Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Sunday 24 September 2017

Interest in system still strong

Content: John O'Donovan of O'Donovan Agri Environmental Services and contractor Mike O'Brien with Mike's new jet cleaner that can clean out drains up to 300m long
Content: John O'Donovan of O'Donovan Agri Environmental Services and contractor Mike O'Brien with Mike's new jet cleaner that can clean out drains up to 300m long
Cleaner: Forty-two of these drain jetters were sold in Ireland last year. They produce up to 30bar pressure at the nozzle and can clean drains up to 300m long
Darragh McCullough

Darragh McCullough

There has been massive interest in the drain-jetter system since it first arrived in Ireland from Holland four years ago.

Importer John O'Donovan says that he sold 42 models in 2013 alone.

And he claimed that interest in the machine from both contractors and farmers was still strong. "We do models that range in price anywhere from €10,000 up to over €50,000 for a fully wirelessly operated machine with a reach of 300m," he said.

Mike O'Brien was the contractor who brought his 300m drain-jetter to the open day.

"It can produce 30bar of pressure at the nozzle and can clean pipes from 40mm right up to 300mm in diameter. But you need to give every stretch of drain two or three runs with it because the first run might only clear the sediment inside in the drain. You also need to clear the holes in the pipe to allow water into it again," explained Mr O'Brien.

Tanker

The contractor charges €50/hr or €1/m, depending on the job. However, this does not cover the cost of the tanker to supply water to the jetter.

While Mr O'Brien said he was happy to use a water supply laid on by a farmer, "it has to be clean. Otherwise, I'll need to use my own tanker, which costs another €35/hr."

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But how much does the service actually end up costing per acre? The last job that Mr O'Brien did took three hours to clean about 500m of drains. Based on the typical scenario outlined by Teagasc specialists on the day, a 1ha square plot would require about 400m of collector drains.

So, working through the figures, this works out at approximately €80/ac.

Mr O'Donovan also makes a good point that many farmers might overlook when they are considering the costs of improving their drainage systems with either jet washing or more drastic measures.

"Don't forget that if you tackle a field with diggers and machines, you've lost the productivity of that area for a number of weeks, if not months. You have no downtime with the jet washer, and often it is just what the doctor ordered."

Indo Farming