Can we use manure water into the pipes to recharge?
The only difference is that you have to filter it. It doesn’t have to be filtered as much as drip systems out but it still has to be filtered to get some large particulates out of it.
Do the roots get into the pipe?
The Aquifer pipe is far below the surface that roots typically do not reach down to that location which is in the middle of the service road. It is far away from the trees and lies in the middle of the service road. So the roots go down to the moisture plume where there is ideal amount of oxygen and water. They will stay away from the pipe itself because that center channel is fully saturated. It’s an anaerobic condition so plants will stay away from that surplus oxygen area.
Can I use technique with existing trees or it only applies on new planting?
It can be used in both scenarios but preferably it’s perfect for existing trees and we trench up exactly in the middle of service road and the pipe is placed in. For new plantations, drip lines must be used for the first two years to get the root system down towards the moisture plume. And that’s how it weans off the trees and continues to go from there.
Do I put in the Aquifer pipe and take out the drip irrigation?
No, actually you are going to run both systems for about four months. What happens is that your typical drip lines are turned on for 72 hours and then turned off for a week. And then again turned on for 72 hours and turned off for a week. You are charging the water with Aquifer pipe and letting the gravity flow into the center of the pipe on a daily basis. This creates the moisture plume and the plants start sensing that they always have water down below instead of that feed and starve, because that drip is working. Eventually those roots will come down to that lower area where the moisture plume is and you can turn off your drip lines, pull them out and resell them to somebody else.
With what type of crops this technique can be used?
We’re focusing on orchard crops growing anywhere from your oranges, peaches, stone fruits to your nuts. It can also be used for alfalfa and other crops but the method and dynamics of the overall operation changes a bit
How is that product made?
It’s an ABS pipe made out of an ABS post-industrial and eventually post-consumer use. It’s a very durable and hard plastic that uses ABS glue to seal the joints so you can do different runs. It typically comes at 10-foot lengths but we can also produce it in 20-foot length. It currently comes in a 6 inch diameter and we plan on making it in a 10 inch and a 12 inch. The 10 and the 12 inch are specifically made to focus on areas where larger groundwater recharging is required. This will allow you to generate groundwater banking credits.
Am I going to see surface water?
No. The whole system is designed to feed from the pipes with a manifold on the front end and it drops down five feet into the service road. Once it goes into the pipe itself, it’s non-pressurized. It is going to allow the natural flow of the water for the full length of the pipe and then wick up into the surrounding soil. If you add pressure to it, you will see bubbles where the water will actually rise to the surface and create an artesian well on the surface. You must use gravity flow that will prevent any surface water and evaporation. The operations will keep running into the farms it even if you are recharging the groundwater. That’s a key factor compared to let’s say a Flood-MAR application where you are flooding the field and then you can’t enter into the field. But with the Aquifer Pipe, you can recharge anytime of the year even if you’re doing some type of operations on the surface including harvesting.
How do you prevent deep percolation during the cultivation season?
During cultivation, we use artificial intelligence to manage the moisture plump to see how big that moisture plume gets. That’s how the plants get feed from the water plume itself and don’t use the water going over the edge of the pipe and down into the subsurface. Because it’s not good if you’re pumping more water than you actually need. We’re trying to achieve transpiration isolation that describes only to put water into the fields which is enough for the trees themselves and not using any environmental leakage to evaporation or deep percolation. So the focus is to give the plants what they need, no more no less.
How do you know how much water you added to the groundwater?
In the first few years we’re going to measure the transpiration isolation (Providing the trees enough water during cultivation). Once we get transpiration isolation, anything above that water amount is going to end up down into the groundwater. If there is a rain event in the middle of let’s say March, we will be able to know that the typical March that trees are going to need this particular amount of water and the excess would be going down into the groundwater. We also measure that how much water is coming into the pipes so it’s a constant meter flowing of how much water is being distributed within the infrastructure itself.
Will you cut into the tree roots?
The Aquifer Pipe is placed in the middle of service road so most of the tree roots don’t reach to that center area. If some roots reach, they are very small. So as we dig down five feet deep in the center of the service road and place the pipe. When we backfill it with native soil, it will start to create that moisture plume and the trees will migrate towards that moisture plume. Remember we are applying this procedure to every other service road unless we find that the agricultural land has enough percolation capabilities and to get the maximum water banking credits
For how long has the Aquifer Pipe been around?
It has been there for four years. We started in the urban areas taking greywater from the shower or laundry and used that water to irrigate lawns and landscapes. It’s now available on Lowe’s.com. The idea is to be able to cut the water consumption in urban areas and show that we can keep this surface dry. A farmer asked us if this can be used on his farm. We said yes and designed a 6 inch version and introduced that into orchards.