Water Systems – Plant watering and irrigation

Whether using mains water or harvested rainwater, for efficient irrigation and watering a properly designed and installed system is key, especially for commercial users.

For domestic use, properties with large lawns, landscaped areas and gardens, installing controlled watering systems will help to maintain plants and lawns all year round, reducing labour and water wastage.

There can be issues with water pressure (too strong, or insufficient) when using direct mains supplied systems. Better control can be achieved by using a water storage tank and regulating by means of valves and pumps. Tanks-UK supply not only the tanks, but also the pipework, fittings, valves, filters, pumps and control panels as required.

What types of irrigation systems can be used?

Permanent underground systems

These would be mainly used in horticulture, where there are regular growing areas for specific crops. The two types used are sprinkler systems and drip-by-drip irrigation.

They will require high quality pressure pipes and fittings, which Tanks-UK supply. The sprinkler types associated with underground irrigation systems are often the turbine type, which pop up under water pressure and spray over a fairly wide area. The soaker hoses described below can be used underground as a drip irrigation system to the roots of the plants.

Drip or soaker systems above ground

This type of system is simpler to install and versatile enough to suit everything from small gardens and vegetable plots up to large, specialised glasshouses. Above ground irrigation systems can also be used, for example, in nurseries, tree nurseries and garden centres.

They can be connected to mains water, but equally they can work from rainwater harvest tanks. Each system will vary in design, obviously, but there are two main types of hoses used: soaker or porous pipe hoses; and drip lines. Both work on the principle of allowing small quantities of water to get into the ground to water the plants at root level, instead of from above. The soaker hoses are actually porous hoses which allow water through in a controlled manner. Drip lines may be suspended on short stakes just above ground or between lines of plants and, as the name implies, they drip water at intervals along the pipe length.

Portable watering units (Bowsers and Skid Units)

What about areas where fixed systems would not work? A case in point is urban landscaping which may include town centre planters or hanging baskets on lamp-posts for instance. Sports fields and lawn tennis courts are other examples where the watering system must be portable.

This is where watering bowsers or skid-units come into their own – but first, what’s the difference?  Bowsers are normally trailer mounted tanks with pumps, hoses and nozzles; whereas skid-units are mounted on a skid plate to be transported within vehicles such as pick-up trucks.

Tanks-UK have a range of watering bowsers available from our own Tungsten brand, which can be customised to the customer’s exact requirements, with different length hoses, different type pumps and either spray guns or watering lances. The lances are also available in a telescopic version which extends up to 2.5 metres, which is ideal for watering planters and hanging baskets at high level.  Take a look at our earlier blog post from last summer focusing on watering bowsers: HERE 

Dust suppression bowsers, which spray water in a fine mist from a bar at the rear, have also been used successfully as watering units, typically for sports facilities including lawn tennis courts.

Use of rainwater systems

Rainwater harvest tanks are very frequently used to provide a steady source of natural water for controlled irrigation, through use of the irrigation systems described above. Tanks-UK can help you choose the right tanks for the purpose and the fittings and accessories that will be needed to power an irrigation system.

Rain sensors

What are rain sensors and how do they help in an irrigation system? Basically, if it is raining then why would you waste water by running sprinklers or other irrigation systems at the same time? A simple rain sensor works by detecting rainfall and cutting off the water via the controller, which saves having to manually turn the system off and works all the time even when there is no-one available to control the system.

Control Panels

The control units for an irrigation system can be indoor or outdoor depending on location and exact application. As well as hard wired 230v supply, they can be supplied as Wi-fi units.

For more remote locations, we can even supply battery powered control panels.

Speak to our technical advisors about the best control units for the system you intend to install.


Just give us a call on 01953 665940 or email info@tanks-uk.com with your requirements and we’ll send you a quote.