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Managing Water with High Concentration of Sediments for Drip Irrigation Purposes

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

Citation:  Pp. 290-292 in Preferential Flow, Water Movement and Chemical Transport in the Environment, Proc. 2nd Int. Symp. (3-5 January 2001, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA), eds. D. D. Bosch and K. W. King. St. Joseph, Michigan: ASAE  701P0006.(doi:10.13031/2013.2122)
Authors:   Alejandro Pannunzio and Eduardo Patiño
Keywords:   Trickle irrigation, filtration, decantation

During the last fifteen years, a great increase was seen in the area of intensive crops of citrus and subtropical crops, irrigated with trickle systems (drip and minisprinkler) in the northern area of Argentina. The source of water, for these can be at the surface level and/or at the sub-surface level, depending on the location of the different facilities. Systems of micro-irrigation require the study of the physic and chemical characteristics of the water to be utilized, in order to thoroughly define the necessary filters for the equipment (Nieberck, A.S. 1995). In this case the only available water was that in the surface level, coming from Rio Bermejo, with up to 26860 p.p.m. of suspended solids. This situation happens during the Summer, when rainfalls occur in the range of 800 mm (SMN 1986). When these occur at another point of the basin, we need to find out appropriate tools in order to obtain water with physical characteristics compatible with the emitting devices of the systems. In this case we have taken the following steps: 1. Determination of an appropriate point to locate the pump, at a straight section of the river; 2. Installation of decanters, in order to separate sand materials; 3. Passing through a dam in order to permit decantation of thinner material; 4. Re-pumping and filtration with group of gravel filters and circulating water screen filters; 5. Periodical cleaning treatments with phosphoric acid, in order to prevent algae clogging. After ten years, the dripping system is operative with its original drippers, with flows compatible with those designed.

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