Solar Powered Pump(s) For Garden Irrigation From Creek

kdfisherkdfisher Registered Users Posts: 3
Hello All!

Looks like fantastic advice in here. How about some more for a novice seeking to irrigate an elevated dry area?


Goal: Construct a pumping system fed from a creek. See amateur illustration.

Use For: Gardening irrigation

Power Source: Solar

Budget: $ 1,000 not including sprinkler lines and attachments.

Usage Needs: Enough water to irrigate apprx 3,000 square feet with plans for expansion. Needed only during drier months June to September in Ellijay, Georgia. Limited research tells me I need to pump 1800 gallons every week for one inch of water coverage? Based on .623 gallons per square foot.

Irrigation Type: I prefer some type of micro sprinkling head system but open to suggestions.

Description: Areas in question are along a driveway (light brown line) #1 actually slopes ten feet over a span of 150 feet. Plan was to build cistern at the top. (black box) and draw pump/push water from creek about 30 feet below. Creek is also 70 to 80 feet from drive when no topography is included. Basically “up 30 feet and over 70 feet”
Creek numbers: 12 feet wide, two feet deep.

#2 is another area slightly higher that would require a line under the driveway. Elevation about 8 feet higher than driveway. I was originally considering a drip system, but that would not work for area #2. Initially I thought a ram system would work but doing so would require too much area to lay inlet and outtake to elevated area to work properly. Drop off in creek is too gradual.

I’m thinking two pumps and two solar panels here but as a novice could be wrong. For optimum use of panels. Incidentally I’m not that mechanically inclined with electrical stuff but can plug and screw things in.

Thanks for any responses and recommendations!



  • erneerne Solar Expert Posts: 41
    Re: Solar Powered Pump(s) For Garden Irrigation From Creek

    Use a spiral pump or two. What is the flow rate and speed of the creek? no need for electric.
  • kdfisherkdfisher Registered Users Posts: 3
    Re: Solar Powered Pump(s) For Garden Irrigation From Creek

    Hmmmn. I've looked at those but couldn't get past a problem when it rains. The water level rises about two feet with a good heavy rain or 1-2 inches...and it roars. One could easily tube down that thing during good rainstorms. Otherwise the current is about walking speed in most parts. I toyed with the idea of suspending a small pump across the creek on a guide wire attached to trees, with enough slack to bob during heavy current. But then we can get some tree/branch carnage floating as well.

    I suppose a spiral pump can be situated where it can be elevated and out of harms way during heavy current. Can those things be purchased? I'm unable to find such. I want simplicity..oh and I'm not a good plumber either. Good carpenter but the other trades never worked for me. Maybe I'm looking at too many related gismos with all sorts of connections, parts etc.

    Thanks for the suggestion. I'll be chewing over it the next few days!
  • kdfisherkdfisher Registered Users Posts: 3
    Re: Solar Powered Pump(s) For Garden Irrigation From Creek

    Having looked further I suppose I could float a spiral pump by building a platform for it that would also be held in place by guide wires. I saw one guy(video, now I can’t find it) build a basic pump system out of a wooden utility wire spool. Almost premade but needing some modifications. I would imagine it would get quite heavy when waterlogged. I’m guessing heavy duty plastic ones may work better as long as I can attach the paddle assembly securely.

    One thing I haven’t found is the amount of elevation it can pump vertically and can it build pressure for use with spray sprinklers?

    Here we go..all problems solved...or at least one obstacle out of the way. 1000 gallons/day, 49 vertical feet pumping capabilities(head)
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,359 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Powered Pump(s) For Garden Irrigation From Creek

    consider a RAM pump. Powered by water hammer in a spring loaded chamber. Depending on how much flow you have, and how much water you need.

    Look it up in Wikipeda...
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    gen: ,

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