About JP Water

Jim has been in the irrigation industry for 35 years, during which time he has worked in many parts of Queensland from the tropical north through the golden west to the urban, temperate south. With this diversity of locations and the wide variety of irrigation types, there is little in the way of pressurised irrigation with which Jim has not been involved.

In Far North Queensland he worked with Dunlop IBC in Innisfail. Dunlop there serviced three main areas: agricultural, fishing and mining.

  • In the agricultural area traditionally the two main industries, sugar cane and bananas, had relied on travelling irrigators and solid set irrigation however he was fortunate enough to be involved with the transition from this type of irrigation to the Israeli inspired micro and drip irrigation. The design demands of micro and drip in this mountainous area is much greater than with the traditional methods so from the start the need was to be precise in design and estimating.
  • In the fishing area, Jim was involved in the design and supply of specialist pumps into the Gulf of Carpentaria fishing and prawning fleet. The nature of this industry with the boats being away for long periods and in the harsh conditions in which the pumps operated called for a lot of care in the selection of pumps, the operating requirements and their construction. Not only clean, clear water was pumped but also a variety of exotic fluids and slurries such as salt water, processing waste, squid, whole small fish, fuels and oils. This diversity of pumping situations laid the basis for sound knowledge in pump selection and operation.
  • In the mining area it was primarily about pumping a differing range of exotic fluids, some fluids very abrasive, some fluids at raised temperatures and some special fluids bearing dissolved gold. This was interesting and exciting work in places like Mungana Gold, Kidstone Gold and Dianne Copper Mine. A facet of this was the specialist irrigation side which called for the irrigation of leach pads with specialist fluids, sulphuric acid, cyanide solution etc., to leach the required ores from the raw material. Accuracy in the design of not only the pumps but also of the distribution methods, sprinklers and drippers was necessary as the fluids are both expensive and dangerous.

Having a sound base in pumping has been a major benefit in the move to the more prosaic agricultural and urban irrigation. From Innisfail where Jim had subsequently worked with another company, Cole Drilling and Irrigation, which specialised in agricultural irrigation and water well drilling, he moved to Bundaberg. His arrival in Bundaberg coincided with a growing demand for irrigation as the Childers/Isis irrigation scheme was beginning to deliver irrigation water to formerly dry farms.

Where irrigation had been installed in the region, it was either by surface irrigation or travelling irrigator, expensive to operate and time consuming. Working at AgTec, the smallest irrigation company in Bundaberg, it was necessary to survive to develop a new idea, something that was innovative and offered an alternative to the high operating cost systems being offered by our opposition.

The concept of sub-surface drip irrigation was conceived and developed for use under sugar cane. It was expensive to purchase, however it significantly lowered operating costs, reduced labour costs and dramatically raised both the tonnage per hectare and the CCS, (the all-important sugar content of the cane). Some of the systems installed in the late 80's and early 90's are still operational today, 25 years later.

While most of his work has primarily been agricultural in nature, he has also carried out many projects in the commercial turf, domestic turf, multi-storey building and sports field irrigation areas. The fundamentals of irrigation still apply in these fields but there are a differing set of disciplines that come into play that, if ignored, can jeopardise the success of a design or installation.

Another area where he has done a considerable amount of work is in the dispersal of treated effluent from sewerage treatment plants. With the advent of the mining boom, the construction of mining camps requires that such camps are able to treat their waste on site and dispose of it also on site. Dispersal areas are defined by a MEDLI report and, dependent upon the recommendations of this report, sub-surface drip or above ground spray systems are designed to comply with the DEHM requirements. This is a specialist area, and in Queensland, requires a plumber's license and a BSA license endorsed to do this work. Jim has these qualifications.

In all of these facets of the irrigation and pumping industry, the computer has become a very necessary tool in not only the precision of design but also in the presentation of the finished works. To this end he has been trained in AutoCAD, IrriCAD, Microsoft Office (Word, Excel etc.) and in a wide range of pumping and irrigation industry specialist design programs.

Jim has excellent communication skills and has been successful in the design/sales field over many years. He relates well to people of all ages and from differing backgrounds and endeavours always to be culturally sensitive. His approach is to work with people in a collegiate manner that acknowledges their individual skill and abilities, marries it to his own and together, problems are solved.

Jim Phillips

Legal information

Public Liability Insurance
CGU P/N 04CON1030320

Professional Indemnity Insurance
Zurich P/N 132938PZB1

ACN: 610 852 312

QBSA License: 1087585

Plumbing License: 10981

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