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Drip Irrigation System is lifeline for High value Horticulture / Agriculture crops due to high valued features. However for the success of drip irrigation systems proper maintenance is required. Following are few installation and maintenance tips.

  1. Ensure that J-Turbo line/J-Turbo Aqura / Jain Turbo Slim/Jain Turbo Tape / Chapin Twin Wall is connected to submain through 1- 1.5 mtr. long lateral piece (approximately up to the first tree or start of the bed) & not directly to take off to avoid wastage of water, wetting sub-main trench & empty border space. If directly fitted to sub-main the emitter inside trench may suck-back soil while shutting down of the system which may result in to clogging the drippers.

  2. While laying - J-Turbo Aqura / Jain Turbo Slim/Jain Turbo Tape/Chapin Twin-Wall always position to emitter facing upwards (yellow line facing upwards). It is recommended to use winders for unwinding and rewinding of tubing.

  3. Run the system daily. With daily running all the dissolved salts do not precipitate and can be thrown out in dissolved form only. Also running the system daily would help to keep the salts out of the wetted bulb of the dripper.

  4. Use water soluble & EDTA based chelated fertilizers as they helps to prolong frequency of special treatments.

  5. To prevent rodent/squirrel damage, use rodent deterrent tubing or if the tubing is not with RD rat repellent apply along the line. Do not kill the snakes in the field, snake controls the population of rats. Rat campaigning on larger scale by a group of farmers is the effective solution for rat problem. To prevent squrill problem, cover the trunk of the tree on which squirrel stays, with polyethylene or GI sheet or use a bowls of water near their places of inhabitant, hole/ tree, etc.

  6. Never try to clean the blocked dripper by forced hammering or by using sharp objects like nail, pin etc.

  7. Always keep the field clean. Some insects staying in the field garbage can make the holes in the tubing or even in drippers.

The Maintenance schedule of Drip Irrigation System is in 4 steps;

  1. Current or Daily maintenance,

    1. After starting the pump let the pressure be stabilized in the system. Check for leaks & correct the pressure at sub-main. It should be as per the design. If pressure is less adjust it by throttle/ by-pass valve.

    2. Inspect the dripping and ensure that water is reaching all the corners of the plot/field if at some portion water is not dripping correctly find the cause & correct.

    3. If a twist, fold, cut, puncher etc. is found causing discharge variation, correct it immediately.

    4. At the end of shift inspect uniform wetting pattern. If dry patches are found increase duration of operation.

    5. Inspect through out the field to detect precipitation, scaling, if clogging is taking place, the end drippers are the first affected. Take corrective actions if scales/precipitates are found.

    6. Monitor the mechanical damages by rodents, farm operations by labour, animal or machinery, causing leakage; correct it immediately by using proper joiners.

    7. Flush all the laterals by opening end plug 1 to 5 in a series; then close them 1-5 in the same sequence allowing flushing for 3 minutes until clean water starts flowing.

    8. Flush each sub-main at the end of every section (shift) till dirt free clear water starts flowing.

    9. Check inlet & outlet filter pressures. Remove slurry from hydrocyclone, back flush sand filter at every 5 hours; flush screen/ disc filter at the end of days operation.

  1. Periodic or Fortnightly maintenance.

    1. Repeat 1 to 9 operations and take corrective actions.

    2. Take out the element of screen/disc filter and clean it thoroughly. Open the lid of sand (media ) filter manhole, allow the water to come out through manhole, stir the sand thoroughly by moving the hand in between filter mushrooms (candles) without disturbing their position for thoroughly separating accumulated foreign material with media (sand) for recharging its filtering capacity.

    3.1 Acid Treatment: Precautions Always use goggles & surgical/rubber hand gloves & never pour water in acid but always add acid in to water as safety precaution before handling acid. Always use plastic containers for acids.

    The commercial Grade of Acid recommended for Acid Treatment are:

    Hydrochloric Acid HCl - 35%
    Nitric Acid HNO3 - 33%
    Sulfuric Acid H2SO4 - 65 %
    Ortho Phosphoric Acid H3PO4 - 85%

    In most of the cases the 0.6% application with irrigation of these commercial grades of acids brings down the pH between 2-4 capable of dissolving most of the precipitations. Most of the cases HCl can be used which is highly effective & the cheapest of all, except the crops which can not tolerate Chloride. In that case HNO3 or H2SO4 could be used. H2SO4 is not recommended where ca, mg salts are above 500ppm. Acid treatment is always done before chlorination as chlorination is effective under ph range of 6.5-to-8.5. If iron is present, do not use ortho phosphoric acid (H3PO4) as iron would precipitate with phosphoric acid.

