Drip Irrigation System
Drip irrigation is a form of irrigation that saves water and fertilizer by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of many different plants, either onto the soil surface or directly onto the root zone, through a network of valves, pipes, tubing, and emitters. It is done through narrow tubes that deliver water directly to the base of the plant. It is chosen instead of surface irrigation for various reasons, often including concern about minimizing evaporation.Drip irrigation is used in farms, commercial greenhouses, and residential gardeners. Drip irrigation is adopted extensively in areas of acute water scarcity and especially for crops and trees such as coconuts, containerized landscape trees, grapes, bananas, pandey, eggplant, citrus, strawberries, sugarcane, cotton, maize, and potatoes.
Advantages Of Drip Irrigation
- Fertilizer and nutrient loss is minimized due to localized application and reduced leaching.
- Water application efficiency is high if managed correctly
- Field levelling is not necessary.
- Fields with irregular shapes are easily accommodated.
- Recycled non-potable water can be safely used.
- Moisture within the root zone can be maintained at field capacity.
- Soil type plays less important role in frequency of irrigation.
- Soil erosion is lessened.
- Weed growth is lessened.
Disadvantages Of Drip Irrigation
- Initial cost can be more than overhead systems.
- If the water is not properly filtered and the equipment not properly maintained, it can result in clogging.
- Drip irrigation might be unsatisfactory if herbicides or top dressed fertilizers need sprinkler irrigation for activation.
- Drip tape causes extra cleanup costs after harvest. Users need to plan for drip tape winding, disposal, recycling or reuse.
- In lighter soils subsurface drip may be unable to wet the soil surface for germination. Requires careful consideration of the installation depth.
- the PVC pipes often suffer from rodent damage, requiring replacement of the entire tube and increasing expenses.
Components and operation Of Drip Irrigation
Components used in drip irrigation (listed in order from water source) include:
- Pump or pressurized water source
- Water filter(s) or filtration systems: sand separator, Fertigation systems (Venturi injector) and chemigation equipment (optional)
- Backwash controller (Backflow prevention device)
- Pressure Control Valve (pressure regulator)
- Distribution lines (main larger diameter pipe, maybe secondary smaller, pipe fittings)
- Hand-operated, electronic, or hydraulic control valves and safety valves
- Smaller diameter polytube (often referred to as “laterals”)
- Poly fittings and accessories (to make connections)
- Emitting devices at plants (emitter or dripper, micro spray head, inline dripper or inline driptube)
In drip irrigation systems, pump and valves may be manually or automatically operated by a controller.