I use several pumps for moving the water from the storage tanks to their destination. I like for the system to operate automatically so, for the largest tank (2,400 gal capacity) I have a timer which connects to a relay which connects to the pump. Early each morning it pumps approximately 450 gals to the gravity feed tanks which distribute the water to the plantings.
For pumping from the tractor building or the chicken coop or the barn I use a portable pump which is connected with norwesco fittings to the pipe lines. I relocate the pump as needed between the 3 sites and the norwesco fittings make it easy to connect and disconnect A generator powers the pump at the tractor building.
The tractor building is 100 yards from the barn. It has two tanks – the raised tank has 3 functions – it provides sufficient pressure for the toilet inside the building; it provides adequate irrigation for the mushroom shelter via a 1″ pipe; and it can feed the lower tank when I am pumping from the tractor building to the main storage tanks.
After experimenting, I finalized on 1.25” polypipe attached to a cable which rises through the trees to clear a driveway and transfers the water to the barn gutter which feeds the water into the two 1,400 gallon storage tanks.
Below is a manifold I soldered from copper fittings – I have several of these and they distribute the gravity fed water to the various plantings.
A continuing problem with gravity fed irrigation is the buildup of algae in the tanks and, though I would like the watering to occur automatically, inevitably clogs occur and fittings separate. So I now try to be present to ensure the water flows as it should but, just as important, to keep an eye on developments – any signs of disease amongst the vegetables or fruits? insect infestation? large critters snacking? weeds becoming rampant? and most important – which growings have ripened and are ready for picking?