The Houston’s Farm Story
When you turn on a garden sprinkler it’s easy to take for granted your ability to adjust the flow. Few people would stop to consider that this is only possible thanks to mains pressure or various pressurised pumps (depending on whether you live in a urban or rural area). However, when staff at Houston’s Farm in Tasmania turn on the sprinklers they are irrigating hectares of lettuce at a time. Yet being able to adjust the flow is still vital for such an application.
Houston’s Farm grows and supplies high quality baby leaf salads to supermarkets and stores around Australia. Their ongoing commitment to quality was recognized when they were awarded the prestigious ‘Woolworths Supplier of the Year‘ award. So when Houston’s needed to source a new irrigation pump system as part of an upgrade to the farm, management called upon a local irrigation and water resource consultant to make sure they got it right.
We were approached with a requirement for a pump system that was extremely reliable, low maintenance and user friendly. In particular, the control and drive system had to be a proven combination that was simple to operate, easy to fault-find and simple to use.
A quad pump Lowara/Hydrovar Smart system was selected for the task, using the ‘tried and true’ combination of Lowara SV-Series vertical multistage pumps with ABB variable speed drives and Hydrovar Smart control systems.
The Hydrovar Smart incorporates all the features of the legendary Hydrovar pump control system and enables the speed of the four 45kW, SV9206 pumps to be ramped up or down in order to maintain a constant pressure throughout the irrigation network. Protection against over voltage, under voltage, overload and dry running are just some of the additional Hydrovar features that provide ongoing reliability and added peace of mind for the customer.
Importantly, the quad Lowara/Hydrovar Smart system allows Houston’s staff to automatically adjust the flow of water to suit their daily irrigation requirements.
With approximately 700 megalitres of water used each year at the largest of Houston’s three production properties in the Coal River Valley, these pumps play a vital part in the yearly production schedule.
The Farm Production Manager said, “The new pumps have provided a huge benefit to the management of the solid state irrigation system, as having instant, on-demand water removes the need to set a pump for the particular area being irrigated. The pumps are efficient, quiet and the Hydrovar Smart control system never fails.”