Troubleshooting Irrigation Water Supply
Here are some of the common greenhouse irrigation problems you may encounter:
1. Undersized Pipes
Pressure, pipe length, and the number of fittings affects water flow. Low pressure reduces flow and high pressure can damage the pipes. A water system with a pressure switch and pressure tank help regulate water flow to keep it between 30-5- psi or 40-60 psi depending on the system. A 1” supply pipe should provide 12 gallons per minute of water flow for a single hose. More flow is needed for overhead irrigation and multiple hoses.
2. Hoses Too Long
Water flow loses speed due to friction with the hose. Longer hoses result in more flow loss. Using a shorter hose will maintain better water flow.
3. Low Water Availability
When you need more water than you can draw from a well in the day, an intermediate holding tank can be used to fill overnight so there is more water that can be used the next day.
4. Prevent Clogs
Water contains impurities that can clog irrigation equipment. Filtering the water through a 100 mesh filter or 200 mesh filter can trap impurities. Filters need to be cleaned regularly and sized properly to prevent loss of water flow. You may need to treat your irrigation water with a purification system to prevent mineral build-up if it is an ongoing problem.
5. Maximize Efficiency and Avoid Waste
Controller boxes and timer systems can be integrated with irrigation equipment to optimize water usage. Automatic watering systems provide more even coverage. Water recovery systems are good for recapturing irrigation water for reuse.