Monday, August 8, 2011

Nicki’s Field Study, Phase II: let’s get wet!

Over the past three weeks the field plot study site work has barreled forward, with this most recent phase concentrating on getting water to all the lines already assembled and in the ground. What follows is a brief account – from Hydrolab to field – of how it all went down.

Citra, FL: the inspiration

If you build it, they will come

Once Manny assembled two sturdy wooden benches and a timer stand out in the plot site, the onus fell on the Water Resource Team to put some gear on those bad boys!

Les valves

In order to reduce the leak factor, 1” slip valves, courtesy of Hunter Industries, are the valve of choice for the field study site. Attached to these are water meters (for water-use data per plot) and pressure gauges (for insight on plot psi).

All these parts were carefully assembled in the lab and then brought to the field for the greater task of constructing two giant manifolds (each corresponding to 8 reps), to be prominently displayed on the elevated benches.

Before this could take place, the mainline to the site was affixed with a particle filter and then extended to each bench, reducing from 1.5” to 1” PVC at the valves.

Manifold destiny

To maximize the platform space, the PVC pieces joining the valves together were precisely measured.

Eight valves are equidistant on the platform, each reducing from 1" to 3/4" PVC at the water meter and then running a line down the bench's side and then meeting with a field line at ground level near the field line trench.

at dusk, with all valves in place, Nicki inaugurates the mainline

The flush and funny

With each valve now capable of sending water to a specific plot rep, work began on preparing for sprinkler head installation – in this case, the MP1000 multi-stream spray head courtesy of Hunter Industries.

MDC UCU Jesus Lomeli, resplendent in orange, makes a cameo

Following a brief pep talk by Mike about how easy and forgiving funny pipe can be with respect to head location along the trench, the Water Resource Team set about proving the exact opposite in the field!

One footnote: had head fittings on the field lines been located at exactly the same place, and a good distance from the known head location along the trench, the funny pipe would have performed as prescribed. Next time!

Lines were flushed, funny barbs and pipe were attached, and MP rotators affixed and buried in place.

MP1000 in all its glory

The saga continues

Tune in next time for: timer and valve wiring and lysimeter prototype trial!


  1. This has been quite a project. Hard to believe Nicki chose this!! It will be a nice field site for years to come! Good job!

  2. This little plot of land has been quite a learning experience and will hopefully continue this trend for many years to come!

    Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to this project!