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Water Filtration for Irrigation During Drought Periods

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Irrigation Filtration Systems: The Importance of Filtration in Drought Periods

Filtration equipment is necessary in any irrigation system as it is responsible for removing suspended particles that can cause clogging of emitters. The filtration system is therefore responsible for ensuring the uniformity of irrigation and fertilization, and it plays a key role in precision agriculture models.

The implementation of an efficient water filtration system for irrigation not only helps protect crops and optimize irrigation performance, but also contributes to the long-term preservation of the irrigation system components. By removing sediments and undesirable particles, it reduces wear and blockages in pipes and equipment, prolonging the lifespan of the components and reducing the need for maintenance.

Choice and sizing of filtration equipment

For proper selection and sizing of filtration equipment, it is necessary to know at least the filtration flow rate, emitter characteristics, and the quantity and size of suspended particles in the water.

The filtration flow rate is a known value calculated based on the water needs of the plants, soil characteristics, and the design of the irrigation system. The characteristics and requirements of the emitter are also known and provided by the manufacturer.

However, the quantity and size of solids in suspension in the water are sometimes unknown and often variable, and they can significantly increase in certain situations, hindering the proper functioning of an irrigation system if the correct filtration system has not been chosen.

Extended drought periods that cause water scarcity are precisely the times when the quantity of suspended solids increases considerably, worsening the quality of irrigation water.

Impact of drought on the quality of irrigation water

One of the main problems associated with drought is the increase in the quantity of suspended solids in the water used for irrigation. This deterioration in water quality can negatively affect the equipment and emitters of the system, reducing their efficiency and increasing the need for maintenance.

The quality of irrigation water plays a crucial role in the selection and sizing process of filtration equipment. During drought periods, when water quality tends to deteriorate, having an efficient and reliable filtration system becomes even more important and a key factor for any irrigation system.

There are several reasons that contribute to the decrease in the quality of irrigation water, which can be classified according to their origin:

River and open canal water:

During drought periods, the water level in rivers and canals decreases, leading to an increase in the concentration of suspended solids, usually silt.

Furthermore, in areas where the flow velocity is lower, the development of microorganisms and aquatic fauna is favored, directly impacting water quality.

Moreover, storms that occur after long drought periods cause erosion and soil runoff from vegetation-free areas, resulting in a large amount of sediment that gets incorporated into rivers, temporarily worsening water quality for irrigation.

Agua de río canales abiertos sequía

Reservoir water:

For the same reason, a decrease in the water level of irrigation reservoirs leads to an increase in the concentration of solids at the intake point.

Additionally, a lower volume of water promotes increased temperature, creating favorable conditions for the growth of algae and bacteria, which worsen the quality of irrigation water. This circumstance can be significantly aggravated when water from wastewater treatment plants with a high nutrient load is incorporated into the reservoir.

Embalse sequía calidad de agua

Well water:

Scarcity of rainfall reduces groundwater recharge, and the water table can decline.

When the water table of a well drops, it is common to deepen the pumping equipment or increase its power, resulting in an increased sand entrainment during the water extraction process.

How drought affects the choice of a filtration system

The quality of irrigation water is a determining factor in choosing and properly sizing filtration equipment. Therefore, in periods of drought when water quality worsens, having an efficient and reliable filtration system becomes particularly important and adds value to any irrigation system.

Automatic filtration systems become especially relevant during these periods when the need for cleaning is higher, as they are designed to self-clean, minimizing the need for manual intervention and reducing maintenance work. These systems often include integrated self-cleaning mechanisms or systems that remove trapped particles from the filtering media without interrupting the water supply. This simplifies operation and ensures continuous and efficient functioning.

How AZUD can assist in choosing filtration equipment

At AZUD, we are aware of the importance of having an efficient filtration system, especially during drought periods. We understand how choosing the right filtration equipment can add value to any irrigation system. Therefore, we offer a wide range of disc and mesh filtration products, including manually cleaned, semi-automatic, and automatic cleaning systems, which ensure irrigation and fertilization uniformity regardless of the quality of the irrigation water.

AZUD HELIX SYSTEM manual disc filters are market leaders known for their robustness, durability, and filtration quality, regardless of the nature of the particles contained in the water.

Filtración por discos AZUD HELIX SYSTEM Filtracion 4K rev.02

AZUD HELIX AUTOMATIC self-cleaning filtration systems also stand out for their reliability, efficiency, minimal energy requirements, and easy maintenance.

Filtración con sistema de limpieza automático AZUD

All our filters have a wide range of filtration grades that adapt to the requirements of the emitters in each irrigation system.

At AZUD, we are experts in choosing and sizing the appropriate filtration equipment, considering the characteristics of the irrigation water, filtration flow rate, emitter characteristics, and the quantity and size of suspended particles in the water. This way, we ensure maximum efficiency and durability of the irrigation system. Furthermore, our extensive experience and the verified satisfaction of our customers have made us the leading brand in the market, offering up to 10 years of free warranty on our filters.

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Isidoro Rodríguez

Agricultural technical engineer - Expert in irrigation and filtration