Canadian company goes full HDPE for irrigation systems

Dozens of large farms around northeast Canada owe their irrigation systems to Irrigation Plus Inc., a Québec-based landscaping company whose specialties include irrigation systems.

Jonathan Lachapelle is a Field Technician for Irrigation Plus, but his roots with the company run deeper than that. His father, Serge Lachapelle, started the company in 1988, and the company mainly catered to the golf course industry.

But, as the markets shifted, Irrigation Plus found itself involved in HDPE – and now the company only works with polyethylene fusion.

“We’re renowned all around Québec,” Lachapelle said. “We’re about to celebrate our 35th year, and I think that’s proof of something great.”

Today, the company stays busy, despite not seeking out publicity. It boasts a fleet of 13 McElroy pieces of equipment, ranging from 2-inch to 20-inch fusion machines. Two teams cover jobs nearest to the Irrigation Plus shop, and Lachapelle covers the rest of the province.

In 2021, Lachapelle laid 1,200 feet of 10-inch IPS DR17 on an onion farm in Québec, using a TracStar® 412, a TracStar 500, and the productivity-enhancing PolyHorse®. The farm’s owners wanted to improve their irrigation system, and Lachapelle, along with his nephew Philippe Dubeau and his father Serge, tied the new line into an existing buried 10-inch line, which gave the owners the choice of pumping water from a second small pond on the property.

For that job, Lachapelle put rollers on either end of the PolyHorse, feeding two fusion machines at once. That let him finish the entire job in a single day.

Once the 1,200-foot line was in place, Lachapelle and his team fused a tee on one 600-foot stick of pipe, splicing it in place with an electrofusion coupling sleeve. After that, the TracStar 500 made quick work of tying the 600-foot lines together.

“It was all in a day’s work,” Lachapelle said.