How Irrigation Systems Work
In addition to saving you time standing outside watering, a good drip irrigation system can save you money and benefit the environment. It can significantly reduce your water consumption. The right watering system can give plants the right amount of water when and where they need it. If you’ve always wondered how irrigation systems work, JXCT provides you with a primer on the different types of irrigation systems.
Types of Irrigation Systems
Three main types of irrigation are popular for growing. Flooding has been used since the days of ancient Egypt, where the Nile River was diverted to flood fields. Gravity typically has been used to move water over the ground. Today, the flooding method remains common for rice paddies.
Overhead irrigation is a very popular type of irrigation. You will see this type of irrigation in use on everything from residential lawns to large farms. Types of overhead irrigation range from sprinklers for small lawns and garden water guns and movable booms for large agricultural operations.
Drip irrigation, also sometimes called trickle irrigation, is growing in popularity. This type of system uses low water pressure and drip emitters to deliver small amounts of water. Because it delivers water slowly and precisely, drip irrigation can drastically reduce water use, boost water and nutrient absorption and cut down on weed growth.
How an Irrigation System Works
So, how do irrigation systems work, anyway? First, you must have a water source, of course. Some folks pump water from ponds, lakes, rivers, and other natural sources, while others pump their water from wells. Many people attach their irrigation systems to municipal water systems.
If you are wondering how a drip irrigation system works, the answer is simple. Whether it is hooked up to a natural or municipal water source, a drip system uses very low pressure to provide water slowly to crops.
A drip system typically has a mainline to carry water from the source to tubing fitted with drip emitters to water individual plants. Drip tape may also be used (and you can find out how much you need with our Drip Tape Estimator).
A filter can help keep a drip system from clogging, and adding a timer can make operation completely automatic. That means the gardener or farmer does not have to be present for watering. Conveniently, drip systems may be installed on the ground or even underground.