Helpful tips and tricks with Agricultural Irrigation

How to Check for Irrigation Leaks

WP Law - Thursday, August 22, 2019

How do you find a leak in your agricultural irrigation system? Built-in safeguards make it easy.

Agricultural irrigation is a life-giver. There’s no doubt about the positive impact watering systems have made on modern-day farming. Unfortunately, when your irrigation system springs a leak, you might wish for simpler days. Problems in your system can be hard to find. Here’s how to identify them:

Keep an Eye on Your Water Bill

One of the main draws of modern irrigation systems is their ability to save water and keep expenses low. Leaks rob you of the benefits, so it’s important to stay on top of monitoring your bills. If you see unexpected spikes in usage, it’s time to look for leaks.

Put Your Isolation Valves to Work

Hopefully, upon installation, you added isolation valves between sections of your irrigation system. These might seem like a waste of money at the time, but they’re more than worth the expense when it comes to containing a leak. Isolating sections will allow you to check each one to see where the culprit lies. If you haven’t installed isolation valves, prepare to do some digging!

Check for Lumpy, Wet Soil

An especially nasty problem occurs when your irrigation is on an incline. There’s no telling where your leak might be as any water will flow downhill. It can help to mark down where you bury the major joints for your irrigation line. Otherwise, you’ll have to keep an eye out for saturated soft spots or lumps in the soil.

Call WP Law, Inc., at 800-476-4515 the next time you need help with your agricultural irrigation system.

Why W. P. Law, Inc. is Your Business’ Choice for Pipe Repair & Fabrication  

WP Law - Thursday, January 24, 2019

An amazing range of irrigation and fluid management equipment is available today, much of it ready to install straight from the factory.

But at W.P. Law we’ve been providing top quality irrigation and fluid handling equipment since 1970; so we know that every farm and every business has its unique requirements, and that the off the shelf options are not always the best solution.

Ready-made fixtures and fittings may not offer the size and shape to suit your farm, orchard or factory, particularly if you’re looking to replace older equipment. So although we stock thousands of pipes, pumps, valves and accessories, we also offer a custom fabrication service.

Fabrication Services

Our expert technicians work in our own custom fabrication shop, which is equipped for working with steel, aluminum, industrial plastics and other materials. We are highly experienced in producing a wide range of piping equipment including pipes, pumps, tubes, risers and other fittings.

Flexibility and individual service is at the heart of what we offer.

We can modify or update your existing pieces of equipment or design and build you completely new ones from scratch. And we’re not just about irrigation and agriculture.

Our experienced welders can work with all kinds of metal, and with items such as ornamental ironwork, fences and signage.

Pipe Repair

Leakage due to the failure of a piping system is a potentially disastrous problem for the owner of an irrigation system, and one which must be corrected as a matter of urgency to limit the financial cost and save valuable crops.

But an emergency Band Aid fix is probably not going to last. For the long-term health of your system it’s vital to seek expert help; not just to make a sound repair, but to advise on and implement any necessary improvements to the system to minimize the risk of any future failures.

W.P. Law’s technicians provide this advice as well as repairing damaged system components. We can also upgrade or fabricate new elements as required.

Contact Us

At W. P. Law Inc of Lexington we’ve been advising and assisting South Carolina homeowners, farmers and businesses with their fluid management and irrigation issues on properties of all kinds since 1970.

You can stop by one of our 4 locations at any time, click here to send us a message online, or call 800-476-4515 and we’ll be glad to help you.

Top Four Winter Pond Care Tips  

WP Law - Thursday, January 24, 2019

A well-designed pond requires very little winter maintenance to keep aquatic life alive. However, a few simple steps taken before and during months with freezing temperatures can ensure your pond will remain looking beautiful for years to come.

Maintaining Plants

Prune off any yellowing plant leaves in the fall. Leaves should be removed from the skimmer daily during the fall too. Dispose of any dead organic debris from the surface and surrounding area of pond to prevent the water from turning dark brown.

