by Woodie Zhao, President
GloTech Corporation – Coral Springs, Florida
It’s a growing trend in rural America – more and more local water districts are requiring growers to add flow meters to their irrigation systems to monitor groundwater usage.
Magnetic flow meters (“mag meters”) are generally the preferred option, as they have proven to be more accurate, reliable and maintenance-free than traditional turbine meters. But with more than a dozen manufacturers that offer mag meters for the irrigation market, how do growers know which one is best for their operation?
When choosing among the different mag meter options, we recommend growers consider the following critical product features:
1. Reliable measurement accuracy that meets or exceeds local regulations
2. Quality and durability to withstand harsh, outdoor environments
3. The cost and ease of installing the meter in the field
With a robust and heavy-duty design, the Growsmart IM3000 delivers a unique combination of all three key features: accuracy, durability and, unlike many competitors, ease of installation.
While experts agree that optimal measurement accuracy typically requires long run of straight pipe upstream of the meter, a recent study shows that the IM3000 delivers exceptional accuracy even when installed with little or no straight upstream pipe. The study, conducted at Utah State University, showed that the IM3000’s accuracy can be maintained to within +/- 2%, even when close coupled to a turbine pump discharge. These exceptional results are the best of any meter on the market. It means that growers can typically avoid the high installation costs often associated with retrofitting existing pipe layouts to meet the more stringent straight pipe requirements necessary for other meter brands to deliver a similar level of accuracy.
"Our biggest obstacle when installing flow meters is the state’s straight pipe guidelines… It’s nice to know they (Growsmart IM3000 flow meters) can be installed with much tighter straight pipe distances and still be extremely accurate."
“Our biggest obstacle when installing flow meters is staying within the state’s straight pipe guidelines on existing pump stations with extremely small footprints. Moving pump pads, indives, trust blocks, booster pumps and fittings can get very expensive,” said Brice Beck of Butte Irrigation, Inc. “We have been installing the Growsmart IM3000 since 2014 with good results. It’s nice to know they can be installed with much tighter straight pipe distances and still be extremely accurate. This can save the grower a lot of money and the welder a lot of time if they don’t have to redesign and fabricate the entire pumping plant to make room for the meter.”