Farm Drainage Systems

Drainage is needed because salt is a poison to plants. Having proper drainage helps flush corrosive salt that is in the irrigation water from the Colorado River. As the fields are irrigated and water seeps down through the soil, salts and excess water is leached away through these drain lines to waste-water canals.

We install horizontal drains encased in gravel with a variety of machines. One type of machine LIDCO, INC. utilizes is a laser outfitted Cleveland Wheel Trenching machine to install the 12” pipe at the design depth and grade. The trenching machine utilizes a wheel for digging a 22” wide trench with a cross belt conveyer to move soil out to the side. The machine is outfitted with a single gravel chute and a pipe pusher to control stretch.

Drain lines are staked with cuts and hubs for control points to set the laser and verify the beginning and ending depths are correct. Additional points are set for reference when checking drain line elevations at 50’ intervals.

The most common type of pipe installed is soiltight, high density polyethylene plastic pipe. The 4” pipe is laid out in front of the machine in 250’ lengths. Larger diameter pipe is then laid out in front of machine in 20’ lengths. Doubled tie wire are utilized for the couplings instead of zip ties to pull couplings tight.

We also use our 4 “chain” trenchers for the majority of our installations. These machines are laser controlled for grade, encase the pipe in gravel as it exits the pipe chute and pulls most of the spoil back into the trench, covering the pipe and gravel as it comes out of the chute to prevent the pipe from floating in wet conditions.

Line grades and alignments are set with our RTK GPS systems and the operators confirm the slope and depths prior to installing the line.

These machines install pipe diameters from 3 inch up to 10 inch and depths from 3 feet to 9 feet.

Our third method of drain installation is with a ‘plow’. This machine is a trenchless installation utilizing a shank with a wide point that lifts the soil to create the zone for the pipe and envelope material to lay as it comes out of the pipe chute. This machine only installs 3 and 4 inch pipe and is mainly utilized on very large projects with close line spacings. This machine is heavier to mobilize and requires a larger installation crew.

The same process is used for staking and verifying line slope and depths. The machine depth is limited to a range of 4 feet down to 5.5 feet.