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					                                                                            Anthony Grant and Nathan Lowe 1
                                                                             DRIP IRRIGATION PROPOSAL

                                               What is drip irrigation?

Drip irrigation is a cost-effective and resource-efficient way of watering vegetation in a garden. Unlike sprinklers

and other common forms of irrigation, drip irrigation saves water by allowing for the direct transmission of water to

the roots of plants. According to Wilson and Bauer (2005), drip irrigation utilizes a network of pipes that are used to

carry water under low pressure to plants at a rate much slower than sprinklers. Drip irrigation works in a way that

keeps underlying soil moist. The rapid wetting and drying of plants, which often results from sprinkler irrigation,

does not occur with drip irrigation, leading to increased plant health (Wilson and Bauer 2005).

                                               Environmental Benefits

Wilson and Bauer note that drip irrigation has many advantages over other forms of irrigation. Water loss due to

runoff, wind and evaporation is minimized with drip irrigation. Pavement deterioration, siding destruction and mold

spots are nonexistent with drip irrigation because the process efficiently routes water to plant roots only. Sprinklers

spray water on siding, wood and pavement—among other things—which can lead to the destruction of these

materials. Drip systems can also be efficiently controlled by battery powered timers—a wonderful tool for those

who cannot always be in their garden.

         According to research conducted by Rhode Island University (2011), drip irrigation is greater than 30

percent more efficient than sprinkler heads. Manual operation of drip systems, for instance, allows users to take

advantage of rainfall and save water. As previously discussed, this system can also be operated efficiently with the

use of automated timers. End caps can be inserted into the ends of the tubing to prevent unnecessary runoff—

something that cannot always be done with other irrigation systems. In addition to these benefits, Rhode Island

says, drip irrigation prevents disease by minimizing water contact with leaves, stems and roots of plants. The

efficiency of drip irrigation leads to an increased savings of time, money, and water—a big reason why drip

irrigation is used in dry climates with scarcer water supplies and in humid continental climates like that found in

Bowling Green.

                                                       Our Plan

As mentioned above, drip irrigation is more efficient than other types of irrigation such as sprinklers and soaker

hoses. Because we do not know how far apart the plants in the rooftop garden will be, we have decided to combine

a more efficient type of drip irrigation with a series of soaker hoses. Soaker hoses are effective when plants are

planted in close proximity to one another and when watering trees, but are inefficient in opposite instances and
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                                                                              DRIP IRRIGATION PROPOSAL

instances such as in the garden, where benches rest on top of the elevated beds. Because of this, we will use drip

irrigation to water the elevated flower beds nearest the garden entrance. Soaker hoses will be used to water the two

tiers of elevated beds that lie along the back wall. To set up our irrigation system, we will need two electronic

timers and other inexpensive adaptors. It is best if the plants are watered in the morning and evening to avoid water

evaporation during the hottest periods of the day. Timers should be changed to meet seasonal demands, as plants

require more water in the heat of summer than they do in the spring and fall (Wilson and Whiting 2006).

To complete our project, we will need to purchase more than 200 feet of hose. According to our measurements, we

will need approximately 85 feet of ½ inch drip tubing to water the elevated bed nearest the garden entrance. Ports

No. 1 and No. 4 of our aluminum and brass four-port manifold will be used to for irrigating the elevated bed nearest

the garden entrance. Port No. 1 will be used to water the vegetation to the left of the faucet, and Port No. 4 will be

used to water the vegetation on the right side. Drip emitters will be inserted into the tubing and each end of the drip

tubing will be capped to ensure efficient use of water. The drip emitters do not need pressure regulators. We are

estimating that we will need 15-20 drip emitters depending on how many flowers are planted in the elevated bed.

         Port No. 2 of the aluminum and brass four-port manifold will be used to water the two-tier elevated beds

that are located along the back wall. The elevated bed located closest to the wall is 58 feet long. The bed in front

(closest to the ground) is approximately 50 feet long. In order to adequately irrigate these areas, we will need

roughly 100 feet of ½ inch soaker hose, which can be cheaply purchased at home improvement stores, such as

Lowes, Menards and Home Depot. Because the elevated beds are located several feet away from the water source,

we will need 25 feet of solid, ½ inch hose to connect the soaker hose to the four-port manifold. For aesthetic

purposes, we plan on burying the connecting hose beneath the stone.

