track watering strategies?

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4/12/2020 11:39 AM

Anyone have any experience they can share about track watering? I have a smallish (2.5 acre) track right next to a spring fed pond.

We currently have a 3" trash pump feeding a 3" main and three 1.5 inch lines off the main. I tried 1.5 inch fire hose but did not have enough water pressure, or enough strength to tote the hoses full of water!

The dirt is about 50% clay, the real stuff like bakes in the sun and turns into a brick (or powder as fine as talcum) maybe 15% sand and the rest is just dirt. With water and a little work the track surface is pretty nice. It ruts up well, and oddly smoothly as the clay forms and holds a shape well.

But, it also dries up quickly and watering with hoses takes at least an hour for three men on a single hose each.



4/12/2020 11:43 AM

Ripping it and laying down water the afternoon before an option for you?


4/12/2020 11:50 AM

Sort of is, but sort of not. Most of the riders are on little bikes and deep loam isn't the goal. Just dust control for now. We had a bit of success yesterday watering/riding/watering/riding. But, it was partly cloudy and in the low 70's. When the sun and heat really come out I'm not sure what will work.


4/12/2020 12:24 PM

A Sprinkler system would be a good permanent solution.

A lot of upfront work and cost but would save you a lot of time in regards to routine track watering.


4/12/2020 12:40 PM

Sprinkler system is the way to go depending on your layout it can be easy or hard. The last one i helped do we did with 6 trash pumps hooked to 12 menards sprinklers. Also ran 3 hoses for manual watering to make sure everything is covered. Sprinklers do the large area a to keep them wet while you quickly do detail work that way by the time your ready to ride it hasn't started drying yet


4/12/2020 12:42 PM

You can also throw a couple large water totes in the back of a truck and drive around with someone spraying the track with a cheap harbor freight gas pump and a short hose and spray the track down. That's a quick fairly cheap way of doing it.


4/12/2020 1:11 PM

id just get enough water going to water a few of the best corners and leave the rest. we`ve tried a few things and its too expensive for a sprinkler system and takes too long with hoses.


4/12/2020 1:35 PM

My friend once had a similar setup and he made some watering stations around the track. There were maybe 4 or 5 hose bibs with some garden hoses. He would invite a bunch of friends over and we'd all take turns riding and watering. It worked out great. You have to keep watering constantly on a hot day.


Braaapin' aint easy.

4/12/2020 5:05 PM

Since you have a spring fed pond, I'd lean towards pack tanks like mentioned above. I'm setting up that as well, have two 250 gallons liquid fertilizer tanks mounted on and old equipment trailer and will fill them from two large 1500 gallon fert tanks that I will fill off a well. Doubtful 3000 gallons will go very far, but can either water down a couple of sweet corners or rip and water in the evening and moto for a couple hours in the morning.


4/12/2020 5:37 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/12/2020 5:42 PM

Is the entire 2.5 acres track?


4/12/2020 5:50 PM

How long is the track? I have a small track and 80% of it can be watered with a sprinkler system using a twin impeller fire fighting pump. Has two sectors of 2 inch poly pipe with 10 sprinklers on each sector.

Def water the night before/morning when the intensity of the sun is not there.


4/12/2020 6:12 PM

Set up a water tank with a spray bar/ boom on a quad bike so it's actually not a bad job to water the track, you can even get the kids to do it. Aim to give it a good soak a day or two before riding, depending on the weather.
But the big winner to get more bang per litre, is to apply a granular wetting agent to the soil first, so the water penetrates the surface and doesn't run off or just wet the top of the dirt and is dusty ten minutes later. Gardening products like 'Saturaid' are awesome and worth spending a few bucks on.


4/12/2020 6:19 PM

Strap the pump to a pallet, pump might be sucked into the muck. If hoses are going up hill, a lot of pressure will be lost. I worked on a lot of flight pumps 4,6 inch. You can shim the impeller closer for more pressure. I made a inline pump, in between the hoses. Columbia river to rig, had a big hill, in-line pump placed correctly kept the pressure up. It will not last as long, because the pump body is not in water.


4/12/2020 8:12 PM

cablecable wrote:

id just get enough water going to water a few of the best corners and leave the rest. we`ve tried a few things and its too expensive for a sprinkler system and takes too long with hoses.

This. How much money you have?? Take it all, multiply by 3 and you might have enough. Clay is a bytch. It won’t hold water without massive help. We add sand and lots (tons!) of sawdust and wood chips. It’s just unfriendly dirt for moto. You go from concrete to ice to slop in minutes and never the same way twice. smile


4/12/2020 8:53 PM

Thanks guys. Since we already have the one pump plumbed into 5 hoses, i think I will try some sprinklers and keep the current hoses for spot fixing.


4/16/2020 6:49 PM


4/18/2020 5:46 PM


4/18/2020 6:35 PM

I came in here with the a strong expectation that there would be an after dark joke or mention. Needless to say, I’m very disappointed.


4/18/2020 7:00 PM

I ran a 1/4 mile flattrack for 12 years that had a great reputation for both the surface and dust control. We would start watering on Tuesday for a Saturday race. Try to do it once it starts cooling off. This allows the water to settle into the ground rather than evaporate off of the top. We also put 16oz of Era liquid laundry detergent into every other 1000 gallon tank of water. The soap does something to the water molecules making them smaller which allows the water to soak down deeper into the base. On race day we would put about a quart of ice melt into the first three tanks of water (1000 gallon water wagon), and then another quart into every other load of water, up until about an hour before racing started. This is the same ice melt that you use on a driveway, but look at the back and make sure it is at least 85% calcium chloride. People are going to freak out when they find out that you are using calcium chloride, but a five gallon bucket would last us three to five races. The calcium chloride holds moisture and slows down the sun drying out the surface. Feel free to call me at 317.871.4392 if you have any questions.

If anybody is in need of a water truck, I have an old F-350 with a 300 gallon tank, plumbed and ready to go. It’s not pretty, but it starts every time. Would sell for $600. I also have an International straight truck with a 2500-2600 gallon tank with 90,000 miles that I would sell for $2500. We put the tank on, but did not plumb it. It starts as soon as you hit the key. Neither truck is street legal, the Ford has no brakes (needs brake lines), and the International only has front brakes (needs brake lines and most likely calipers as they are frozen.)