How to Install a Sprinkler Pump to Suck Water From a Canal
One of the least expensive ways to supply water to an irrigation system is to pump water from a source of standing water such as a pond, lake or canal. When any of these applications is used, a pump must be installed in the system to pump the water from the water source. When pumping water from a canal, the process of installing the intake pipe is slightly different than a a lake or pond. Most canals are constructed with vertical sides which make the installation much easier.
Measure the depth of the canal to the surface of the ground or bottom of the trench where the intake pipe will run.
Cut a 1-foot length of PVC pipe and attach to the intake filter basket. Follow the attachment instructions for the filter basket; they are different for each model and manufacturer. Glue a PVC elbow to the other end of the 1-foot section of pipe.
Cut a length of PVC pipe 1 foot shorter than the measurement obtained in Step 1. This will allow the filter basket to remain off the bottom of the canal. Glue this pipe into the elbow on the 1-foot pipe from the filter basket. Glue another elbow on the other end of this piece of pipe.
Measure, cut and glue together the rest of the intake pipe from the canal wall to the pump. Connect this pipe to the pump; make sure the connection is correct for the pump used. The connection procedures differ for each style pump.
Prime the elbow on the end of the filter basket pipe and the end of the pump pipe. Place the filter basket pipe in the water; make sure not to drop the pipe completely in the water. Glue the pump pipe to the filter basket pipe.
Place pipe hangers along the length of pipe into the canal to ensure the pipe will not move. If the canal does not have wooden bulkheads, this step is not necessary.
Fill in the trench for the intake pipe, if the intake pipe is buried. Turn on the system to make sure the pump is drawing water into the system.
- If the canal has a direction of flow for the water, the filter basket can be turned to face into the flow of the water to aid in suction.
- Check with a local irrigation pro for any questions with this installation.
- Check with local municipalities to make sure water can be drawn from the canal for irrigation purposes.
- Elbows can be replace with 45 degree connections if the canal wall is not vertical.
- Make sure the length of the intake pipe does not exceed the maximum draw depth of the pump used.
Michael Rippetoe has been writing for 15 years, and has recently decided to make it his career. He has been a journeyman carpenter, ASE Master Mechanic, certified irrigation professional and currently writes for this site, designs websites, and does professional photography. Rippetoe's articles appear on eHow, Garden Guides, AnswerBag and others.