Choosing the right filtration system, or improving your existing station is vital to ensure it is working effectively for the success of your irrigation system. Besides the cost factor, the type of filter station that is chosen will depend primarily on the production device and the water/source quality of your system.
Water Filtration is a vital part of irrigation systems. The number one cause of irrigation system breakdowns is the tiny particles found in even clean appearing water. A Water Filter for your Irrigation System will pay for itself many times in savings on repairs.
Common Water Problems without filtered Irrigation Systems
The most common problem with irrigation systems without a filter is sprinkler heads getting plugged with sediment, including small particles of sand, silt and organic matter. Even small particles of sand, dirt or organic matter can plug a sprinkler head which will then cause a dry or dead spot in the turf or field. The second problem is that sediment will eventually damage the various mechanisms of the irrigation system.
Water Filter Solutions for Irrigation Systems
Water filtration is the solution to both problems. A water filter will extend the life of your irrigation system and save time on maintenance.
The type of water filter you select depends on the water quality as well as the irrigation system. Pond or surface water generally contains organic material, such as leaves and algae, while well water often contains inorganic particulates, such as sand and dirt. Some water filters for irrigation systems are more effective for sand and other sediment, while other filters work better for organic matter.
Screen Filters are probably the most common filters used with an irrigation system and often the least expensive. They are excellent for removing hard particulates such as sand from irrigation water. A screen filter is not as effective at removing organic materials because they can slip through the screen. Screen Filters are cleaned by removing the screen and cleaning them by hand or flushing them with a stream of water.
Cartridge Filters contain a paper filter which works somewhat like a screen filter for irrigation. A Cartridge Filter can also remove organic matter because the paper is rough enough to catch the slippery organic material. Some Cartridge Filters can be washed and reused, but most are simply replaced when they are dirty.
Centrifugal Filters or Sand Separators are used primarily for removing particulates, such as sand, from the water. A Centrifugal Filter or Sand Separator is very effective for removing sand from the irrigation water. Periodically, the sand is cleaned out of the collection chamber. There are no screens or other media that need flushing or cleaning. A backup Screen Filter or Media Filter is often used with a Centrifugal Filter for drip irrigation systems.
Media Filters filter the irrigation water by forcing it through an area filled with small sharp edged media. A Media Filter is effective for removing organic material from the water because of the sharp edges which catch the slippery organic matter. Media Filters are cleaned by back flushing.
Disk Filters are a combination of a screen filter and a media filter, with many of the advantages of both. A Disk Filter is very effective at removing both sediment and organic material from the irrigation water. Some Disk Filters need to be manually cleaned and some are automatically cleaned. They are cleaned by separating the disks from each other so the debris can be flushed out through a flush outlet.