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New Irrigation System | Oakham School

Oakham School

The requirement:

GlenFarrow was asked to develop a new irrigation system for the playing fields at Oakham School. The project was to begin with the cricket pitch but the system will extend over the next 3 – 5 years to include all cricket squares as well as the rugby pitches. In addition to irrigating the playing fields, the system would also need to provide water to the flower beds around the newly constructed Cricket Pavilion.

Our Solution:

Key to this project was making sure that every element used at the beginning had the capacity to support the final scheme. To this end, we started Phase One by drilling a new borehole, giving careful consideration to volumes of water required and pump sizes to maximise the potential of the system in the future. At the same time a new, remotely operated, irrigation controller was installed. Not only is the unit big enough to cope with the demands of the full project but it enables full automation of the end system. As a result, the irrigation can be done at the touch of a button, saving many hours of labour-intensive hand-watering. Finally, the GlenFarrow team installed Hunter G95 Gear driven sprinklers around the first cricket square enabling this area to be precisely and economical watered in just minutes, without staff needing to uncoil lengths of hose pipes as in the past.

Phase Two saw the GlenFarrow team mole-ploughing 1,000m of 63mm MDPE pipe for the start of the new ring main as well as mole-ploughing to allow for pipe around 4 existing cricket squares. Mole-ploughing the pipe makes for a speedy installation with the minimum amount of surface disruption and the high-tensile MDPE pipe, which can withstand high water pressures, is guaranteed by the manufacturers for 10 years and has an expected lifespan of 50 years.

Around each cricket square we then installed Hunter I90s rotary sprinklers, giving excellent coverage. Hydrant points were also installed around the perimeter of each cricket square, allowing easy manual watering of the Outfield when required by simply connecting a hose to the hydrant point. Phase Three will see our team installing full irrigation to the main rugby pitch. At the end of all the work, the fully-automated irrigation system will be covering 12,000m2 of playing fields. This highly controllable system will help the school to save on labour and reduce water usage by precisely targeting their irrigation efforts.

What the client said:

“From design to build, I found GlenFarrow to be extremely helpful, with a wealth of experience on both design and installation. Even in some difficult ground conditions the overall job was very clean and tidy and the system now provides high volumes of water at any point during the day.

The Lowara Hydrovar (a pressure controlled inverter) is a fantastic addition, which allows the system to run at varying water pressures. The pop-ups have cut watering times from multiple hours to just minutes and I’ve also found the Hunter ICORE controller very helpful. It’s a very easy-to-use controller; not over complicated, but very effectively does the job required, enabling us to water at off peak times.”

Richard Dexter, Head of Grounds, Oakham School