Drip irrigation system design

DRIP IRRIGATION SYSTEM DESIGN

Description

Drip irrigation system design is a method of irrigation where water is applied slowly and frequently, directly into the vicinity of the root zone of the crop wetting only a very limited fraction of total surface area and depth of the soil. Water is applied close to plants so that only part of the soil in which the roots grow is wetted, unlike other systems of irrigation, which involves wetting the whole soil profile. With drip irrigation water, applications are more frequent than with other methods and this provides a very favorable high moisture level in the soil in which plants can flourish.

Drip Irrigation system is based on two main fundamental concepts of irrigating only the root zone of the crop rather than the entire land surface and also maintaining the water content in the root zone at near optimum levels

Drip irrigation system is accomplished by use of pressures ranging from 15 to 200 kPa (1.5 to 20 m head of water) to drip water one-drop-at-a-time onto the land or into the root zone and also to spraying water as a fine mist over portions of the land surface.

Factors to consider when selecting the drip irrigation system design.

Drip irrigation system is one of the cheapest and easiest ways of irrigation a farmer should prefer. While selecting this type of irrigation system the following factors should be considered.

  1. Types of crops

Drip irrigation system design for the Chive

Drip irrigation system is most suitable for row crops including vegetables, fruits, tree and vine crops where one or more emitters can be provided for each plant. Generally, only high value crops are considered because of the high capital costs of installing a drip system.

  1. Nature of the land.

Drip irrigation system is adaptable to any farmable slope. Normally the crop would be planted along contour lines and the water supply pipes would be laid along the contour also. This is done to minimize changes in emitter discharge as a result of land elevation changes.

  1. Suitable soils

Drip irrigation system is suitable for most soils. On clay soils water must be applied slowly to avoid surface water ponding and runoff. On sandy soils higher emitter discharge rates will be considered to ensure adequate lateral wetting of the soil.

  1. Suitable irrigation water

Drip irrigation system requires water that is clean and free of sediments, algae, fertilizer deposits and undissolved chemical particles. This is because all emitters have very small waterways with diameter ranging from 0.2 to 2mm, which can become blocked if the water in dirty. Dripping water to individual plants also means that the method can be very efficient in water use. For this reason, it is most suitable when water is scarce.

Components of Drip irrigation system design.

Drip irrigation system is comprised of the following basic elements:

Control head (Central Control).

This comprises of valves, discharge, and pressure meters. It provides a means for Control and regulation of discharges, and pressures, including non-return valves and air vents. It also has an automation and control equipment, filters and dissolved fertilizer applicators. Depending on the size of the system, there may be several control heads, each serving an irrigation unit.

The Main pipe

This is generally a rigid pipeline made from HDPE, asbestos cement or concrete. The main pipe is almost always buried and conveys water from the source to the main control points in the field.

The Sub-main pipe

This is a multi-valve pipe distributing irrigation water to the various sub-units within a unit. A sub-unit in this case represents an area which simultaneously receives irrigation water from a single control point and which is being controlled by a valve on the sub-main.

It is made up of rigid black polyethylene pipe which in most cases laid on the ground surface, with a diameter ranging between 32mm to 90mm (1.25” to 3.5”), at a pressure of 4 atm.

When designing the sub main line, it is good to consider several factors which include topography of the land, field geometry, water supply and the uniformity required.

The Auxiliary or Manifold pipe.

This is either a flexible (soft) or rigid pipe of high density polyethylene type, generally 20 to 75 mm diameter, which distributes water between the laterals belonging to a single sub-unit.

The manifold and its lateral are designed and operated as a single unified system which is controlled by a single valve.

 Lateral (or Drip line) pipe.

This is basically a flexible (soft) polyethylene or PVC pipe buried or laid on the ground surface and which carries emitters. Its diameter ranges from 12 to 25 mm (0.5 to 1 in) and the pressure rating about 4 atmospheres. A typical trickle system may have up to or more than 10 km/ha of laterals.

The Emitters.

An emitter is a device or system element which makes the drip irrigation possible by providing irrigation water at low flows and atmospheric pressure. The performance of emitters determines to a large extent the efficiency of the system. Since their number is usually very high (from 2,000 to 20,000 per ha,

In Drip irrigation system, the most suitable emitters used are selected based on the following factors such as low in cost, uniform in structure and operation, simple to manufacture, and install, should be able to maintain low problematic at standard operating pressure (3 to 30 m), and should be able to produce a constant low-rate water supply at varying line pressure change.

The Specification of Emitters used in Drip Irrigation System design.

  • There are numerous designed specifications of an optimum emitter used in drip irrigation system:
  • It should be available in small increments of discharge on the order of 1 L/h.
  • The flow should be controlled within narrow limits as a function of operating pressure to properly balance applied water with crop water use;
  • The emitter should be able to resist degradation due to temperature fluctuations and solar radiation.
  • The operating pressure should be 2 to 5m (for low pressure) and 8 to 15 (for high pressure).
  • The discharge rate of emitters should range between 4 liters per hour (for low rate).4 to 10 liters/hour (for medium discharge), and beyond 15litres per hour for high discharge.
  • Should be able to offer flow regime of laminar flow, turbulent or partially turbulent.

The operating principle of Drip irrigation system design.

A drip irrigation system is usually permanent. When remaining in place during more than one season, a system is considered permanent. Thus it can easily be automated. This is very useful when there is little labour force. However, automation requires specialist skills and so this approach is unsuitable if such skills are not available.

With drip irrigation system, water can be applied frequently or every day if there is possibility. This can provide very favorable conditions for crop growth. However, if crops are used to being watered each day they may only develop shallow roots and if the system breaks down, the crop may begin to suffer very quickly.

The wetting patterns of drip irrigation emitters.

Drip irrigation only wets part of the soil root zone. This may be about, low as 30 – 40% % of the volume of soil wetted by the other methods of irrigation. The wetting patterns which develop from dripping water onto the soil depend on discharge and soil type.

Drip irrigation is not a substitute for other proven methods of irrigation. It is just another way of applying water. It is best suited to areas where water quality is marginal, land is steeply sloping or undulating and of poor quality, where water or labour are expensive, or where high value crops require frequent water applications.

 

Specific problems associated with drip system of irrigation.

As a matter of fact, Drip irrigation system being that it is cheap and easy to install, it is also associated with some of the emerging problems and challenges. These challenges are as mentioned below.

Emitters or drippers clogging effect.

The most serious problem in proper design, operation and maintenance of drip system of irrigation is emitter clogging. The orifices of drip system emitters or drippers are extremely small compared to the once in other systems of irrigation. There is therefore, high potential for emitter clogging by particulate, chemical precipitates, and bacteria. Emitter clogging can have severe impact on crop development because of the careful balance between crop water requirement and emitter discharge built into the design of trickle irrigation systems.

Solutions to problems associated with emitters clogging in drip irrigation system.

Criteria to handle the susceptibility of water supplies to emitter clogging should be developed in order to enable the designer to make decisions about the utility of water supplies that is necessary for drip irrigation. These criteria can help the designer in deciding whether drip irrigation system is the most adaptable system for a particular water supply and what type of filtration and water treatment devices may be required depending on the severity of the potential clogging problem.

