Subsurface Drip Irrigation

I. What Is Subsurface Drip Irrigation?

It is a type of subsurface irrigation system that utilises low pressure, 0.8mm thick, pressure compensating, anti siphon drip pipes. This irrigation method is most water efficient irrigation system as none is lost to evaporation.Subsurface drip irrigation for vegetables, cereals, lawns, tree crops is by this pipe.

Advantages

  • Reduced incidence of weeds and disease
  • No soil erosion
  • Efficient fertiliser application
  • Reduced land tillage because the pipes are not removed underneath the beds during land preparation
  • Less labour intensive than surface drips

Disadvantages

  • Poor or uneven surface wetting when the pressure and emitters are poor
  • Costlier than the surface drip irrigation
  • Saline water causes salts to clog the emitters
  • Root hairs may block the emitter

Subsurface Drip Irrigation Cost

The cost of the drip line depends on the emitter spacing. The closer they are, the higher the drip pipe cost

 

Emitter Spacing
Price per Meter in Kes
1M 25
30cm 40
20cm 45
15cm 50

 

 

II. Components of Subsurface Drip

  1. Drip pipe
  2. Main line
  3. Sub-main line
  4. Filter
  5. End-caps
  6. Connectors
  7. Valves
  8. Flow meter

III. How To Install A Subsurface Drip System

a. Do a soil test. The soil type determines the emitter flow rate

b. Check the water supply flow rate and pressure to ensure it is enough for the target acreage and crop

c. Measure the area of installation to determine the cost

d. Trench where the main, sub-main and drip pipes will be. For the drip lines, trench on the beds. Subsurface drip irrigation depth is 15 to 20cm for shallow root vegetables, and 45 cm for fruit trees

e. Lay the piping and make the connections

f. Back-fill the trenches

Grekkon Limited installs subsurface irrigation systems in Africa for horticulture, and broad acre crops, and lawns. We design, install and train on it’s use and maintenance.

 

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