Duperon FlexRake® bar screening system helps Idaho farmers clear debris for crop irrigation

Duperon Corporation says that two FlexRake® FRHD automated bar screens installed at the Mud Lake Water Users, Inc. (MLWU) irrigation company in Eastern Idaho are successfully protecting MLWU’s 160,000-gallon-per-minute pumps from tumbleweeds and other debris. MLWU owns water rights for irrigation storage in Mud Lake, a natural closed basin that’s used as a reservoir for storage of irrigation water before the water travels through a series of supply canals, two major pump stations and multiple minor canals and ditches that convey the water to 130 farms. Farmers use the delivered water from the canals to flood irrigate and pump the water into pressurised sprinkler systems for irrigation of crops, primarily alfalfa, potatoes, wheat, and silage corn.

MLWU Watermaster Shaun Grover says the new system “has significantly reduced our manual labor needs and safety concerns. We’ve increased our pumping efficiency and have consistent flows and, most importantly, I know my employees aren’t at risk. The new Duperon automated screens cost roughly the same as one pump. That’s been well worth it for us to know the pumps are protected. And we can now spend our time distributing water to the farmers instead of cleaning screens.”

Brent Crowther at Civilize, PLLC Management and Engineering specified the equipment. In 2019, two FlexRake® FRHD bar screens were installed at the 10-foot wide, 16.5-foot deep channel in the Owsley Canal, about 1.5 miles south of Mud Lake at the entrance to the new culvert. The primary Duperon screening system includes two screens set at a 30-degree angle with a 2” opening with a combined flow capacity rated 161.58 million gallons per day. The FlexRake FRHD provides continuous cleaning and is designed for applications where debris size, velocity, and flow are unpredictable. The FlexLink™ multifunctional link system with 5-pound stainless steel cast links and a strength of 60,000 pounds provides a durable system that can work effectively for decades. Jam Evasion™ technology allows the FlexLink multifunctional link system to lift and pivot around debris, allowing the automated screening system to adapt to a wide range of debris variations with up to 1,000 pounds of lifting capacity.

Manually clearing the debris in their decades-old stationary screen multiple times a day during irrigation season had been labor-intensive, potentially dangerous, and expensive. Today, automation is saving MLWU $12,324 per year, a 53% savings in labor costs.