Filtration is a vital component of a successful irrigation system. Essentially your filtration system will act as an insurance policy for all downstream components, protecting them from unnecessary clogging and breakdown that will impact your crop productivity. In this article, we’ll cover why it’s worth investing in a filtration system, the different systems that are available today and choosing the correct filter for your irrigation needs.
The Unfiltered Truth
Whether your water source supplies clean or dirty water, a water filter is a required component for your irrigation system. Both clean and dirty water contains various types of organic and inorganic particles that can get stuck and cause build-up in your irrigation system. This will ultimately lead to dry sections in your land and affect the quantity and quality of your crops. Clogged emitters are almost always only picked up once there is visible damage to your crops, which ultimately affects your bottom-line. Buying a water filter should be a no brainer, thereafter maintaining your water filter will ensure that:
- Your irrigation system functions at optimal speed.
- Less overall maintenance. Saving time and money.
- Protect your investment.
- Improve productivity.
Know Thy Filter
At Bekmar we believe that the more you know, the better you can do, so before choosing a water filter, let’s quickly talk about the various water filters available to you.
- Screen filters are the most common filters around. The mesh screen filters out inorganic substances such as sand. This type of filter, however, is not recommended for filtering small organic particles that can easily slip through the screen and cause clogging down the line. Screen filters are easy to remove, clean and replace. Ideal for municipal, river, dam, spring or borehole water sources.
- Centrifugal filters spin the water at a very high speed and sling inorganic particles, such as sand, to the side and separate it from the water. The filter’s collection chamber can be cleaned out periodically or as needed. Centrifugal filters can be paired with other types of filters to remove organic substances. Ideal for municipal, river, dam, spring or borehole water sources.
- Media filters are best for removing organic material and often paired with a screen or centrifugal filters. The water is forced through a chamber that contains sharped edged media that snags or catches on the organic substances. A media filter can be cleaned through backflushing and is ideal for municipal, river, dam, spring or borehole water sources.
- Disc filters are a combination of a screen and media filter and great for removing both inorganic and organic particles. The water is forced through several stacked discs or to create a cylindrical filter element. During filtration, the rings are compressed together creating grooves in the discs that criss-cross. This forms a network that traps and filters out organic and inorganic material. Disc filters can either be cleaned manually or automatically depending on the model you choose. Ideal for municipal, river, dam, spring or borehole water sources.
- Cartridge filters are designed to remove both organic and inorganic particles. These filters consist of a combination of materials such as activated carbon, polyester, paper or stainless steel to remove different types of particles and contaminants. Some cartridge filters can be washed and reused, but many are simply replaced if they are dirty which makes it a costly option. These filters are mainly reserved for filtering household water.
Bekmar Irrigation assists clients every step of the way and that means helping you choose the most suitable water filter for your irrigation system and needs. When deciding on a water filter, we consider the following factors:
- Water source: Do you get your water from a clean or dirty water source?
- Emitting devices: Does your system use sprinklers, dripper lines or drip irrigation emitters? Smaller emitting devices will get clogged much easier, therefore the filter must be able to filter out the smallest of organic or inorganic particles.
- Flow rate & pressure: Many smart irrigation systems only require a low flow rate and pressure to function and this needs to be taken into consideration when picking a water filter.
- Cleaning: Regularcleaning and maintenance are required to keep your filter and irrigation in working order. Take into consideration if you are able/available to do carry out manual cleaning. Alternatively, some make and models provide automatic cleaning.
For more information on maintenance and cleaning, read our article on Your Irrigation Maintenance Checklist.
Not sure what filtration system is best for you? Talk to one of our Bekmar Irrigation consultants today for more information. Bekmar Irrigation is now conveniently located in 6 towns across Limpopo and Mpumalanga.