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Design of Irrigation Pump Intakes for Shallow Surface Water Sources

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  032017,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13992) @2003
Authors:   Thomas F. Scherer, Lowell A. Disrud, Ryan M. Waters
Keywords:   Irrigation, Pumps, Intake, Suction Inlet, Surface Water, Rivers

Irrigation pumping from shallow, meandering streams is often an exercise in frustration for many irrigators. They have to contend with pump intakes that create vortexes that lose the prime on the pump, debris plugging the pump intake, sediment in pipelines and lost time from other farm work. The objectives were to design intakes that are relatively inexpensive, rugged, easily constructed and installed. Two types of pump intakes were designed and tested for pumping irrigation water from shallow, meandering rivers. A floating intake and a submersible intake were constructed and installed on working irrigation pumps along the Lower Heart River in southwest North Dakota. The intakes were designed to minimize sediment intake, minimize plugging by debris and pump from a minimum water depth of 45 cm (18 inches). Cooperating irrigators noted reduced vortexing, increased pumping rates, less cavitation and less plugging from debris.

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