One of the most widespread and used irrigation systems, due to its efficiency and the water saving achieved, is the drip irrigation system.
In a drip irrigation installation, the following components can be broadly distinguished:
– The water pumping group: comprising, in addition to the water pump, the water suction pipe from the source (well or reservoir) and the delivery pipe at the pump outlet. For wells with deep water the use of submersible pumps is more effective.
In this case it will be necessary to know the maximum descent that the water level of the well experiences during the pumping, to avoid that it can descend below the entrance to the pump. Every pump should work near its maximum performance, which is reached only in a narrow flow margin, which will be the criterion used for the selection of the type of pump.
This information will appear in the operating curves of the pump that must be supplied by the manufacturer in its technical catalogs. Regarding the diameter, in general, it is recommended that the pump be installed as centered as possible in the hole of the well so that the pump is surrounded in all its perimeter by water, and that there is a minimum lateral distance between the perimeter of the pump and the inner wall of the well.
– the head of the installation: comprising a set of devices intended to treat, measure and filter water, in addition to fertilizer injection devices.
Basically, in drip irrigation systems, three types of filters can be used, depending on their filtering function:
- Hydrocyclone filters, used to separate the heaviest particles carried by water in suspension, such as the sand present in the flow.
- Sand filters, to retain the particles of clay and organic matter present.
- Mesh filters and ring filters (or disk), very used above all for water flows from wells. Another component of the head is the Fertirrigation team. Fertigation is a technique that makes it possible to take advantage of the drip irrigation system to apply fertilizers dissolved in the stream simultaneously with the water.
This allows to achieve a saving in fertilizers, since water and fertilizer are applied located in the root zone of the plant, and a better assimilation due to the high moisture content of the soil that allows the dissolution of the fertilizer, as well as rapidity of action and economy for the distribution of the fertilizer.
On the other hand, the fertigation equipment, in addition to fertilizers and fertilizers, can be used to inject herbicides, fungicides and insecticides.
– The distribution network of pipes: formed on the one hand by the main and secondary distribution lines that are usually buried, and on the other hand, the pipeline branches that run along the surface of the land the rows of crops for the discharge of water . Polyethylene pipes are manufactured by extruding the material. They are more flexible and less fragile than PVC.
– The emitters or drippers: which are the elements responsible for applying water to the plants and which are inserted in the dripline branches at each certain distance from each other, generally coinciding with the position of the plant. Special mention deserves self-compensating drippers, which are very useful when the branch pipes where the drippers are installed are very long that can have a lot of pressure variation between the beginning and end of the pipe, or in uneven terrain with many slopes.