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psi. If the flushing pressure exceeds the operating pressure of the specified drip tape mil thickness, then a thicker wall tape should be specified in order to safely withstand proper flushing pressures.


Optimized Field Flushing


Driplines may be flushed manually or automatically with valves and flushing manifolds. If the driplines are flushed manually, it’s important to follow a few simple guidelines to ensure that both proper flushing velocity and flushing duration is achieved.


The following steps were followed during a field demonstration at Fresno State University:


1. Bring the drip irrigation system up to its stable operating pressure.


2. Open one lateral and allow water to flush into a cup, jar or bucket for observation. Let it flush for 5 – 10 minutes and watch closely for “chunks” of material to pass even after the line has been running clear for a minute or two.


3. Measure the pressure at the end of the dripline and record it.


4. Measure the velocity at the end of the dripline using the chart in illustration 4 and record it.


5. Open nine more lateral lines and allow them to flush. If possible, monitor the contents of this flush water with additional people and cups, jars or buckets.


6. After a few minutes, remeasure the pressure and velocity on the first line and record the readings.


Illustration 4: Using this simple chart, flushing velocity in the field may be estimated. (From p. 96 of “Toro Micro-Irrigation Owner’s Manual.”)


2'


During this demonstration, the pressure dropped 3 psi when 10 driplines were open compared to when only one was open. In addition, the velocity dropped from 2 fps with one line open to less than 1 fps with 10 lines open. This demonstrated that fewer than 10 driplines should be opened at the same time to ensure proper flushing velocity.


In summary, proper flushing design and maintenance procedures will help prevent emitter clogging and promote improved water and resource use efficiency to enhance both farm profitability and sustainability.


Translating Flushing Trajectory Into Flushing Velocity at Three Heights


3'


1'


Inge Bisconer CID, CLIA, is the technical marketing and sales manager for Toro Micro-Irrigation in El Cajon, California. She’s the recipient of the Irrigation Association’s 2016


Industry Achievement Award for her contributions to the development of the irrigation industry.


22 Irrigation TODAY | October 2016


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