 

  1. Use of appropriate filtration system.

Filters should be used to remove undesirable material from the water supply before it enters in the distribution system and creates potential for emitter clogging. Some type of filtration system is required on virtually in any drip system to ensure efficient system operation. Different types of filtration devices are effective in removing different size material from water source. The filter should be sized based on the emitter opening and the type of material to be removed. The most common filtration systems used for trickle irrigation systems Includes media or sand filters, Screen filters and Centrifugal filtration systems.

  1. Bacteria Treatment

Drip irrigation distribution systems can be clogged in a very short time by bacteria slime which blocks the distribution system.

High bacteria concentrations require treatment by bactericides, which contains chlorine or other compounds which must remain in contact with the water source long enough to kill off the bacteria. Normally 10 – 30 minutes of contact in a solution with free residual chlorine concentrations of 1 mg/L is adequate.

  1. Chemical Treatment

Chemical treatment is required to reduce the potential for precipitation of insoluble salts at the orifice and internal parts of emitters which causes clogging.

These precipitates are commonly caused by the reactions of soluble calcium and bicarbonates in the irrigation water, producing calcium carbonate.

The normal procedure to inhibit this reaction is to control the solution pH by addition of various acids recommended for use.

  1. Fertilizer Injection Systems

Drip irrigation system designs are particularly adaptable to fertilizer injection into the distribution system. This is because the water is applied directly to the plant root zone.

This leads to efficiency of fertilizer use, reduced energy and labour costs, and flexibility in field management

However, care must be exercised to prevent the fertilizer from corroding the distribution system components.

It should also be noted that due to water supply, algae growth and bacteria slime problems may occur. These can cause clogging emitters and screen and filter blockage.

  1. Operation Procedures of Injection Equipment

The basic principle of operating fertilizer and chemical equipment injection systems is that the material should not be allowed to set in the lines when the system is not operating.

Advantages of drip irrigation system.

Drip irrigation system has got various benefits to the farmer as follows.

  • Distribution of water is at the optimum level.
  • Minimization of Fertilizer or nutrient loss  during application.
  • Weeds effect are minimized since there is no water available for them
  • Drip irrigation enables the farmer to achieve maximum crop yield.
  • High efficiency of Fertilizers usage.
  • Drip irrigation ensures minimum operating cost
  • Reduction of soil erosion
  • High water infiltration rate into the soil
  • High seed germination rate
  • We can use recycled water safely.
  • We can irrigate water in irregular shaped lands.
  • low energy operation rate

Disadvantages of drip irrigation systems.

  • Initial cost of operation is relatively high especially for poor farmers.
  • Clogging effect is a very disgusting issue in drip systems of irrigation.

Irrigation method for dragon fruit farming in Kenya

Irrigation method for dragon fruit farming in Kenya

Dragon fruit under irrigation system
Dragon fruit under irrigation system

Dragon fruit is a fruit that is increasingly becoming popular among the farmers because of its value and the simple management practices as compared to other known fruit plants thus need for appropriate irrigation method for dragon fruit farming in Kenya. The plant is a native of Mexico and Central America but current it is grown worldwide.

Many people may refer to this fruit as pitaya, pitahaya and strawberry bear but its scientific name is Hylocereus Cactus or Honolulu queen which is believed to be nocturnal plant because it opens its flowers at night but during the day, they remained close.

There are various types of the dragon fruit but the mostly recognized have got bright red skin with green scales that looks like a dragon and the white pulp with black seeds.

The fruit is widely known for its mild flavor sweetness

How to prepare land for drip irrigation for dragon fruit farming in Kenya

Land preparation for drip irrigation for dragon fruit farming in Kenya is a process that involves several activities which may include, plowing and breaking of soil particles or the clods and addition of important soil nutrients. The purpose of these activities is to improve crop/plant growth and development.

dragon fruit
Dragon fruit

Land preparation ensures that there is sufficient water, heat, oxygen, and other important soil nutrients. This process will allow the soil to be more compressible to allow the penetration of the roots. These involves the use of disc harrows, ploughs and drillers.

When preparing land for irrigation for dragon fruit farming in Kenya, there is no use of raised beds since they are less important.  Beds are only recommended when using the drip line or the drip tape because this piping require generally level area in order to discharge water accordingly and to allow ease movement of the farm operators unlike the irrigation method for dragon fruit which levelling off the ground is unnecessary. Moreover, raised beds also play a major role in drainage and aeration


Factors to consider when selecting proper land for irrigation of dragon fruit farming in Kenya

  1. Generally sloping land to minimize clogging in case of heavy rainfall
  1. This includes ease of access to relevant infrastructure which may include electricity, good road network to allow ease of moving farm inputs and produce
  2. Labor and expertise: Expertise and labor are very critical when doing preparation for drip irrigation for dragon fruit farming in Kenya and may include skilled or non-skilled.

Labor and expertise go along with the culture of a specific community in and around the farm.
Labour is a major component of production and its cost determine the success or failure of your enterprise

4. Security.

The farm should be well secured from thieves, stray animals, rodents and other disease-causing organisms. This can be done by erecting fence around the farm or employing the watch guard to care for the farm.

When doing land preparation for drip irrigation in Kenya, the area should be free from rodents because rodents are the major drip tape/ drip line destroyers. To keep these rodents away, the nearby bushes should be cleared and pesticides sprayed.

5. Soil characteristics and crop climatic conditions.

Different crops do well in different soil and climatic conditions. Some crops do well in acidic soil.

While others do well in a basic or alkaline environment. On the same note, high land crops cannot do well in lowland areas unless special conditions are provided and if these conditions have to be reversed proper and special conditions should be provided.

These special conditions may include soil treatments and irrigation or using specialized equipment when installing your drip system e.g. venture injector


The procedure of obtaining a good bed for the drip irrigation for dragon fruit farming system

As stated earlier, dragon fruits are rowed and column fruits however, they can be grown in an irregular form since watering of these plants depends on water pump horse power and the piping systems. Since majority of the pipes are flexible, the arrangement of the plants does not matter.

The plowing should be done along with the land/garden during the first plowing and across during the second plowing.
This will ensure microorganisms and weed seeds are brought above the soil and exposed to the sunlight.
On exposing these it ensures faster growth of weed seeds due to warmth. After germination of the weed seeds due to favorable conditions brought by sunlight, use the recommended herbicides to kill the weed. Get recommendations from a qualified agronomist.
Do final plowing to bury the dead plants into the soil. The weed will later decompose/rot to add nutrients to the soil.

Considering the spacing of the dragon fruits, use the drillers to make holes to specific depths. The holes depend with the number of plants one is willing to plant and the management pattern to be applied.

steps of obtaining the best depth for drip irrigation for dragon fruit farming in Kenya

 

In hole depth preparation, the standard and most recommended bed sizes range from 0.3 meters (0.3m) for short season crops and sometimes to 0.5 meters (0.5) meters

The most convenient path width should be between 4m to 5m. This will ensure major parts of the land are put under cultivation.
After the selection of the convenient bed width and the paths, the holes are made to a spacing between 4m to 5m.
While digging the hoes depths, breakdown soil clods (big soil particles brought about during plowing) into fine particles to allow free movement of air and water through the soil.
Remove weeds and mix manure into the soil to expose microorganisms the soil to the sunlight to be killed.
After all these practices prepare and organize for the drip installation process. Collect drip irrigation equipment like drip tape, drip fittings (takeoffs, end caps and starters) and drip irrigation pipes as the main lines

Benefits of best drip irrigation for dragon fruit system

  1. The drip irrigation system is the most efficient method of irrigation. Through emitters, water is directly delivered to the plant root zone hence economical on water usage.
  2. In the best drip irrigation system, there is a constant benefit of water supply in small quantities to the plants. This creates an ideal moist condition for proper growth of most plants.
  3. The best drip irrigation system minimizes weed growth since water is only supplied to a particular crop root.
  4. The best drip irrigation system helps in the control of fungal diseases which grow very fast under moist conditions.
  5. Timeliness and labor-saving. In the best drip irrigation system, the control valves can be managed by one personnel. One person operates the whole system thus minimizing the labor costs. This minimizes production cost.
  6. Ease in fertilizer application. method of liquid fertilizer application (fertigation) is very easy and fast. Since water emitters are used to directly distribute fertilizers to particular crop/plants.

