DIY unpowered uniform drip irrigation on sloping ground 

Most drip irrigation applications on sloping land use PC (pressure compensated) drippers. A high pressure pump is usually required to ensure that all drippers within each zone are within the pressure range recommended by the manufacturer for pressure compensation. Furthermore, many zones are usually required to ensure that the drippers within each zone are within the pressure range.

All of the above requirements for PC drippers make drip irrigation on sloping land from a header tank (or elevated water supply) very expensive.

DIY unpowered unifrom drip irrigation on sloping ground demonstrates how drip irrigation on sloping land from a header tank can use NPC (non pressure compensated) drippers without compromising dripper uniformity throughout the irrigation application. It is assumed that the same drippers are used throughout the irrigation application. The irrigation controller is an Unpowered Terracotta Irrigation Controller.

Key Features

  1. The installation cost is a fraction of that for an equivalent PC system.

  2. Excluding the refilling of the header tank, the irrigation system is completely unpowered (no batteries, no solar panels, no electronics, no computers, and no WiFi).

  3. A small low pressure water transfer pump may be required to refill the header tank between irrigation events.

  4. The water discharged from each irrigation dripper during the irrigation event is approximately the same.

  5. Provided that the control dripper has the same emitter discharge exponent as the irrigation drippers, then the water discharged from each irrigation dripper during the irrigation event is independent of the water level in the header tank.

  6. Provided that the irrigation system is designed so that frictional head loss along each lateral is negligible, then a desired dripper uniformity throughout the irrigation system can be achieved (95% for example).

  7. You can adjust the water usage rate by adjusting the control dripper on the Unpowered Terracotta Irrigation Controller.

  8. You can adjust the interval between irrigation events by adjusting the float on the Unpowered Terracotta Irrigation Controller.

  9. The irrigation system responds automatically to on-site evaporation and rainfall.

  10. Simple, unpowered, and low tech, and therefore fewer things can go wrong.

  11. You can leave your irrigation application unattended for weeks on end.

  12. If the header tank runs out of water, the irrigation system starts again automatically as soon the header tank is refilled.

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Dripper assembly with 20 drippers

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Header tank, Unpowered Terracotta Irrigation Controller and dripper assembly 

Dripper assembly for a zone with 2 lph dripline with 60 drippers. The dripper assembly uses 8 lph dripline with 15 drippers. The dripper assembly is inserted inside an open pipe and the output from the dripper assembly is delivered to the zone.