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Designing Sprinklers to
Fit Your Water Allocation

Each Vista Vue landowner is allocated 8.47 gallons per minute (gpm) per acre owned. Typical lots are 5.25 acres. Thus your water allocation is:

5.25 ac x 8.47 gpm = 44.5 gpm

This is the maximum gallons per minute that you can use at any given time. (For those of you who have other sized lots, the math is the same: just take the number acres you own times 8.47 gpm and that will give you your total gpm.)

Once you know your total allowable gpm, you can calculate the number of sprinklers that you are permitted to run simultaneously. Nearly all of us run an impact sprinkler of some type. Common nozzle sizes run from 3/32" to 3/16". Each nozzle size puts out a specific number of gpm so it is relatively easy to determine the number of nozzles that you can run. For those of you who are using the plastic impact sprinkler that can be obtained from
Hamilton Farm Equipment, there are 5 interchangeable nozzles. The most common is the orange nozzle, followed by green, purple, blue and black. The following chart lists the nozzle size and flow in gpm.

Purple Nozzle 3/32" 1.6 gpm @40 psi
Orange Nozzle 7/64" 2.2 gpm @40 psi
Green Nozzle 1/8" 2.9 gpm @40 psi
Blue Nozzle 9/64" 3.7 gpm @40 psi
Black Nozzle 5/32" 4.4 gpm @40 psi

Using our above example of 5.25 acres and a total allowable of 44.5 gpm, you can run 28 heads using purple nozzles (44.5/1.6); 20 heads using orange nozzles (44.5/2.2); 15 heads using green nozzles (44.5/2.9); 12 heads using blue nozzles (44.5/3.7); and, you are limited to 10 heads using black nozzles (44.5/4.4).

The majority of metal impact sprinklers run 1/8" nozzles, although the nozzle size can be changed to a smaller size allowing you to run more heads. To determine your nozzle size you can use drill bits inserted in the nozzle to determine the size. Note that over time and with the abrasive nature of our water, the nozzle size will increase.

Those of you who are using double heads, i.e. two nozzles per sprinkler head, are really limiting yourselves to a minimal number of heads that you can run.
We are aware of several water users who are using double heads with an orange and black nozzle. Total flow with this configuration is 6.6 gpm. If you own 5.25 acres then you are limited to running 7 heads. Using double heads provides you with no advantage; you are limiting your flow and pressure, and the area that you can irrigate while staying within your water allocation.

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For further information contact: Stu Skidmore, President; Mike Stenberg, Vice President;
Gary Carlton, Secretary; or, Tracy Oestreich, Trustee;

We welcome your comments on the website.