Basic Materials

The materials needed for the installation are just basic piping equipment. These materials include HDPE pipes, none return valves water filters, ball valves air release valves, elbows, ninety degrees tees forty-five degrees tees, Drip tapes, drip fittings, button drippers and any other relevant types of equipment

 

 

 

ORCHARDS DRIP IRRIGATION.

ORCHARDS DRIP IRRIGATION.

Orchard drip irrigation system for water melon
Orchard drip irrigation system for water melon

Orchard drip irrigation system is the most efficient way to irrigate an orchards since it has the potential to save water and nutrients by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of the fruits plants, either above the soil surface or buried below the surface. It is more so efficient and effective method compared to overhead sprinklers and surface irrigation. Apart from water efficiency, it drip irrigation also reduces the risk of plant diseases that thrive in wet conditions.

Drip irrigation is commonly used in an orchard because it minimizes the cost of production due to larger spacing between the emitters and laterals. This has also some added advantage to the farmer in that it simplifies the irrigation procedure thus minimizes distribution and evaporation losses. The system can be automated with a time clock and moisture sensors and automated valves thus maintaining optimal soil moisture with minimum labor.

Special features of the orchards plants that make drip irrigation possible.

Orchard drip irrigation is considered as one of the best ways of irrigation an orchard because some of the orchards plants have got various characteristics that are delicate when exposed with others irrigation methods.

  • The orchards plants are planted with larger spacing difference between the rows and plants. These larger spacing is very easy to accommodate the drip method of irrigation since water can easily be distributed per the individual plants.
  • Most orchards plants are adapted to any kind of topography be it flat land, rugged landscape or even sloping lands thus drip irrigation is the best for this kind of plants.
  • All orchard plants require even water distribution at all times .Drip irrigation now comes the only remedy for water solutions in such a farm.
  • Majority of these orchard plants has got high rate of water absorption rate .This case can only be solved by applying the drip method of irrigation.
  • These farms majorly contain plants of single varieties which make it possible to be irrigated by drip system.

Orchard plants that can be irrigated using drip irrigation method.

An orchard is a wide field spectrum that combines so many types and varieties of crops and plants. Some of these crops cannot survive under drip irrigation due to their unique features.

Example of orchard plants that can be watered by applying drip irrigation methods includes:

Vegetables

Cabbage,greenchillies,beetroots,brocoli,capsicum,carrots,cauliflower,cucumber,pumpkin,onion,peas,sweetpotatoe,tomato,etc.

Plantations

Areca nut, cashew nut, cocoa, coconut, oil palm, tea, coffee, mushroom, tomato tree, avocado, etc.

Fruits

Apple, banana, blue berry, chest nut, guava, mangoes, jackfruit, fig, papaya, passion fruit, pineapple, straw berry, water melon, almond tree, sweet oranges.

 

Factors to consider when designing irrigation system for an orchard.

When designing the drip system for avocado trees the following should be considered

  • Sustainability rate

The Ideal system should be capable of delivering water to a limited area under each tree when young to reduce water wastage.

  • Wetted diameter

System should be capable of increasing the wetted area to take into account tree growth and larger canopy area at orchard maturity. Sufficient pressure and pipe delivery must be catered for as the system has to expand.

  • Durability and flexibility

The drip system should not be prone to blockages.

  • High water delivery rate

The system should be capable of delivering more than 40 to 70 liters of water per hour per emitter .It should be designed in such a way that the cycle time between irrigations does not have to exceed one week. On well-drained soils, stress conditions can develop rapidly especially during periods of hot weather.

  • When to irrigate

The most efficient way to water is to apply water when it begins to show signs of stress from lack of water .These signs of water stress includes footprints or tire tracks that remain in the grass long after being made, many leaf blades folded in half, premature fruit drop and flaccid fruits on trees. The system should be designed in such a way that different blocks on different soil types, are capable of being irrigated as separate entities. This is important as water requirements can differ.

 

  • Efficiency of water application

An efficient watering does not saturate the soil, and does not allow water to run off. Therefore it is advisable to avoid extremes in watering frequency and amount. If you apply too much water, it runs off and is wasted. On the other hand, light frequent watering is inefficient and encourages shallow/restricted root systems.

 

Components of orchard drip irrigation system.

Orchards drip irrigation design components comprises of the following sections

Control head or pumping units

This comprises of valves, discharge, and pressure meters. It provides a means for Control and regulation of discharges, and pressures, including non-return valves and air vents. It also has an automation and control equipment, filters and dissolved fertilizer applicators.

The Main pipe

hdpe pipes
Eunidrip irrigation HDPE pipe

This is generally a rigid pipeline made from HDPE, asbestos cement or concrete. The main pipe is almost always buried and conveys water from the source to the main control points in the field.

The Sub-main pipe

This is a multi-valve pipe distributing irrigation water to the various sub-units within a unit. It is made up of rigid black polyethylene pipe which in most cases laid on the ground surface, with a diameter ranging between 32mm to 90mm(1.25” to 3.5”),at a pressure  of 4 atm. When designing the sub main line it is good to consider several factors which include topography of the land, field geometry, water supply and the uniformity required.

The Manifold pipe

This is either a flexible (soft) or rigid pipe of high density polyethylene type, generally 20 to 75 mm diameter, which distributes water between the laterals belonging to a single sub-unit. The manifold and its lateral are designed and operated as a single unified system which is controlled by a single valve.

Lateral or Drip line pipe

This is basically a flexible (soft) polyethylene or PVC pipe buried or laid on the ground surface and which carries emitters or drippers.. Its diameter ranges from to 0.5 to 1- inch and the pressure rating about 4 atmospheres.

The Emitters or drippers

Button drippers

An emitter is a device or system element which makes the drip irrigation possible by providing irrigation water at low flows and atmospheric pressure. In Avocado drip irrigation design, the most suitable emitters used  are selected based on the following factors such as  low in cost, uniform in structure and operation ,simple to manufacture, and install, should be able to  maintain low problematic at standard operating pressure of between 3 to 30 m, and should be able to produce a constant low-rate water supply at varying line pressure change.

Other design components of avocado button drip irrigation include:

Water meter, reduced pressure backflow device, main valve, valve, flow meter gauges, air –vacuum relief valves, injecting equipment and filters.

 

Design layout of the orchard drip irrigation system.

To start the installation process, the following should be in place.

