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Hillcrest Primary School Monitoring Soil Moisture to Achieve Best Practice Turf & Irrigation Management Gerry Charlton DIRECTOR IPOS Consulting Pty Ltd.

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Presentation on theme: "Hillcrest Primary School Monitoring Soil Moisture to Achieve Best Practice Turf & Irrigation Management Gerry Charlton DIRECTOR IPOS Consulting Pty Ltd."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hillcrest Primary School Monitoring Soil Moisture to Achieve Best Practice Turf & Irrigation Management Gerry Charlton DIRECTOR IPOS Consulting Pty Ltd

2 Background 2009/10 Hillcrest Primary School Oval ha Reduced water usage to deal with drought conditions. Resulted in surface cracking and closure of the oval for school activities. IPOS engaged to carry out turf & Irrigation assessment and make recommendations on future management.

3 Irrigation System & Turf Assessment Results Irrigation System System 5 years old Application rate acceptable mm/hr Distribution Uniformity (DU) acceptable – 77% Maintenance issues include sprinklers not turning, misaligned. Irrigation schedules not meeting plant water requirement. Turf Assessment Soil Type heavy black reactive loamy clay. Swells when wet shrinks when dry, prone to compaction. Soil structure acceptable with good infiltration rate. Kikuyu coverage and density variable with significant broadleaf weed present. Significant surface cracking, particularly in poorly turfed areas. Cracking extended deep into the soil profile. There was not turf and irrigation skills within the school.

4 Irrigation System & Turf Assessment Results

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7 Description / Year2006/072007/082008/09 Irrigation Water Use5,1676,1523,794 Irrigation Requirement5,400 6,400 Irrigation Water Usage

8 Irrigation System & Turf Recommendations Turf Maintenance Implement turf maintenance program aimed at improving turf coverage and density, eradicating broadleaf weeds and maintaining soil structure and infiltration. - verti-drain - herbicide application - Sodding bare areas - fertilser application. Monthly turf quality inspections Irrigation Management Carry out irrigation maintenance to ensure all sprinklers are operating correctly. Increase current irrigation schedule to soak the soil profile and close cracking Install multi-probe soil moisture sensor to monitor moisture levels through the profile. Use soil moisture technology to manage irrigation scheduling to ensure the plant water requirements are met and moisture maintained in the profile.

9 MAIT Industries – Intellitrol System Multi stage soil moisture probe with sensors at 10, 20, 30, 40 cm Monitor soil moisture, flow, rainfall, EC, Soil Temp. Control irrigation scheduling based on soil moisture status. Management control using calibrated full and refill points. Real time remote monitoring of irrigation events, soil moisture, flow and rainfall. Requires back up monitoring of turf condition.

10 MAIT Soil Moisture - Irrigation Monitoring and Control Full Point 25% Refill Point 15% Rainfall Irrigation Soil Moisture

11 MAIT Soil Moisture - Irrigation Monitoring and Control 40 cm 30 cm 20 cm 10 cm

12 Results – Irrigation Water Usage Irrigation Water Usage managed to apply only as much water as required to meet plant water requirements while maintaining soil moisture within the profile.

13 Results – Turf Quality Improved turf and surface quality. No surface cracking. Oval ‘fit for purpose’, safe for school activities.

14 Results – Turf Quality

15 Summary Turf and Irrigation recommendations implemented. Improved turf and surface condition resulting in uninterrupted use of the oval with no surface cracking. Improved water use efficiency with actual water usage matching the plant water requirement without wastage. Positive outcome for the school with sound turf and irrigation management. Thank You !


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