Conserve Water and Irrigate
Drip irrigation, also known as micro-irrigation or trickle irrigation, is a remarkable water technology first developed decades ago. Today, it is commonly used all over the world in agricultural, nursery, greenhouse, landscape, and a variety of industrial applications. In recent years, the demand for drip irrigation has grown rapidly and for good reason - the technology can help solve serious problems associated with water use.
Advantages of Drip
To achieve optimal results, one must first choose the right system and then use it properly. Choosing a system can be complicated because each application is slightly different and there are many options available. However, regardless of application, it is very important that the system deliver a very high application uniformity that will distribute water evenly throughout the system. In general, gravity irrigation systems deliver relatively low application uniformity, sprinklers deliver relatively moderate application uniformity, and drip systems deliver relatively high application uniformity. A thorough understanding of drip irrigation will assist the end user in making the right choices for virtually any terrain.
Components of a Drip Irrigation
From the valve and filter, water is then delivered to each of the emission devices through a network of PVC and PE pipes. The emission device, whether it is drip tape, a drip emitter, jet or micro-sprinkler, then delivers water and nutrients to the soil where plant roots may nourish the plant. All components have attributes that affect performance, and are traded off with initial installation, operation, and maintenance costs.
Drip systems are durable and built to withstand outdoor conditions for reasonable lengths of time, but care should be taken to avoid damage by wildlife, foot traffic, or field equipment. In many cases, the environmental conditions will dictate the choice of emission device for any given application.
Driplines with built-in pressure-compensating, continuously-flushing emitters allow for even distribution and protection against clogging. For longer runs or hillier locations, the pressure-compensating emitters may be more appropriate. Application rates can be tailored to fit the soil and plant type, allowing for flexible water applications above or below the soil surface.