Murcia, 2014

It is important to consider the following recommendations to start the drip system for the first time and in each new season of use:

  1. Before starting the pump, make sure that all the necessary valves are open. In order to maintain the integrity of the system, as well as for the safety of the operator, the pressure relief valves in the pump are very important. It is advisable to have written instructions for those new operators.
  2. Record the initial reading of the flowmeter. A flowmeter is very important to keep a record of the use of water as well as to know when the drip lines are covered since there will be a reduction in the flow.
  3. Bleed all pipes and side tubes of tapes. Fill the system slowly by letting all the air out through the air valves at the high points. Bleed all the pipes before connecting the side tubes. Purge all side tubes to remove any dirt or debris that has accumulated during installation or previous waterings.
  4. Backwash the filters and adjust the backwash valve. If you are using a filter that uses new sand, it is recommended that you backwash it immediately. Most filters that use new sand contain fine particles and other impurities that can restrict flow.
  5. Adjust the indicators on the filter controller if you are using an automatic backwash system. Place the filters to wash by clean water line when the pressure differential does not exceed 10 psi.
  6. Adjust the pressure on the control valves. Adjust all pressure regulating valves in the field as well as the pump control valves and pressure relief valves.
  7. Close all ends of the side tubes and inspect the connections to make sure there are no leaks. Leaks frequently cause significant water losses, energy and lower crop yields due to too much or too little irrigation water in a particular area of ​​the field. Leaks can appear in any type of connection and often appear in connections with compression connectors, in the closed ends, or in the hose adapters. Taking the time necessary to inspect all connections to check for leaks or cracks when starting the system will help avoid problems and future complications.
  8. Recheck the pressures. Once the system is fully pressurized, it is advisable to check all pressures to ensure that all comply with the design calculations. Perform these reviews periodically.
  9. Check in detail the condition of your irrigation tape if it was used in another season. It is vital to know what state the drip tape is in with appropriate time before starting the transplant or planting. The drip tape can suffer physical damage, seals or sub-seals that can influence irrigation efficiency and fertigation by decreasing production and increasing costs. The useful life of the tape will depend mainly on the type of drip system management, cultural tillage and the thickness of the tape.
  10. Follow the recommendations of the designer or technician to program irrigation, fertigation and system maintenance. The technician can provide you with an integrated program to use and maintain your irrigation system properly. This will help you to extend the useful life of your equipment, water properly and for the safety of your operators.
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