  • Tape measure, hose puncher to attach emitters to the pipes goof plugs to plug up any unwanted punch holes, metal stakes and zinc ties to secure the drip lines on their location.
  • Connect the water source to the main line delivery pipe using a water valve. Connect the two with a backflow preventer valve to stop contaminated water from leaking back into the initial water source.
  • Once the water source is connected to the main water distribution line, lay the laterals and delivery lines in accordance with the layout of your farm. Roll the tubing out around the garden beds, laying the line flush.
  • Once the mainline and laterals is in place, use a punch tool to make a hole in the lateral line wherever an emitter goes. Position your emitters so they are close to the root zone of each plant. To punch the holes, use boiling water or a hair dryer to heat the tube, which makes it softer to make holes. Once you have the tubing laid out and your emitter holes punched, secure the tubing into the ground with tubing stakes.
  • Once the system is completely installed, it needs to be tested by allowing water to flow in to the system.

Design layout of the orchards drip irrigation system continuation

  • Before allowing the water in to the system, ensure that all the valves are open. After main, sub mains and laterals are flushed completely close the flushed completely close the flush valve and end caps.
  • After closing of the valves and caps check the pressure at pressure gages and ensure that the pressure at the selected points is as per the design pressure.
  • It is also required to check the working of filters, air release valves and the fertigation unit. Once it is ensured that all the component is in good working conditions, then the operation should start.
  • Test the efficiency of water flow by turn on the water and allow it to run freely for a few minutes to flush out any dirt or debris. Once you see the system runs properly, close the tubing with an end cap.

Maintenance of orchards drip irrigation system.

For the water distribution in an orchard to perform effectively, proper maintenance should be done in various sections of the systems. This will also reduce the cost of production in terms of inputs and labor requirements to a farmer.

  • Emitters used should be able to match with the topographical status of the orchard farm. This should be checked regularly.
  • Orchards drip irrigation requires much spacing thus thinning should be done regularly in order to determine the quality of irrigation.
  • The distribution of the trees and crops should be in uniform state for efficient water use.
  • In an orchards with high drip irrigation demands alternative pipes should be factored.
  • When installing the orchard drip irrigation system, sub main line specifications should be considered.
  • This is to ensure maximum efficiency of drip irrigation systems. It also helps to protect the drip lines and drippers from early degradation by weather and chemicals.

Advantages of orchard drip irrigation system.

Orchards drip irrigation system has got various benefits to the farmer as follows.

  • Water is used and distributed at the optimum level.
  • Improves soil conditions.
  • Enhances food security to the farmer.
  • Allows reuse of waste water.
  • Fertilizer or nutrient loss is minimized during application..
  • Weeds effect are minimized since there is no water available for them
  • Drip irrigation enables the farmer to achieve maximum crop yield.
  • Fertilizers can be used with high efficiency.
  • Drip irrigation ensures minimum operating cost
  • There is no soil erosion as water is applied directly to plant roots.
  • Soil infiltration capacity is increased.
  • Fertilizers and ground water is not mixed.
  • improved seed germination is highly achieved.
  • We can use recycled water safely.
  • We can irrigate water in irregular shaped lands.
  • In this method of irrigation, energy cost is greatly reduced since it is operated in lower pressure.

Disadvantages of orchard drip irrigation system

Being that drip irrigation system is a very important tool to a farmer, it also possesses some few disadvantages.

  • Orchard drip irrigation is very expensive due to high initial cost to poor farmers thus not suitable for struggling farmers.
  • Clogging of drippers and emitter is a common thing in all drip irrigation systems. It may thus discourage most farmers to invest on this drip system of irrigation.

 

 

THE BEST DAM LINER PRICES IN KENYA

THE BEST DAM LINER PRICES IN KENYA.

dam liner project by Eunidrip Irrigation Systems
Dam liner project by Eunidrip Irrigation Systems

Dam liner is thin water proof geomembrane that is used for the retention of liquids. It is used specifically in the lining of not only dams, fishponds, water reservoirs, garden ponds but also in hazardous and nonhazardous surface. They often offer simple ways of providing waterproofing and lining of water pans and ponds where the soil is too porous. Dam liners are also mostly applicable in the design of water harvesting structures used  in irrigation, drinking, and fish farming or any domestic purposes.

Characteristics of a good dam liner that a farmer may consider.

Dam liners have various characteristics that make the suitable to be used in various water projects and infrastructures. These characteristics vary depending on the type and dimensions based on the different manufactures. Further more, water projects structures including dams and ponds require the very best liner materials to prevent puncturing and leakage from the reservoir to increase their life span.

Dam liners should be able to last long and has a span of about 25 years. It should be resistant to excess ultra violet radiation and UV treated in order to increase its durability, flexibility and longevity depending with the thickness .

liner should also be made from original materials so as to make it long lasting since the virgin materials have not been affected by the weather elements.

Materials that are used to manufacture dam liners should be of high resistance to abrasion, puncturing, cracking, low temperature, corrosion and should have a large temperature range.

They should be cheap, affordable and friendly to the farmer, in terms of type of material, thickness, size of the dam among other features.

 

Types of dam liners sold in Kenya.

Majorly four types of dam liners are sold in Kenyan market.

1.    Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) Liners

EPDM is a type of rubber dam liner that is mostly used in small and medium decorated ponds. It is very much flexible and easy bendable and can be bend into different shapes and corners. EPDM is very easy to puncture or tear with heavy, weighty and difficult to pull abilities and it does not come into wide length. Its life expectancy can be about 20-30 years. This type of liner is thick enough that it can be challenging to fold the liner to fit into the pond’s cavity.

 

  1. Reinforced Polyethylene liners

Reinforced polyethylene liners are lighter in weight as compared to EPDM .They are  one of the longest-lasting liners available in the current market, with a life span of up to 40 years and are highly puncture resistant. They are stronger than other types of liners .They are higher and made with thicker material. The RPE liners are a good choice for large ponds because they are sold as large panels of approximately 60,000 square feet. The materials used to make them are cheap and cost effective.

  1. Butyl polypropylene Liners (Hdpe liners).

These are box welded polypropylene synthetic rubber liners. The content in the material makes the material easy to fit into irregularly shaped ponds with many nooks and crannies. They are preformed and can be made into different shapes including 3-D shaped liners that are heat welded into rectangular and cylindrical shapes using flexible polypropylene liners. BPL is mainly used in in formal ponds applications where clean liners are in demand. There is no need to fold them into different shapes. They have a life expectancy of approximately 25 years.

  1. Polyvinyl Chloride plastic liners(PVC Liners)

The Polyvinyl chloride liners are the most cheaper, durable and flexible pond liners that are commonly used by most people in Kenya. They are readily available in the market stores in a variety of widths and thicknesses. These types of liners do not have ultraviolet protection therefore any portion of the liner exposed to the sun.

 

Design specification of dam liners materials.

Most of dam liners are manufactured depending on the volume of water it is holds, thickness, solar intensity, length and the surface type. These factors depend on the various sizes of the gauge of the liners.

  • 300 microns (0.3mm) gauge

These types of liners are mainly used in smooth surfaces where there are no sharp objects. Severally used on small dams, with a specific length of 100meters and the width of up to 15meters.These liners are commonly  welded together to fit the size of the dam. These make of liners have got a lifespan of approximately 10 to 20 years .They are ultraviolet treated thus can last longer. They are sold as black in color.

