If you haven’t done so yet, it’s time to inspect your irrigation system and ensure it’s in good working condition for the coming season. Proper inspection and maintenance can save you thousands in repair costs and crop loss. Scheduled repairs and maintenance will help you save water and give you the insurance that your precision irrigation is doing what it should – giving you peace of mind. In today’s climate, every drop counts, to guarantee that you get the best from your irrigation system by Bekmar we’ve compiled a few maintenance tasks that should be completed for your drip irrigation system.
Looking after your drip irrigation system through scheduled maintenance will not only ensure that you’re getting a return on investment but also prolong the life of your system.
In preparation for the new growing season:
- Visually inspect each component in the system head and plot for mechanical integrity. During your visual inspection, you can go over valves, emitters, dripper lines, filtration systems, main lines and pumps to check for any damage that requires repair or replacement.
- Inject the advised and necessary chemicals for the maintenance and flushing of the mainline, the sub-main lines, the distribution pipes and the dripper lines. These chemicals will help prevent clogging that may cause incorrect flow and drip-rate.
- Flush the dripper lines to remove any built-up residue, sand or organic matter that may cause clogging.
- Check that all pressure gauges are working properly and is installed at the correct points.
- Test your water supply. Water sampling should be done at least once a year to help prevent build-up and clogging.
When in-season, it’s essential that you keep a meticulous record of the system’s flow rate and working pressure. This data, along with the data supplied by us during installation, gives you a benchmark to monitor the system and quickly pick up if your irrigation system needs to be inspected by one of our consultants.
In season remember that regular maintenance is also required. Here are just a few things to stay on top of:
- Monitor the actual flow rate and working pressure (litres by minute) of the pump – compare to data.
- Review the level of algae, salt sediment and carbonates in the system.
- Continuously check for dripper and emitter clogging. This might be evident with plants that wilt or brown.
- Flush the mainline, substations and distribution pipes to clean the inner walls of build-up. Flushing can prevent or assist with indicating clogging.
- If required, you can inject the necessary chemicals to assist with cleaning and unclogging.
Additional bookkeeping of inspections and maintenance is necessary to establish routine check-ups. Keep a record of the date and maintenance activities performed to safeguard you against untimely breakdowns.
Contact your Bekmar Irrigation consultant for a complete list of weekly, monthly and seasonal maintenance required to keep your system running in tip-top shape.