         Each 22-by-24 foot live-roof panel will be watered by hand with the current garden hose, which we will

attach to port No. 3 of the aluminum and brass manifold. According to Dr. Hennessey, who tended the garden last

summer, each panel only needs to be watered once or twice a week. Rain water will also help with the growth of

this vegetation. Because the green panels are the most distinguishing features of the garden, we want to do our best

to avoid altering their look. We feel that soaker hose, which would only be used once or twice a week but lie in the

panels all summer long, would detract from the natural beauty of each panel. The garden hose will also be used to

water potted plants and trees.
                                                                          Anthony Grant and Nathan Lowe 3
                                                                           DRIP IRRIGATION PROPOSAL

         In regards to water pressure, very little pressure is needed to operate this system. We recommend operating

one valve of the system at a time for best results.

                                             What We Need

   Apex soaker hose, 5/8 inch, 50-feet: $11.97          Gilmour 9500 electronic water timer (2): $29.99

100 feet of ½ inch drip irrigation poly tubing: $8.99

                                                                       Four-port manifold: $10.99

                                                                                                 End cap for poly

                                                                                                 tubing (2): $0.50

25 feet of garden hose: $11.79

                                                                 PC drip emitter w/ check valve (15-20): $0.33 each
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                                                                             DRIP IRRIGATION PROPOSAL

5/8 inch soaker hose end cap: $1.54

                                                PROJECT BUDGET

                                    Items                                     Price

                   50 feet Soaker Hose (2)                            $11.97 x 2 = $24.00

                   25 feet garden hose                                       $11.79

                   100 feet drip tubing (1/2 inch)                            $8.99

                   Gilmour 9500 electronic water

                   timers (2)                                         $29.99 x 2 = $60.00

                   One aluminum and brass hose

                   faucet 4-port manifold                                    $10.99

                   Drip button emitters                                $0.33 x 20 = $6.60

                   ½ inch drip tubing end caps                          $0.50 x 2 =$1.00

                   5/8 inch soaker hose end cap                               $1.54

                                                            Estimated Total Budget: $124.91

                                                    Plan of Action

This text highlights the steps Anthony and Nathan took to complete this project and details what steps need to be

taken to carry out the project in a successful manner.

Research: Anthony conducted research and sent the information to Nathan via email on Monday, March 19. Nathan

sifted through this information, searched for more information on EBSCOhost and selected information that

pertained to the project. He inserted this information into the written plan, making sure to cite each source, and


Budget: Nathan researched parts that the group needed to execute its plan. He sent links to Anthony via email on

Wednesday, March 21, and Anthony created a budget table. He sent the table back to Nathan, who added it to the

written document and presentation. Nathan also researched more parts after the group measured the dimensions of

the garden in class and added them to the budget, written plan and presentation.
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                                                                            DRIP IRRIGATION PROPOSAL

Meetings: Nathan and Anthony discussed the project via email and before and after class. They met in the Student

Union on Friday, March 23, to view the project’s progress and discuss what else needed to be done to complete the

project. Anthony mentioned that the group should draw up a blueprint of its plan. He provided Nathan with the

dimensions of the garden, which he measured during class, and Nathan completed this assignment on Wednesday,

March 28.

Finishing touches: After meeting with Dr. Nick Hennessey on Wednesday, March 21, Nathan had a better idea of

what the group needed to do to complete its plan. Dr. Hennessey said that the green panels in the middle of the

rooftop did not need to be watered with drip irrigation. He said that each panel only needs to be watered once or

twice a week depending on temperatures and rainfall. Nathan agreed and worried that drip irrigation would diminish

the aesthetic characteristics of each panel. He ran this idea by Anthony during their meeting on March 23.

Future plan: Our written plan provides adequate description of our proposal. Pictures in our Powerpoint

presentation are hyperlinked to websites, where each part can be purchased. These parts will need to be purchased to

complete this project. Nathan and Anthony both plan on helping with the installation of this project. Adaptors,

which are not listed in our presentation, can be purchased at local hardware stores. Depending on what parts the

department has money for and what types are purchased, different adaptors may be needed to connect the hoses

together. I would hate to purchase adaptors ahead of time and have them not fit properly with the hoses that are

purchased. Ace Hardware and the Home Depot, among other home improvement stores, carry a vast selection of

these irrigation adaptors, hoses and accessories.
                                                                         Anthony Grant and Nathan Lowe 6
                                                                          DRIP IRRIGATION PROPOSAL


Drip irrigation for the home garden. (2004, July). In The University of Rhode Island. Retrieved March 28, 2012,

        from http://www.uri.edu/ce/healthylandscapes/dripirrigation.htm#hose

Wilson, C., & Bauer, M. (2005, November). Drip irrigation for home gardens. In Colorado State University.

        Retrieved March 28, 2012, from http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/04702.html

Wilson, C., & Whiting, D. (2006, May). Operating and maintaining a home irrigation system. In Colorado State

        University. Retrieved March 28, 2012, from http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07239.html

*See blueprint and dimensions sketch on next page

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