Due to its diverse geography, Lees Valley Station - just inland from the Canterbury Plains - is home to a range of livestock enterprises including a sheep herd numbering close to 20,000, 1,000 beef cows, 600 deer hinds, 1,700 dairy heifers and 2,200 beef bulls.
Catering to the needs of this very large herd, including quenching their thirst, is something Zachary Jones, Station Manager for Lees Valley Station, is constantly working on. So when it came to solving the problem of producing water troughs large enough to suit the size of the herds and assist the gravity fed water system the station utilises, CSP Pacific was asked to help.
Getting water to all the animals on such a large station is a challenge for Zachery and his team. “We have approximately 250 standard pre-cast concrete troughs across the station and if, for instance, a ball cock goes on one of these troughs it affects the pressure across the whole system and can affect water getting to all parts of the station,” explains Zachary. “It’s almost impossible to know where a leak in the system might be. So the proven practice of utilising larger troughs is to 1. reduce the number of troughs (multiple paddocks share a trough) to lesson the risks to the water scheme; 2. allow more animals to drink at any one time; and 3. create a larger storage buffer at the watering point.”
The volume of water required to keep the station’s herd fully hydrated is staggering. “A lactating beef cow for example can require 120 litres of water a day and we calculate the total demand on our gravity system can near 250,000 litres per day,” says Zachary. “So a well functioning water system is extremely important. The pre-cast concrete water troughs that we are able to buy here in New Zealand just aren’t large enough for all our requirements. The largest available is 2.5m in diameter. Trying to manufacture larger than this in concrete would be too heavy and too hard to transport as we are 26kms from the nearest tarseal road.”
|“We were able to come up with a design for a 4.5m diameter trough which can hold around 7000 litres of water and is made from our steel Multiplate,” explains Hamish Brixton, Sales Engineer for CSP Pacific. “This design meant they could be delivered on pallets and be assembled on site.”|
CSP Pacific were on hand to help install the first of the 20 units ordered. “We have had five installed so far and are very pleased with the initial installations,” adds Zachary. “This type of trough is available in the United States in sizes up to 13m which cater to cattle herds numbering more than 2000 head. We were very pleased that CSP Pacific was able to manufacture these units for us here in New Zealand.”
Supply to water points is also important and the CSP Pacific troughs allow easy installation of plumbing so over 200 litres per minute can flow into them (pre-cast concrete trough designs limit flow rate). That, in conjunction with fewer troughs across the system, gives Zachary and his team a much more robust and ample system. “We are very happy with the outcome. Thanks to CSP Pacific for answering my call, responding with zest to a unique request, and working with us to come up with a design and product which has helped improve our station’s overall water scheme.”