Project overcomes challenges to install major irrigation system

IAN Penno decided to throw caution to the wind when he took on a major irrigation project for the award-winning Riversdale Estate in the Coal River Valley region.

“I started out with a design plan but by the end of the first day this was quickly tossed out the window,” he said.

The managing director of Think Water Devonport said he worked closely with property owners Ian and Wendy Roberts to design and install an irrigation reticulation system and wastewater disposal system at the Cambridge property.

“The advantage of not having a solid blueprint meant there were few limitations to what we could achieve, but it also required us to remain flexible if processes changed or we were met with challenges,” Ian said.

Think Water Devonport was first commissioned to undertake irrigation work at Riversdale Estate in 2013.

The work was predominately centred on the Roberts’ new vineyard development but also involved water supply to the estate’s seven self-contained accommodation cottages.

In 2015 the sixth-generation estate family set out to establish a homestead on the property, which would comprise a wine-tasting venue and French bistro with catering facilities for weddings and large functions.

Today, the estate includes cropping, sheep and the largest privately owned vineyard in the Coal River Valley with 38-hectares of vine plantation.

“The development included extensive gardens that required an irrigation reticulation system, as well as a large wastewater disposal system,” Ian said.

“Both systems called for complete pump systems, water treatment and distribution and control mechanisms.”

The wastewater disposal system involved the installation of 10,000-metres of Netafim subsurface drip, rendering it one of the largest private wastewater systems in the local government area.

Using Hunter sprinklers, Caprari pump systems, Puretec Filter and UV systems and Goldtec control systems enabling remote access to the system via the Internet, Ian said the project, which took almost four months to complete, was “very successful”.

“The trickiest part, by far, was the Beatrix Potter Centre, which features an intricate ‘Peter Rabbit garden’ – believed to be the only one of its kind in the southern hemisphere,” he said.

“Measuring at around 40 metres by 30 metres, the garden was a challenge, especially as we were forced to navigate around the winding paths, fences and vegetable plantations.

“We had to get the right reticulation system in place to ensure every nook and cranny was watered without detracting from the authenticity of the feature.”

Riversadale Estate is located at 222 Denholms Road, Cambridge, Tasmania.

Caption: The Riversdale Estate development in the Coal River Valley, pictured above, required an extensive irrigation reticulation system, as well as a significant wastewater disposal system. The project was completed by Think Water Devonport in collaboration with the property owners.

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The Eastern Shore Sun is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 30,000 homes and businesses in the communities of Clarence and Sorell. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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