  • 500 microns (0.5mm) gauge

These liners are applied in light surfaces, where there are no sharp objects. Normally applicable in medium dams. Often sold at a length of 200meters and width of 6 or 8 meters. Apparently, it can be also welded together into different shapes and design. Their lifespan ranges between 10 – 15 years. Are black in color. They are also ultraviolet treated to ensure longer lifespan thus has chemical and light resistance.

  • 750microns (0.75 mm) gauge

The liners of these gauges are applicable for the medium to large projects. Usually sold in lengths of 150 meters and width 8 meters and are black in color. They can be welded and joined together into different shapes and designs. They are also ultraviolet treated thus longer lifespan of about 15-20 years.

  • 1000 microns (1mm) gauge

These are a type of dam liners of greater thickness. mostly applied in large projects with rough surfaces, rocky or stony. Commonly retailed at a specific length of 120 meters and width of 8 meters. Characterized  with longer life span of between 20 – 30 years. They are ultraviolet treated hence can last longer.

Preparation of the dam site for installation of dam liner.

There are certain preparations that must be done on the site where the dam liner is to be installed, before placing, unfolding and installing the dam liner. Kindly ensure that:

  • The site is cleared and all roots, stumps logs, boulders, rocks, outcrops, all vegetation, organic matter, loose clods, surface debris, mud, waterlogged ground and water are removed.
  • The surface is compacted by rollers or vibrators to a finished grade level.
  • The surface is leveled to a uniform texture not exceed that of graded aggregate.
  • The graded surfaces are sand blinded to a particle size not exceeding that of course sand to a thickness of 5 mm.
  • The geotextile  protection underlay should be placed to cushion and protect dam liner from damage by sharp objects as well as elevating puncture, impact and abrasion resistance
  • Ensure that there is free drainage to all surfaces in contact with liner membrane, and the dam liner should not be installed in areas subject to flooding, tides, springs and thermal activity.

 

Installation procedure guide for dam liner.

 

  • Trench excavation. Dig or excavate a continuous perimeter trench on a stable berm all-round the dam site using a trench digger. The trench should be far enough from the edge of the berm to provide adequate anchorage. Back fill the trench at a height of 500mm over the buried liner.
  • Establishment of protrusions and venting. After establishing the trenches, dam liner penetrations should be subjected to designed requirements for easy operational purposes. The approved foundations, footings, pads, should be installed to allow for better stability at penetration positions. The sealing of the protruded structural or service elements to the liner membrane should be provided by an appropriate means to minimize liner stress.
  • Lay the unpacked liner at position on berm level ground and unroll to its full length at pond perimeter.
  • Then make the lower liner loose edge into the perimeter anchor trench allowing ample material to be secured to the full width and depth.
  • Using temporary sandbags hold the dam liner edge down intermittently along trench at its anchor position.

Installation procedure guide for dam liner continuation

  • Depending on the stability of the trench wall, the material should be carried across the lining area by two separate installation crews each carrying half the total weight of the liner. Extend the liner from its folded end to the opposite perimeter trench while allowing ample liner to relax into its final position.
  • By pulling or tugging at the liner after it has settled on the pond/dam bed as friction against the ground of a large liner area can be difficult to overcome. This can only be avoided by taking proper precaution before beginning the installation process.
  • Finally, before the end of installation note that when the liner has been loose laid with evenly distributed surface ripple, place all surplus liner material into the perimeter anchor trench, allowing ample liner on the pond/dam bed to avoid stretching from ground settlement after filling.

 

Problems associated with the leakage of a dam liner.

Dam liners are faced with various challenges that may make them to crack and begin leaking. Some of these challenges may be environmental caused or human caused .They includes:

  • Poor choice of construction materials.
  • The internal soil erosion or piping
  • The cracking of the liner caused by changes to water levels
  • The presence topsoil and vegetation at the embankment site
  • Presence of an unsuitable soil type in the dam wall
  • The absence of a cut-off trench
  • Presence of uncompact soils techniques.
  • The presence of rock and gravel at the basement of the liner.
  • Presence of sand in the storage basin
  • The damage caused by animals and insects.
  • Presence of slumping cracks along the length of the wall due to a combination of poor compaction, excessive seepage and excessive steepness of bank
  • Poor site location for the dam installation.
  • Failure of dam liner due to longer lifespan.
  • Presence of trees on dam bank thus causing loss of storage volume due to uptake for self-watering.

Advantages of a dam liner to the farmer.

  • Most of dam liners are resistance to chemicals especially High-density polyethylene liners, thus there is no threat for hazardous waste.
  • Dam liners have low-permeability rate hence can retain water for many years.
  • They are safe and secure from water penetrations, and also it resists rainwater to seep into the dam liners.
  • They are ultraviolet-resistant and therefore are not easily damaged by environmental stress.
  • Most dam liners are cost-effective hence can easily be afforded by many poor farmers.
  • Available in a variety of shapes and sizes
  • Very easy to seal.
  • Usually light in weight hence easy to carry.
  • Are easily customized according to the purpose they portray.
  • Easy to clean and maintain.
  • Most of dam liners are highly durable and flexible.
  • Can mostly be designed into any required shape depending on the nature of the dam.
  • relatively  easy and very fast to install.

Disadvantages of a dam liner to the farmer.

Dam liners have got various limitations to the farmers, especially to the poor small scale farmers .This is due to expensive cost of maintenance and installation and the nature of the dam liners.

  • Some of the dam liners are hard to conceal thus becomes deteriorated faster.
  • They are manufactured and sold with limited shapes and sizes so the farmer’s preferences cannot be satisfied.
  • Most of these dam liners are costly in terms of cost, maintenance and transportation and hence most farmers are unable to afford them.
  • They are hard to design especially for marshland and borderline plants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ONION FARMING USING DRIP IRRIGATION.

Onion farming using drip irrigation

Onion farming using drip irrigation is considered as the best method of watering onions. Drip irrigation is slow and ensures an even application of low pressure water to soil and plants using drip tapes tubing and emitters placed directly at the plants root zone. This method of onion irrigation allows very little evaporation or runoff, saves water by directing it more precisely, reduces the transmission of pathogens, and produces fewer weeds. It also reduces the transmission of disease causing microorganisms and minimizes weeds invasion in the onion field.

Why onion farming using drip irrigation is the best.

  • Onion drip irrigation maintains desired soil moisture content

 Maintaining the desired soil moisture content with drip irrigation has got some of the benefits to a farmer since it minimizes excessive root growth and it also reduces the risk of bulbs rot disease and bulb splitting.

  • Onion drip irrigation reduces fertilizer and nutrients wastage

The onion plants have a shallow, fibrous roots system, therefore fertilizers applied at the start of the season end up getting scattered below the root zone by the rain drops, thus making the nutrients unavailable to the crop. The drip irrigation offers consistent nutrition that always reaches the roots and gets retained thus helps to eliminates and minimizes waste.

  • Drip irrigation reduces the chances diseases invasion in onions

With drip irrigating, water is directed directly to the onion roots, thus leaving the leaves dry. Less moisture content on the leaf significantly reduces onion diseases such as Downey Mildew or bulb rot, thus minimizing crop loss and scaling up production up to 40 percent higher yields.

  • Drip irrigation in onions ensures efficient fertigation:

Onions need soluble minerals to grow especially phosphorus, which has low mobility within the soil. Which means that drip irrigation is the only option that can be used to apply consistent small doses of mineral nutrients and fertilizers as close to the active root hairs as possible to support boosting of mineral uptake by the onion plants.

