A frequently asked question at Agri-Valley Irrigation, LLC (AVI). is “What components are in a drip irrigation system?” There is no simple answer. However, there are many factors to consider: crop, acreage, soil type, location, weather, etc.
Many components make up a drip irrigation system: pumps, filters, piping, valves, drip tubing, controllers. At AVI, we are here to help determine precisely what you need.
Most pressurized irrigation systems require a pump. Pumps provide the irrigation system with the required water flow and pressure necessary to operate the emission device. It is critical to have a properly sized pump to maximize energy and/or fuel-efficiency.
Filtration is one of the most critical components of a drip irrigation system. All drip systems need a filter to keep dirt and debris from plugging the emitters. Be sure to flush your system and filters for maximum performance properly. Proper filter maintenance helps to keep your system running at its designed efficiency.
Pipe is used underground to distribute water from the filter stations to valved areas throughout a field. Many factors are used when determining which kind of pipe should be used for best practice: crop duration, distance, pressure rating, size, elevation change, etc.
Valves are essential in an irrigation system to control the water’s direction or turn the water on and off. These valves can be operated automatically by pressure, time, technology, or manually by opening and closing. Valves are typically thought of in two classes: isolation and control. A majority of the time, isolation valves are manually operated and used to shut down certain areas of a field to either split the field to manage pressure best, make repairs, etc. Control valves can be either manual or automatic. These are used to regulate pressure in a field to keep uniformity during irrigation.
Drip tubing is used on most irrigation systems. The tube is typically placed on the ground surface along the crop rows. Most commonly, the tubing has inline emitters built into it at a specific spacing, depending on the crop needs. Plain tubing is also available, which can be used to punch in emitters or sprinklers at any desired spacing.
Irrigation systems can have multiple types of controllers, which can make a grower’s life much easier. These controllers can activate or shut down irrigation at the valves, change the direction of water from one field to another, or make the filter station go through a flushing cycle. All of this can be set up automatically and does not require a person to be in the field physically.