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Drip irrigation using well water

 
Posts: 35
Location: Colbert, WA
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I am using my 15 gpm well for my drip irrigation (1/2" emitter tubing-not tape). My water has a lot of iron in it so I inject air to oxidize it and cause it to precipitate out. I am currently sending this water through a 1" Pentex Big Blue cartridge filter using 50 micron cartridges so as to not clog my emitters. I cannot find the average size of these iron precipitates. The filter cartridges are about $16 each and last for about 1 1/2 weeks. Expensive over the course of my 8 watering period. Does anyone drip irrigate using well water? What do you filter with? One alternative is an irrigation filter using, cleanable, reuseable stainless steel screens. Will at 200 mesh (75 micron) stainless steel filter screen filter these particles out? Please do not respond with suggestions about gravity and solar and pigs. If have info that can help, please share it. Thanks.
Thom Foote
Footehills Farm
Colbert, WA
 
Posts: 3375
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Do you have a spin down filter or settling tank in the system? They use centrifugal force or gravity to settle it out.


 
pollinator
Posts: 1524
Location: northern California
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could you use the "flag" type emitters and unscrew them for cleanout?
 
Posts: 16
Location: Locust Grove, VA
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Thom we also have a lot of iron in our water and we irrigate with drip tape ("T-Tape"). We use the mesh cleanable filter that you mention and have never had any trouble with clogged emitters. In fact, we have used the same filter and screen for nearly 20 years now! I do think we need to replace it soon as it has started to require more frequent cleanings this year... For the first 10 years or so we had a fairly large market garden and ran the system pretty much 24x7 during the hottest parts of the summer (our well is very strong at over 45 GPM). We usually can only get 2 seasons out of the drip tape so I am not sure if the clogging would be a problem over longer timeframes with the tubing.
 
Thom Foote
Posts: 35
Location: Colbert, WA
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David, thanks very much for your input. It is EXACTLY the concise feedback I was looking for. Good to know about having to replace the T-tape. Fortunately the 1/2" drip tubing is inexpensive and I can use any WWOOFers who are with me at the time to help replace it when I need to. You have saved me a lot of time and further expense. This is a perfect example of the benefits of community. Thanks again. If you are ever near Spokane, drop by our farm for good beer, good food, good conversation. Enjoy.
 
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