 

What to consider when designing the onion farming using drip irrigation system.

  • Nature of the field or site

When designing onion drip irrigation system, it is better to identify the onion roots irrigation zones. This can be done based on various factors factors such as land topography, length of the field, soil condition, optimal drip tape run length, and filter sizes. Once the zones are assigned and the drip irrigation system designed, it is possible to schedule irrigations to meet the unique needs of each zone.

  • Drip system uniformity

Onions plants have got a very strong positive yield and very sensitive to wet soil, yet exhibit increased risk of decomposition in over wet soil. This therefore means that the drip system should be carefully designed to apply water uniformly. In excessively dry areas production curve reduces, and the disease and nutrients loss are promoted in excessively wet areas. By applying drip irrigations, the minimum water application uniformity for onion rangers between 80 – 90 percent.

  • The onions bed design specifications

When designing bed rows and furrows for onions, special configurations should be taken care of in terms of spacing and bed height. Spacing between the rows should be between 33 inches to around 50 inches. The 50 inches is the distance between the furrows. The double rows are spaced 20 inches apart and consist of two onion rows spaced at a distance of 4 inches apart. Drip tapes are installed 5 to 8 inches deep in the bed center, between the two double rows, at the time of planting. The tape emitters should be spaced 8 to 12 inches apart. This bed configuration minimizes the use and cost of drip tape per acre. On the other hands bed configurations have been used successfully, especially in soils where the water will not wick to the side more so for one tape to serve a conventional bed.

How do you install drip irrigation system for onions farming?

Onions drip irrigations is a very important practice that can be used to mitigate the impacts of drought and waterlogging in an onions field. It makes use of a system of tubing or tape that allows water to seep into the soil without wetting the field surface that may cause nutrients loss and disease invasion in onions. Drip irrigation in onions reduces the rate of water consumption as it provides a more accurate way to irrigate your onion crop for a large yield.

  • For you to come up with a simple design drip irrigation system for your onion field, the following installation guide may direct you to come up with a simple design layout.
  • The proper choice should be made whether to come up with raised beds or just to a plain field to install the proper drip irrigation system.
  • You need to create a 4-inch-deep furrow between your onion rows using a jembe, hand trowel or furrow excavating machine. You have to make sure that the furrow is at least 10 inches away from your onion roots sprouts more so if you do not grow them in rows. This is because placing the drip irrigation furrow lines too close may cause waterlogged soil conditions.

Drip system lateral installation

  • Place the laterals or a drip tape into the furrow. Measure the desired length of the furrow then cut it using gardening shears, if necessary. The tape should be extended far enough to reach the mainline of water supply, main pumping unit or a nearby water source.
  • Install the drip irrigation connector and merge it to the mainline of water or pumping station. Connect the system with backflow preventer, pressure regulator, filter and tubing adapter. Then now attach the tape to the drip irrigation’s tubing adapter. Turn on the water at the main pumping unit.
  • Confirm the drip tape within the furrow and make sure that it fills and seep water continuously into the soil, then turn off the water in order to finish up with the installation.
  • Fill up the furrows with the topsoil removed at the project’s inception using the hand trowel. Do not compact the soil down as this may cause breakages of the underlying pipes. Finally allow it to remain loose and well drained.
  • Turn on the water at main control unit, and then Press a moisture meter into the soil near the farthest onion plant. Check if the flow is smooth then Turn off the water when your meter indicates that the top soil cover is damp or approximately the depth of the onion bulbs.
  • You may spread a layer of mulch across the soil to retain moisture between irrigation periods though this is not compulsory unless there is possibility of doing it.

Specifications and design of onion farming using drip irrigation.

When designing the field for onions drip irrigation, consider the right measurements of the field, spacing, emitter’s size and the water pressure.

  • The onion beds should be 1.5 meters wide, having 3 rows of drip lines and about 30 centimeters drainage height.
  • The drip irrigation tapes should be of three rows of drip lines, which should be 30 centimeters apart.
  • The drip lines should be laid 20 centimeters from the edge of the bed.
  • When irrigating, use closely spaced emitters with spacing of 15 – 20 centimeters apart and below.
  • When approaching harvesting season, probably two to three weeks, and the rate of watering should be minimized since at this time of growth the mature leaves of the onions begins to drop.
  • The maximum pressure exerted by the drippers or emitters should range between 10 – 35 psi.
  • When designing of drip irrigation system for onions, the rate of solar intensity or solar exposure should be maintained at an average range of 10 to 12 hours for bulb formation especially in areas experiencing warm climatic conditions.

Maintenance of Onion farming using drip irrigation system.

  • Check for any for any leakages or breakages

Breakages and leakages may occur at different sections of the system unexpectedly as a result of damage by animals, or farming tools. The system should be monitored to inspect the lines for physical damage

  • Regular chemical applications

In the drip system for onions, the rate of water flow progressively declines during the season, and the tape may be slowly plugging thus resulting in severe damage to the crop. Applications of chemicals especially chlorine through the drip tape will help minimize clogging of emitters and drippers. This is because the algae growth and biological activity in the drip tape are usually high.

  • Regular check of the flow meter

The water flow meter in an integral part of the onion drip irrigation system and the gauge readings should be recorded regularly. This may be helpful to a farmer as it provides a clear indication of how much water should be applied to each root zone. The water flow records can be used to detect deviations from the standard flow, which may be caused by leaks in the system or by clogged lines.

  • Drip tape emitters

These are emitters determine the flow rate of water into the onion field. The drip tapes with lower water application rates make low-intensity and high-frequency irrigations more feasible by improving wetting pattern and uniformity. Low flow emitters with 0.15 gal per hour and ultra-low flow emitters with 0.07 gal per hour are two of the emitter’s options that is commercially available for silt loamy soils. The limitation of ultra-low flow emitters became visible when these two types of emitters were compared against each other. Ultra-low-flow emitters reduces the yield of the largest bulb size class of onions compared to low-flow emitters. The ideal emitter flow rates usually depend on the soil type.

 

Advantages of drip irrigation in onions farming.

 

  • Extensive land leveling is not required, drip irrigation can be employed in all landscapes;
  • Irrigation water can be used at a maximum efficiency level and water losses can be reduced to a minimum;
  • Soil conditions can be taken into account to a maximum extent and soil erosion risk due to irrigation water impact can be reduced to a minimum;
  • Fertilizer and nutrients can be used with high efficiency; as water is applied locally and leaching is reduced, fertilizer and nutrient loss is minimized
  • Reduced risk of groundwater contamination).
  • Weed growth is reduced as water and nutrients are supplied only to the cultivated plant;
  • Positive impact on seed germination and yield development;

advantages of drip irrigation in onions farming continuation

  • Low operational costs due to reduced labor requirement, in particular energy cost can be reduced as drip irrigation is operated with lower pressure than other irrigation methods
  • Turbulent flow through the dripper reduces likelihood of clogging
  • Uniform flow rate
  • Raised barbed outlet prevents water runoff along the drip lateral
  • Resistant to chemicals and fertilizers used in landscape applications
  • Constructed of UV-resistant, durable plastic material to withstand the most adverse conditions
  • We can use recycled water safely.
  • We can irrigate water in irregular shaped lands.

 

Disadvantages of onions drip irrigation system.

