River water for irrigation

A river through the garden

Not many of us live alongside a body of fresh water, but those who do are lucky.  We’re not just referring to the attractiveness of the landscape, or the increased wildlife.  Those with a river running through or alongside their property also have an advantage where garden irrigation is concerned!  Irrigation systems usually include a water tank to store mains water.  The stored water can then be pumped at the required pressure and flow rate when automatic watering is in progress.  However, where the possibility exists, using a river as the water source is a great idea.  Using river water for irrigation in domestic gardens has two big advantages.

What are the advantages

It goes without saying that mains water is becoming increasingly expensive.  This means that supplying your irrigation system from natural sources of water makes a cost-effective solution.  The water itself is essentially free, unless you require a licence.  Licences are only required if you will be taking more than 20 cubic metres (20,000 litres) per day.  (Obviously this is far more than the vast majority of domestic gardens will use).  As well as the decreased cost of running the system, using river water for irrigation has a positive effect on mains water conservation.  The demand on the mains water supply is reduced, while quantities of less than 20 cubic metres a day are seen as negligible in terms of any impact on the river itself.

Is the river water filtered?

Of course, water from a natural source won’t have undergone the filtering that mains water will have done.    However, while it’s obvious that water for irrigation doesn’t need to meet the same standards of purity that drinking water does, we nevertheless take various steps to keep it clean and free of debris.  Firstly, the pump we use has floating suction, so that it draws the water from the surface rather than the river bed.  This avoids most of the sediment and plant or animal detritus.  Then we pass the abstracted water through a disc element filter contained in a valve box at the edge of the river.  This filtration process removes any suspended particles that remain.

So, there are really no down-sides to using water from natural sources for irrigation purposes.  If you’re lucky enough to have a river on or next to your garden, give Rosewood a call and we’ll design an irrigation system that utilises this.  Contact us on 01727 811448 to find out more.