    H2O2 Hydrogen Peroxide can also be used to bring down ph where use of other acids is not feasible.

    Select the most suitable acid and proceed as under:

    1. Flush & clean filters, Flush main, Submain & lateral ends.

    2. Calculate quantity of Acid required for the valve ( section/shift) based on 0.6% injection of Acid for 15 minutes. As a thumb rule 15 ltr Acid @ 1 ltr/min Acid is required for each of 10m3/hr flow. (10,000 lph x 0.006(6%) x 0.25hrs). If injection rate is say 1.5 ltr/min add 7.5 ltr of water in Acid to ensure 0.6% rate of injection.

    3. Open inlet & outlet of Venturi without disturbing its calibration settings. In case of fertilizer tank create appropriate pressure differential between inlet & outlet by throttle valve. Do not spill the acid/chlorine on the fertilizer tank.

    4. After the injection of Acid, allow acidified water to react with precipitated salts for about minimum 4 - 6 hours (It is desirable to prolong the period for 24 hours). Then open the ends of laterals and submain flush valve. Start on the pump and allow all the water to flow out. Measure the discharges of marked drippers. Flush Main, sub-main & laterals. If there is no significant improvement repeat the treatment, repeat the treatment as above for all the sections.

    5. At the end of acid treatment wash the equipment & vessels with clean water, whip & dry removing residue of Acid. If clogging is observed due to algae or other causes; carry out chlorination treatment.

    6. Run the system for half an hour more than normal irrigation schedule so that extra quantity of acid will be taken out of root zone.

    3.2  Iron, Manganese Treatments: If water analysis report shows higher amount of iron and/or manganese following measures can be taken, oxidation by aerations allows iron to precipitate faster. Store the water in settlement tank after stepped aeration to allow iron to precipitate down and then pump the water for your system. Chlorination along with aeration can enhance rate of oxidation. Please note that manganese impurities react slow with chlorine hence they coagulate after the main filters. In such cases, either allow some additional reaction and precipitation time or use plot filters as secondary fine filter to avoid drip per clogging which cannot be cleaned by any chemical means.

    3.3  Chlorinaton Treatment: Precautions for chlorination Chlorine is toxic to human & animal. Do not have direct contact with Skin, eyes, nose, mouth with any Chlorine substance or Cl2 gas; as it is poisonous for human and animal. Wear goggles, hand gloves, safety shoes etc. during chlorination treatment. Vessels for the solution should be thoroughly washed to avoid accident by reaction. Never use Fertigation of Nitrogenous fertilizer during Chlorination to avoid formation of sublime compound like Ammonium Chloride etc. Never mix acid in Chlorine solution; use another device of injection for acid prior to Chlorine. For making/diluting solution of Chlorine add Chlorine product into water but do not pour water in chlorine substance/solution. It can be in three forms: Cl2 gas (100 %Chlorine), Sodium Hypochlorite NaOCl, (10% Chlorine) or Calcium Hypoclorite Ca(OCl)2 (50 to 65% Chlorine).

Recommended Concentration of free Chlorine in water (ppm=mg/litre) for various purpose


Purpose of
Chlorination
Application
Method
Concentration ppm (mg/ltr)
at head control
ppm (mg/ltr) level at
end of the system ( dripper)
Remarks:. 2HOCl (35%Cl)
injection ltr/hr/10m flow
Algae Prevention Continous 1 - 10 max. 0.5 - 1.0 max 0.029 - 0.29
Algae & Bacteria Killing Intermittent 10 - 20 for 20 min 0.5 - 1.0 max 0.29 - 0.58
Dissolving organic matter Hyper-Cholorination 50 - 500 for 5 min 5 - 10 max 2.9 - 29
Oxidation of Iron Continuous 0.6 mg/ltr/ppm of Iron impurities 0.5 - 1.0 max 0.022 / ppm for Iron impurities
Oxidation of Manganese Continuous 0.6 mg/ltr/ppm of Mn. impurities 0.5 - 1.0 max 0.022 / ppm for Mn. impurities
Sulphur impurities Intermittent 0.6 mg/ltr/ppm of H2S impurities 0.5 - 1.0 max 0.022 / ppm for Sulphur impurities

 

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