Drip irrigation is a smart and economical
way to water your plants. A drip system allows you to apply a precise amount of water at
each plant location instead of flooding the entire area. Over time, this can save water
and money while promoting healthier plants with fewer weeds. Now a drip irrigation system
could be perceived as being a bit overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. There’s a myriad
of installation techniques and products. Let’s get rid of all of this stuff, and I’ll show
you some of the basic components. The first component of a drip irrigation system,
or any irrigation system for that matter, is the backflow preventer. In this case we’re
showing a pressure vacuum breaker, or, PVB. The backflow preventer is designed to prevent
any contamination from things like fertilizer from entering back into your clean water drinking
supply. As we follow down the main line from the backflow preventor, we come to the valve
manifold. A valve manifold is a collection of valves, each of which is designed to water
a certain area of your yard. Following the valve, two important components
of a drip irrigation system are the Y filter and the pressure regulator. The Y filter protects
the small emission devices from any debris that might enter your line. Pressure regulator
is required to protect the barbed and compression fittings from the higher pressures typically
found in a lawn sprinkler system. In most residential applications we use half-inch
poly and quarter-inch spaghetti tubing. Poly tubing is very flexible and easy to work with.
This allows you to connect right into the half-inch poly wherever you need to to run
spaghetti tubing up to each individual plant. Part of the beauty of working with poly tubing
is the fittings that we use. The fittings are either barbed or compression, and no glue
is required. Now, one of the fittings you’ll want to be sure and use is an end cap. End
caps are typically found at the end of each line in a valve box, and are periodically
used to flush out your lines. The purpose of a drip irrigation system is
to deliver a specific amount of water to each plant. That’s accomplished by the drip emitter.
As you saw earlier, there’s a wide variety of emission devices. Be sure to select the
correct one to meet the needs of each of your plants. To fully automate your irrigation
system, you’ll want to add a controller. The controller is programmed to open each valve
for a certain amount of time, thereby eliminating the need to manually water. In addition, there
are several types of sensors that can be added to the controller to prevent irrigation when
it’s not required. A drip irrigation system is a simple efficient
way to irrigate your plants that can help you save water and money. All of your drip
parts and accessories are available at your local Ewing Irrigation Branch, or you can
visit us online at ewingirrigation.com.