Drip Irrigation

Drip Irrigation Design Services from Access Irrigation

Drip Irrigation Design

 A professional drip irrigation design needs to take into account a number of factors. The main considerations with the design of drip irrigation systems are uniformity, efficiency and reliability. Uniformity is especially important where crops are being grown or harvested for profit, as variations in water supply will directly impact on the consistency of the crop.

In a world where clean water is a finite and expensive commodity, using ultra efficient drip irrigation systems and combining them with precise scheduling of watering enables the most to be made of every drop of water. Reliability also needs to be built in to the drip irrigation design, with specialist drip nozzles available to resist clogging and flush debris from the dripper nozzle. Modern drip irrigation nozzles are designed to combine pressure compensation, anti-drip properties and self-flushing characteristics in one single dripper.

Drip Irrigation Design for Agriculture

To design a drip irrigation system for field scale crops or for orchard areas, Access Irrigation require a detailed plan of the area to be watered along with, if possible, topographical information such as slopes and soil types. The design of the drip irrigation system also needs to take into account the crop type and also the water source. How long the crop will be in the ground will influence the dripper type, with thin walled field tapes being used for seasonal crops and thick walled drip lines being specified for more permanent crops such as orchards.

The water source will also influence the drip irrigation system design, as more sophisticated drippers are better able to cope with impurities in the water. For water sources such as lakes and ponds the design of the drip irrigation system will also need to include appropriate filtration systems.

Drip Irrigation System Design for Horticulture

Production of strawberries and plants in individual pots requires drippers to bring water to each pot. The drip irrigation design needs to balance the available water supply on the nursery to the areas being watered, with the system being zoned to maximise efficiency. The design of the drip irrigation system can also incorporate fertigation options and pulse irrigation scheduling where watering is done for short periods but frequently. This regime allows the substrate volumes to be minimised but requires the design of the drip irrigation system to incorporate drippers with non-leakage devices such as the Netafim CNL range.

With traditional drip nozzles, once the irrigation system has finished there will be some ‘after-drip’, where water continues to be emitted from the dripper. On a sloping site the lowest level drippers will receive proportionally more water as the water in the pipework is evacuated through the lowest drippers. On start-up there is then an inconsistency of dripping as the line refills. With CNL (Compensated Non Leakage) drippers, the individual drippers will shut off as soon as the irrigation cycle has finished, keeping the lines full of water, allowing instant re-starts. If the site slopes, the drip irrigation design needs to take the fall into account and incorporate non-leakage devices in the line.

Designing a Drip Irrigation System for Landscape Projects

With landscape projects uniformity of distribution, although still important, has to play second fiddle to the needs of mechanical reliability and neatness. With the planting providing a display to enhance the visual appeal of the area, pipework for the irrigation system must be discrete. A drip irrigation system would normally be designed to route all of the supply pipes underground.

Where the drip irrigation design requires irrigation on the border areas the drip lines would normally be chosen to provide high resistance to mechanical damage from landscape contractors, as well as pipe colours in black or dark brown to blend into the border. The drip irrigation system can be designed to allow either drippers to be placed underground, or under a mulch, making the system completely invisible.

For planters on the side of the building, routing the pipework discretely can be a challenge. Most systems where the pipework has to be routed along exposed routes will incorporate ultra-slim supply pipe and pressure compensated drippers into the drip irrigation design. The drip irrigation system also needs the zoning of the irrigation system to take into account the different aspects of the planters. A planter on a North facing aspect will require much less water than its South facing counterpart. The drip irrigation design also needs to ensure the watering of the system can be done when there is no-one about.

Drip Irrigation Designs by Access Irrigation

Access has many years’ experience designing drip irrigation systems for landscape and commercial production. Access are able to provide a full irrigation design service from initial consultations, full design and pricing and supply of all parts required. For landscape projects Access Irrigation can also provide an installation service. For more information email or call our experienced drip irrigation design team.

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