Pump Care

Pumps can remain running during the winter in most parts of the southern US. If you choose to remove your pump it should be stored in a room that will remain above freezing. If the weather in your area is typically warm year-round, turning off the pump isn’t necessary.

Keeping Fish Alive

As part of winter pond maintenance, you want to protect any fish you have living inside the outdoor water feature. New pond owners worry that freezing temperatures mean a pond full of dead fish. The good news is fish can survive the winter months as long as the pond doesn’t freeze completely and an air hole is provided. Ponds at least two feet deep typically will not freeze. In addition to providing an air hole, a pond aerator is useful for supplying fish with the oxygen they need to survive.

Removing Snow from Surface

Snow that accumulates on the surface of a frozen pond can block sunlight from penetrating the surface of the water. Lack of sunlight is detrimental to both plants and fish you have inside the pond. Removal of snow from part or all of a pond is critical during the winter months. Installing a de-icer in a shallow area of the pond prevents snow and ice buildup in a section of the pond.

Visit W.P. Law today to see our latest product lines, including water features, ponds, irrigation systems, and much, much more.

Am I Maximizing the Efficiency of my Pump

WP Law - Thursday, January 24, 2019

Pumps are usually one of the more overlooked parts within a lawn irrigation system, but they are incredibly important. You may need professional assistance when you are changing out pumps or restructuring your lawn irrigation, but it is always good to know the basics.

The Different Types of Pumps

Maximizing your pump means picking the right kind of pump. The two major types of pumps used in lawn irrigation systems are submersible and centrifugal. The type of pump you used is based primarily on your irrigation water source. Submersible pumps are typically used in well applications and centrifugal pumps are used on surface water applications.

Measuring Performance

Optimizing the use of your pump means understanding exactly what key performance metrics to look for. All pumps operate along a curve that is unique to that manufacturers pump model. This pump curve plots pressure versus flow rate. As pressure decreases, rate of flow generally increases. It is critical to know the required flow rate and pressure for an application in order to make the proper pump selection. Also, make sure to winterize your pump system if you live in a place where the temperature drops to below freezing.

The fluid handling experts at W. P. Law, Inc. have experience and expertise that you need to make the best pump selection for your application. Visit the website or give W. P. Law a call for cost effective solutions to your problems, no matter how unexpected or unusual!

How do I Protect my Plants this Winter 

WP Law - Thursday, January 24, 2019

If you want great looking plants during the warm season, protect them during the cold seasons. Proper handling of your plants during autumn and winter prevents frozen roots and foliar damage. Take a look at some best practices that you can implement today.


Using an organic material to mulch will not only protect the plant’s roots from freezing temperatures but will also create better soil. As the mulch breaks down, it will put much needed nutrients into the soil. Use a new layer of mulch every autumn. Keep it around three inches deep, and leave a 0.5 inch space around the stem of the plant for air circulation.

Frost Fabric

Plants can use blankets as well! If you have small trees or large shrubs, you can use a burlap swath to protect them from freezing weather. Remove any cover during the daytime, and make sure that they reach all the way down to the roots of the plant. Do not bind any cover to the plant - make sure that you stake them away from the stem to keep the stem from becoming injured.

Water Correctly

The right watering tactics can be used to protect plants during a night frost. The soil should be thoroughly watered during the day. The wetter soil will hold the heat better than the dry soil, which will protect the plant’s roots and keep the surface temperature from dropping too low. The appropriate irrigation system can help you water more easily based on the predicted night time temperature.

The fluid handling experts at W. P. Law, Inc. have all of the irrigation and outdoor living equipment that you need to protect your foliage during the winter months. Visit the website or give W. P. Law a call for cost effective solutions to your problems, no matter how unexpected or unusual!

