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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 16(5): 505-508. (doi: 10.13031/2013.5301) @2000
Authors:   T. P. Trooien, F. R. Lamm, L. R. Stone, M. Alam, D. H. Rogers, G. A. Clark, A. J. Schlegel
Keywords:   Microirrigation, Drip irrigation, Trickle irrigation, Animal waste management, SDI, Wastewater

Using subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) with lagoon wastewater has many potential advantages. The challenge is to design and manage the SDI system to prevent emitter clogging. The objective of this study was to measure the flow rates of five types of driplines (with emitter flow rates of 0.57, 0.91, 1.5, 2.3, and 3.5 L/h/emitter) when used with lagoon wastewater. A disk filter with openings of 55 m (200 mesh) was used and shock treatments of chlorine and acid were injected periodically. During the 1998 growing season, 530 mm of wastewater were applied through the SDI system and 390 mm were applied in 1999. During the growing seasons, the two lowest flow rate emitter designs decreased in flow rate, indicating that some emitter clogging had occurred. The magnitudes of the decreases were 15% and 11% of the original flow rates in 1998 and 22% and 14% in 1999 for the 0.57 L/h/emitter and 0.91 L/h/emitter driplines, respectively. After the winter idle period, the flow rates of both driplines returned to the initial flow rates. The three emitter designs with higher flow rates showed little sign of clogging; their flow rates decreased by 4% or less through both growing seasons. Observations showed that the disk filter and automatic backflush controller performed adequately in 1998 and 1999. Based on these preliminary results, the use of SDI with lagoon wastewater shows promise. However, the smaller emitter sizes (0.91 L/h/emitter or less) may be risky for use with wastewater and the long-term (greater than two growing seasons) effects are untested.

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