Being that drip irrigation system is a very important tool to a farmer, it also has some few disadvantages.

  • Onions drip irrigation is very expensive due to high initial cost to poor farmers.
  • This make it difficult for most farmers to consider other methods of irrigations that are cheap, flexible durable and the one they can afford.
  • Clogging of drippers and emitter is a common agenda in all drip irrigation systems. It may thus discourage most farmers to invest on this drip system of irrigation

Onion plants population

Drip irrigation ensures that the entire top of the onion bed is wetted. This makes farmers to assume that more onions could be planted per acre by spacing them closer together.

This technique results in increase in the total number of onions. Narrow spacing may result in  lower value onions. In order to optimize financial returns, an onion farmer must consider the influence of plant population on bulb size.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Irrigation ball valves water controllers

Irrigation ball valve water controller is a hollow plastic.ball valve has a valve which uses a hollow, perforated and pivoting ball .This controls the flow of water through it. When the ball valve opens the ball’s hole becomes in line with the flow. It closes when it is turned at 90-degrees by the valve handle. 

opennig and closing

The turning of water ball valve controller, and its location becomes the mother indicator of whether water inflow is allowed or not.When the handle lies flat in alignment with the flow then the water is allowed to flow through the valve.When closed,the handle is perpendicular to the flow making for easy visual confirmation of the valve’s status.  

These types of plastic ball valves water controller can grant high flow coefficients compared to other types of valves.

How ball valve water controller works

Ball valves controllers opens by turning a handle attached to a ball inside the valve. The ball has a hole through the middle.

When the port is in line with both ends of the valve, flow will occur.

When the valve is closed, the hole is perpendicular to the ends of the valve, and flow is blocked. The ball valve can make a quarter turn (90°) around.The turning point is the on/off control of the ball valve. More so
Ball valves water controllers are used in the piping system.The main use is to cut, distribution of water.

Two change the flow direction of the fluid. If the opening were designed to be V-shaped, it would also have the excellent function of flow control. Ball valves, which need a little rotating force and turn a quarter, can be closed tightly. The completely equal lumen provides a littler-resistance green passage

Main Operational features.

  • High control volume capacity: The unrestricted flow passage in fully open.
  • position provides high Control  combined with relatively small overall dimensions
  • light weight compared to the same size globe valves:
  • A given size ball valve can grant a control volume of high coefficient.
  • the coefficient may be three times greater than a same size globe valve.
  • This ensures a smaller and lighter valve, smaller and lighter actuator, smaller pipeline supports and overall a money-saving application compared to standard linear valve solutions.
  • High Sensitivity Control rate: have spring loaded seats design that assures scraping action and continuous contact between seat and ball: dirty fluids do not stick and jam on the ball surface.
  • Compact design: Body construction, special design for stem and actuator connections eliminate free-play (backlash) and assure great resistance even against piping forces.
  • Fast operating time: Quarter turn design allows using fast actuating devices which can perform emergency operation in a few second to improve the safety of the plant.
  • Low emission stem packing:Special design of stem sealing assures low emission performance to meet Fugitive Emission requirements.
  • High system design capacity :The unrestricted flow passage in fully open position provides high capacity  combined with relatively small overall dimensions and light weight compared to the same size globe valves: a given size ball valve can grant a Cv coefficient even three times greater than a same size globe valve.

Advantages of ball valves.

  • Fluid resistance is zero
    The diameter of channel equals to the inner diameter of pipe, the local resistance loss also equals to the friction resistance of the pipe, and so the full port Model, also called full flow type, is the Ball valve with the min fluid resistance. In the rocket launching and test system, it required the resistance of the pipe the less the better. There are two ways to reduce the resistance of the system.
  • Easy and rapid open-close operation
    under normal circumstances, ball valves can finish the open-close operation easily and rapidly by quarter turn (90°). In order to be used in the automation system of the test platform, the time of open-close operation is limited between 0.05 ~ 0.1s. Fast open-close operation, no operation shock.
  • Outstanding seal property
    At present, the enormous majority of the Ball valve seats are made in flexible materials, such as PT EF. Generally, it’s easy to make sure the tightness of the soft seal, what’s more, the requirement of the machining accuracy and surface roughness of the seal does not high.
    Long life-span
    Due to the good self-lubricating of PTFE, small friction with the ball, the advancement of ball processing technology, reducing of roughness, the ball valve’s life-span has been greatly improved.
    Highly reliable.
    Ball and the pair seal part of seat will be no mechanical abrasion, no severe wear and tear, and will not be locked in the working hour (in the absence of lubricants), so it can be reliably applied with the corrosive medium and low boiling point liquid;
  • Minimal accidents.
     Built-in stem structure can remove the potential accidents of the fly-out of the stem, caused by the loosen of packing under the fluid pressure.

Design specifications.

  • The ball valves are designed with different sizes ranging from 0.5-inch to 3-inches.
  • They are made up of plastics of high density.
  • General discharge rate of ball valves should range between 10000 litres/hr to 30000litres/hr depending on size used,

Button drippers

Button drippers

Button drippers are irrigation tools that are used to supply water to plants at very low rates. Generally, they are drip emitters that ensure water is efficiently supplied to the plants below their canopies (below the stem).

Button drippers come in various color codes .i.e. black, green, blue, red and green colors. Even though they come in these color codes, their efficiencies are not affected. Colors do not affect the functionality but they are just for identification.

As the recent tools venturing into drip irrigation systems, button drippers are capable of emitting water from the main pipes at different rates of 1 liter per hour to over 60 liters per hour.

Because of this ability to emit water at different rates, they are highly employed in farming of crops like passion fruits , oranges, mangoes, tomato trees, and avocados, lawn irrigation, tree nurseries’ banana trees and more other sectors.

Button dripper’s specification is very important for an irrigation engineer since it helps to estimate water requirements for the entire season for the growth of crops This estimate also helps in sourcing in water in case of shortages

Button dripper is made of plastic, polyethylene, and is sold in packets or pieces. The wall thickness typically ranges from 1 mm–1.3 mm.

Thicker walled drippers are commonly used for permanent subsurface drip irrigation and thinner walled tapes for temporary type systems in high-value crops

Button dripper is well designed to discharge one litter of water per hour over 60 liters of water per hour. This discharge ensures water is efficiently and economically used.

The economical water budget is the major determinant of the production cost.  This dictates the type of crop to be grown.

Button drippers

However, Broad leaved plants require much water as compared to small leaved plants. This will affect the button dripper water discharge capacity to be used

Types of button drippers

  1. Adjustable button drippers – these drippers have threads on the crown where the lid with emitters is slide onto. The threads are made in such a way that at every thread, water is emitted at different flow rates according to water plant requirements.
  2. Non- adjustable button drippers. In this type of dripper, water is emitted at the designed rate by the manufacturer. The crown does not have the threads thus it does not have a lid however, this type of drippers provide water equally and uniformly to plants.

How button dripper works

Button dripper uses the swirling -flow-path design producing a turbulent flow that ensures good watering abilities thus preventing the known problems of clogging.

They are Available in flow rates of 0.7 liters per to over 60 liters per hour. The operating pressure range of 15 to 25 PSI (and the higher pressure the higher the flow rate)

When buying the button drip emitters, you can find them in packets of 5, 25, 50 and 100, each with a either 16mm or 12 mm adapter and small nipple outlet.

