 acre blocks as we had previously experienced and thinking that the well was not accessing as much ground water, we turned to only watering alternate rows, so that we could get water all the way out. With the valve all the way open at the well pad, we had less than 5 psi pressure, which is barely enough to crack the drippers and would only lift water 10 ft. This necessitated switching 88 valves each week a rather tedious procedure. In an attempt to ameliorate that, this year, we decided to sub-divide the blocks of Merlot and Cab Franc into 2 2 Acre zones, hoping that the well could keep up. 

So we procured 300 ft of 2" pipe, the necessary fittings, rented a trencher and arranged for 3 of our field guys to dig the ends on Sunday. We laid the pipe and finished in just about 7 hours, letting the joints cure overnight before pressure testing and backfilling. 

The good news is that the 2 acre block fed by the new piping was holding at 30 psi with good flow. The not so good news was that the rest of the 8 acres had a leak that apparently was coming from the old 4" main line, which fed the original zone valves. Fortunately we were able to get help, to bail out the trench and dig down to find the leak. getting that fixed should be the cure to the original problem of low pressure, and the new lateral piping will allow us to better tune the irrigation as well. 


Time Posted: Jul 7, 2015 at 3:29 PM