Kanjini News

20th August 2018

Solar Pump as new water supply

As reported earlier, we lost the electric water pump supplying the houses during the extraordinary flood in late March.
Since we lost the pump, the electricity line to it was ripped and damaged and the pump shed got washed away, Suncorp gave us very quickly over $10,000 to cover the quotes to replace all of that water infrastructure.

After some considertion we decided to add a few thousand dollars towards a much more sustainable and more versatile solution (see map below).
This involved contracting Scotty, one of our new subdivision neighbours to:
  • dig over one kilometer of trenches with his little excavator and lay 2" pipe from the exisitng 6" underground main down to the houses and over to the caretaker's house site and shed.
  • install eight 2" gate-valves along the way down to the houses
  • float 125m of 2" pipe on the lake to the pontoon
  • fit a wooden frame onto our pontoon and
  • fit the six solar panels (including bird deterrants), the submersible pump and its controller to the pontoon
  • put a float valve onto the exisitng house tank
We ourselves also had to make some major structural repairs to the pontoon as the exisitng main bearers were not strong enough to carry that much extra weight and add aome more fload drums and modify their supports. The pontoon is now much more durable and stable and as an added bonus has a shade section on it. To see how we got that rather heavy pontoon out and into the water, see the pics below.
We also had the challenging job to straighten the leaning water tank stand next to the houses :-), see below

By spending 50% more, we have not just eight new water points between our main gate and the houses, water to the caretakers, high presure to the houses and orchard, but also free water as long as  the sun shines. Placing the solar pump on the pontoon in the middle of the lake ensures maximum sunshine. Since our property enjoys over 300 sunny days a year and that solar pump delivers up to 35,000 litres/day to our header tank, we will save a lot of electricity costs and we do no longer need to use a noisy fire-fighting pump to have water at lake side. The whole system uses an existing 27,000 litre tank on the ridge, so we still have plenty of water at night.
Assuming every day of the year had full sunshine, this pump would deliver 10 Million litres a year, which would lower our lake by about 10 centimeters. Realistically we estimate to be able to use about 5 million litres/year, which is still plenty of water :-)

Lake overflow
This map shows the scale of this major improvement to our water infrastructure and the new potential to grow things along that blue water pipe and possibly create a couple of glamping sites with running water :-).
For scale, the risers/taps are every 100 or 200 metres. Purple is the old 6" underground main, blue is the new 2" pipe.

Here is the 2.5m by 6m pontoon out of the water on top of 200 litre drums so we can easily work on it.

  With all the additions, there was a lot more weight in it.
How to get a half ton pontoon back into the water...
washout in road
Our 95 horses were strugling with the weight and slope, but did get it down to the water in one piece.

There we placed sixteen 200 litre drums under it so it floats again

The re-furbished pontoon with solar panels on top looks really beautiful tied up to our pier. Thanks Scotty you have done a great job.

And to us the pontoon looks even nicer back out on the lake pumping water.The white spots to it are recycled paint buckets floating the 2" pipe

The first 200m of trench up from the houses.
The next 200-300m, there was a lot of trench to be dug....
But now we have eight of these gatevalves to get water to that beautiful soil :-)
The tankstand servicing the houses always gave the leaning tower of Pisa a run for its money
Putting a level onto it showed how bad the lean was
Now we let you guess how we managed to get it straight again -  and no, not with photoshop...

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