Areas of applications of button drippers

  1. an individual plant(passion fruits , oranges, mangoes, tomato trees, and avocados, lawn irrigation, tree nurseries’ banana trees)
  2. planter boxes,
  3. large pots
  4. ground covers

Advantages of button drippers

  1. Extensive land leveling is not required, drip irrigation can be employed in all landscapes;
  2. Irrigation water can be used at a maximum efficiency level and water losses can be reduced to a minimum;
  3. Soil conditions can be taken into account to a maximum extent and soil erosion risk due to irrigation water impact can be reduced to a minimum;
  4. Fertilizer and nutrients can be used with high efficiency; as water is applied locally and leaching is reduced, fertilizer/nutrient loss is minimized (reduced risk of groundwater contamination);
  5. Weed growth is reduced as water and nutrients are supplied only to the cultivated plant;
  6. Positive impact on seed germination and yield development;
  7. Low operational costs due to reduced labor requirement, in particular energy cost can be reduced as drip irrigation is operated with lower pressure than other irrigation methods
  • Turbulent flow through the dripper reduces likelihood of clogging
  • Uniform flow rate
  • Raised barbed outlet prevents water runoff along the drip lateral
  • Resistant to chemicals and fertilizers used in landscape applications
  • Constructed of UV-resistant, durable plastic material to withstand the most adverse conditions

Specifications

  1.  Flow rates of 0.7 liters per and over 60 liters per hour
  2. The operating pressure range of 15 to 25 PSI
  3.  Button drippers come in various color codes .i.e. black, green, blue, red and green colors
  4. Outlet is compatible with our multi-outlet dripper manifolds
  5. Highly resistant to fertilizers and common chemicals used in agriculture

Passion fruit farming using simple irrigation system

Passion fruit farming using simple irrigation system

Passion fruits are perennial crops i.e. crops that don’t need to be replanted each year. Its scientific name is  Passiflora sp and belongs to the family of Passifloraceae.

In Kenya, passion fruits are grown in cold places like Thika, Nyamira, Kisii, Nyeri, Kakamega, Murang’a, Meru, among other regions.

 

Uses of passion fruit 

The passion fruit may be eaten fresh or consumed after extracting the pulp and juice. Juice is used in a variety of products and the pulp may be added to various dishes.

Types of passion fruits in Kenya

There are two major types of passion fruits grown in Kenya and both varieties are usually green in color before ripening.

The following are the most common varieties grown in Kenya.

  1. Passiflora edulis– this is purple in color when ripe, quite acidic, and tasty and juiciness varies. It has a strong aromatic scent and is round in shape.
  2. Passiflora flavicarpa– it is yellow when ripe, oval in shape and less aromatic. This type is common in west rift areas that receive moderate rainfall with temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius.

 Climatic conditions for the growth of passion fruits.

The factors listed below are the most considered factors whenever one wants to venture into passion fruit farming in Kenya. 

Soil type

Passion fruit vines grow on many soil types but the best soil is light to heavy sandy loams with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5. Excellent drainage is absolutely necessary.

Also, the soil should be rich in organic matter and low in salts. If the soil is too acid, lime must be applied and since the vines are shallow-rooted, they will benefit from a thick layer of organic mulch.

Rainfall amount and reliability

Passion fruits of all the varieties require well-distributed rainfall of 900 mm to 2,000 mm per year. Excess rainfall causes poor fruit set and encourages diseases.

Altitude above the sea level

Passion fruit growths need an altitude of 1,200 m to 1,800 m above sea level east of the rift and up to 2,000 m  above sea level west of the rift.

Temperature

The plant (Passiflora edulis) type thrives in regions with an optimum temperature in the range of 18 to 25 degree Celsius. The yellow variety thrives in areas experiencing about 30 degrees Celsius.

Passion farming with the use of simple irrigation system

On using simple drip irrigation system, the initial thing that the farmer must consider is the land preparation.

The purpose of these activities is to improve crop/plant growth and development.
Land preparation ensures that there is sufficient water, heat, oxygen, and other important soil nutrients.

This process will allow the soil to be more compressible to allow the penetration of the roots

After land preparation the process that follows is the planting. At the time of planting, make holes measuring 40centimeters wide and 45 centimetres deep spaced at 2 meters between plants and 2 meters between rows of the plants.

These spacing gives the irrigation technician to design the irrigation equipment like irrigation pipes, button drippers, irrigation connectors and the irrigation end caps.

Importance of simple irrigation on passion fruit farming

A drip irrigation system has plenty of benefits, which makes it a preferable option for the growth of passion fruits. The main advantages include:

  • Efficient water usage
  • Reduces weed growth
  • It helps save time
  • Helps produce healthier plants
  • Produces healthier plants
  • Cannot get disrupted by wind

 Simple Irrigation equipment use in passion fruit farming.

These are the equipment that are used to supply water to the plants (passion fruit) and includes the following

Irrigation pipes

Irrigation HDPE pipes are the most considered to be the best choice for irrigation on the various project due to its high quality and reliability.

It made up of high density, polyethylene particles that are closely packed. Usually made up of high-pressure rate known as pressure normal (PN).

And of various sizes of  polyethylene pipes available in the market  for the passion fruit farming are ranging from 16 millimetres diameter-40 millimetres diameter .

These irrigation pipes (polyethylene) are also easy to install. The commonly used methods of installation used by professionals include vibration and plow open cut method installations.

hdpe pipes
Eunidrip irrigation HDPE pipe

Irrigation starter-connectors.

Starter connector is a plastic fitting that connects a main pipe with a 16 millimetres pipe to supply water to the individual passion fruit plants.

They come in different sizes, but most common starter-connector in the market is 16 mm (millimetre).

They come in different designs and colors but most starter-connectors are complete black or may have a blue color code.

Standard starter-connector can sustain a working pressure of up to 16 bars. Most of irrigation systems work at a pressure of three bars and below.

Irrigation starter connector

Button drippers

Button dripper is made of plastic, polyethylene, and is sold in packets or pieces. The wall thickness typically ranges from 1 mm–1.3 mm.

Thicker walled drippers are commonly used for permanent subsurface drip irrigation and thinner walled tapes for temporary type systems in high-value crops

Button dripper is well designed to discharge one litter of water per hour over 60 liters of water per hour. This discharge ensures water is efficiently and economically used.

The economical water budget is the major determinant of the production cost.  This dictates the type of crop to be grown.

Button drippers

However, Broad leaved plants require much water as compared to small leaved plants. This will affect the button dripper water discharge capacity to be used.

Advantages of button drippers

  1. Extensive land leveling is not required, drip irrigation can be employed in all landscapes;
  2. Irrigation water can be used at a maximum efficiency level and water losses can be reduced to a minimum;
  3. Soil conditions can be taken into account to a maximum extent and soil erosion risk due to irrigation water impact can be reduced to a minimum;
  4. Fertilizer and nutrients can be used with high efficiency; as water is applied locally and leaching is reduced, fertilizer/nutrient loss is minimized (reduced risk of groundwater contamination);
  5. Weed growth is reduced as water and nutrients are supplied only to the cultivated plant;
  6. Positive impact on seed germination and yield development;
  7. Low operational costs due to reduced labor requirement, in particular energy cost can be reduced as drip irrigation is operated with lower pressure than other irrigation methods.