Emitter Clogging in a Reclaimed Water Irrigation Scheme with Controlled Suspended Load

Emitter Clogging in a Reclaimed Water Irrigation Scheme with Controlled Suspended Load

M.M.H. OLIVER D. PEZZANITI G.A. HEWA 

SA Water Centre for Water Management and Reuse, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, SA 5095, Australia

School of Natural and Built Environments, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, SA 5095, Australia

Page: 
847–860
|
DOI: 
https://doi.org/10.2495/SDP-V9-N6-847–860
Received: 
N/A
|
Accepted: 
N/A
|
Published: 
31 December 2014
| Citation

OPEN ACCESS

Abstract: 

Emitter clogging in drip irrigation system is a very common problem when used with reclaimed water. The suspended solids from treated water are the major elements of clogging mechanism. Coupled with bacterial biofilms, these particulates can reduce the flow of emitters by creating barriers in the flow path. This experimen-tal study reports the performance of three types of pressure compensated emitters in a drip irrigation system. Reclaimed water with a sediment load of 10 mg/l was supplied in the system throughout the experiment. Four ranges of particle sizes (0–45, 45–90, 90–150, and 150–300 µm) were used during 770 h of intermittent irriga-tion. Low flow emitters (<2 l/h) were found to be clogged quicker than those with higher flow rates. Though flushing of the system did not help in discharge recovery of the partially clogged emitters, it helped regain the lateral flow. The interior geometry of biofilms was found to be built only by the smaller particles. Larger par-ticles (>50 µm) only appeared around the perimeters of matured biofilms making the surface topography very coarse and undulating.

Keywords: 

Clogging, emitters, particle size, reclaimed water, suspended load

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