A Netafim NetWorks Systems Review is designed to check and assess the performance and efficiency of irrigation systems, particularly those that may have been installed a decade or more ago.
In some instances, there’s not much information available about the irrigation system involved. Upgrades may have been made over the years by different contractors, with no single master plan in place.
There are several issues we commonly find when conducting an irrigation System Review.
It almost goes without saying that assessing irrigation pump performance is key when examining a system. Pumps can appear to be operating well but looks can be deceiving. Inefficient pumps lead to higher power bills. Delivery rates can be lower than expected when compared with the system’s original set up.
Checking the pressure differential across filters often shows up performance issues. Understanding what the designed pressure differential should be, and whether any filters are restricting flow is important. Problems with primary filtration can have a significant negative impact on crop health.
Many vineyards manage for a required pressure throughout the whole irrigation system. However, we find that there can be poor pressure and flows through individual field valves. In some cases, we have identified blocks where the pressure is less than half of what is required for optimal operation. That’s why we check each one.
Emitters can appear to be operating and producing a steady flow. However, it’s only when individual drippers are assessed that problems with overall application efficiency can be seen. During Networks checks, we have recorded application rates 75% less than what was originally designed. This can be very detrimental to vine health and overall uniformity of yield.
Without enough pressure and velocity in the system to properly scour the drip tube and keep the emitters clean, the performance of the system is compromised. We find that even when the overall irrigation system may be currently operating satisfactorily, it is not able to be completely cleaned which can lead to future problems.
Accurately knowing – not just guessing – how well every component of your irrigation system is performing together will help optimise efficiency and protect the health of your vineyard.To find out more, get in touch with our experts