How W.P. Law, Inc. Can Help Automate Your Pumping and Piping System

WP Law - Tuesday, December 18, 2018

In an age when it seems that everything has become automated, W.P. Law wants to show you how automating your pumping and piping system can be beneficial too. Whether you already have an installed pumping and piping system, or if you are preparing to install a new system, our experts can help you design the system and explain how the newest technology can make your pumping and piping system the most efficient and state of the art system available.

At W.P. Law, our electrical technicians, fabricators, and programmers will help you build a system, or will help add automation to an existing system that will help add levels of safety and ease of operation.

Our technicians can design and build a system to utilize state of the art technologies such as VFD’s soft start pump control panels, PLC programming, and touch screen interfaces to make it easier for operators to know what is happening. The new technology can be operated using radio signals, cell phone access, or web-based tech to ensure that it is state-of-the-art and offers 24 hour access and control.

Automated pumping and piping systems not only add convenience, it but can also help reduce the risk of injury by detecting a leak and allowing remote shut off. This limits exposure to the leak and to chemicals that could be flowing through the pipe. Another benefit is that less chemical will be lost if there is a leak. Other system failures such as high or low pressure indicators can also be detected and used to shut down pumping equipment or close isolation valves as needed.

If the fluid moving through the pipe is water, detecting a leak quickly can still prevent waste, damage to other machinery, and limit downtime.

W.P. Law, Inc. is a top supplier of fluid handling equipment, including automated systems, in the Southeast. If you are interested in learning more about how making your next system automated, or converting your current system into an automated system, please contact W.P. Law, Inc. to see how we can help.

Winterization Guide for your Irrigation System  

WP Law - Tuesday, November 13, 2018

With the growing season coming to a close and winter just around the corner, now is the time to turn our attention to winterizing our irrigation system. The old adage of an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure certainly holds true when it comes to preparing our irrigation system for the winter. A little bit of time now will save a lot of time and expense when spring rolls around and it is time to get things running again.

Protecting Your Irrigation System

  • Any exposed piping is susceptible to damage from freezing weather. To help minimize damage due to freezing, drain all water from your system. Valve and sprinkler risers should be equipped with drain valves that are below ground. These drain valves should be opened and left open during the winter months. If above ground piping cannot be drained, it should be well insulated.
  • Drain all pumps and filters. Most pumps have a drain plug located at the base of the volute (or pump casing). This plug should be removed and left out over the winter. If the plug is reinstalled, condensation can accumulate in the casing and cause freeze damage. Power should also be switched off to prevent the pumps from being accidentally turned on, as running them dry can cause severe damage.
  • Shut down the controller for automatic systems. This prevents accidental activation of the pumps, which could be damaged by running dry if they have been properly winterized.
  • Backflow preventers and valves above the ground should be protected. Insulation tape can be used. Drain outlets on backflow preventers and air vents should not be blocked in the process.

  • Winter weather can be a source of severe damage to your irrigation system if it is not properly protected. W.P. Law has economical solutions to fit your needs. Contact your irrigation specialist today for a safe transition into winter.

    Best Applications for Sub-Surface Drip Irrigation  

    WP Law - Wednesday, October 17, 2018

    Sub-surface drip irrigation is an irrigation technique that varies from the conventional practices which most individuals are used to. Unlike surface irrigation or traditional drip irrigation, this method uses drip tubes buried under the soil surface to supply water to plant roots. The depths at which the drip tubes are buried depend on the crop being watered and the farming practices employed. It is a costly watering system because it requires expert design and maintenance, but the fact that it delivers water directly to plants roots makes it very effective.

    Sub-surface irrigation eliminates many of the effects of conventional irrigation methods such as ponding, surface infiltration, surface water runoff (leading to erosion), and excessive water losses through evaporation. Water moves out of the drip tubes in all directions and wets the soil around roots. With a well-managed sub-surface irrigation system, it possible to maintain a high degree of uniform water application throughout your fields. Plus, water is only applied underground instead of to the soil surface where weeds could easily germinate. This reduces weed growth and makes it possible for crops to enjoy more nutrients from the soil.

    Best Applications

    In arid, semi-arid, hot and windy areas – The system is best for such areas with low rainfall and limited water supply because of its low evaporation rates compared to conventional irrigation methods. Countries such as Israel heavily rely on this technique in their farming.

    For weed control – The system can help reduce weed growth substantially.

    Growing crops that require dry surface conditions – Some crops benefit from a drier soil surface and foliage because of reduced potential for fungal diseases.

    Medium and large-scale production – The system is relatively complex and in most cases automated, so it’s not best for small-scale farming.

    If you are considering sub-surface irrigation, contact W.P. Law, Inc. today for more information!

    Beginners Guide: Water Well Basics  

    WP Law - Wednesday, October 03, 2018

    If you are planning on having a well drilled or you are a new well owner, it is essential to know well basics.

    Types of wells

    • Driven wells - They are made by driving a pipe with a well point into shallow water-bearing gravel or sand.

    • Dug wells – They are wells excavated by hand using a shovel to a level that is below the water table. They are usually lined with tiles, stones or bricks. They are shallow and easily get contaminated.

    • Drilled wells – they are constructed using a rotary drilling machine. They are usually more than 100 feet deep.

    Well contamination

    It is easy to contaminate a well especially if it was not well constructed. Contaminants can easily slip into the well if toxic materials are dumped close to the well and leach into the aquifer contaminating the groundwater. Consumption of water from a contaminated well can be dangerous. It is essential to have your well tested on a regular basis for pathogens, contaminants and other chemicals.

    Potential sources of contamination include;

    • Microorganisms such as bacteria, parasites, and viruses

    • Nitrate and nitrite present in human waste and chemical fertilizers

    • Heavy metals

    • Fluoride

    • Radionuclides

    Protecting your well from contamination

    Proper well maintenance which includes an inspection every ten years is important. You should also install a well cap to prevent hazardous materials from falling into the well. Use caution around the well and do not put any dangerous substances close to it.

    If you are planning to own a well in the future, talk to the experts at W.P. Law Incorporated.

    The Modern Way to Conserve Water with Agricultural Irrigation

    WP Law - Thursday, August 16, 2018

    In many regions of the country, water is becoming an increasingly precious resource; and sustainable, profitable agriculture depends more and more upon the effective management and conservation of resources.

    Fortunately, modern irrigation technology has provided a number of ways in which the consumption of water can be minimized

    Drip (Micro) Irrigation Systems

    In a drip irrigation system the water is delivered close to the roots of the plants minimizing losses due to runoff and evaporation that typically occur when a traditional sprinkler or spray system is used.

    Drip irrigation also allows for water to be delivered during the cooler hours of the day, further reducing evaporation losses. Water can also be directed to the correct root depth to inhibit take up by weeds.

    It’s estimate that a well-designed and monitored drip system can reduce water consumption by as much as 70-80%.

    Proper Scheduling

    Effective scheduling depends knowing the water requirements of the crop you are growing and having the ability to accurately measure the amount of moisture in the soil.

    Proper scheduling can not only save you money in pumping costs, but can also reduce the potential for certain diseases and save you money on your spray bill.

    Smart Irrigation Systems

    The most advanced irrigation systems now include sensors which can monitor the levels of moisture in the soil and make any necessary adjustments to the amount of water being delivered.

    These systems therefore precisely optimize the amount of water being used, eliminating waste while also ensuring adequate hydration.

    A number of smartphone apps are also now available which allow farmers to control and adjust their irrigation systems remotely.

    Contact Us

    W P Law Inc has been helping farmers get the best possible return on their investment in all kinds of irrigation systems since 1970.

    If you’d like to find out more, you’re welcome to stop by one of our four South Carolina facilities any time, click here to drop us an e-mail or call 800-476-4515 toll free and we’ll be glad to talk with you.

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