Irrigation, drainage and water conservation # 1974 Southampton
It has often been said that “automatic irrigation is no longer a luxury, but rather a definite necessity.”
The concept of automatic irrigation does not have to be sold anymore. Its advantages have been demonstrated time and time again in both turf and agriculture. Automatic systems have enjoyed a tremendous growth over the last 5 years. Plastic pipe, being synonymous with automatic irrigation, has paralleled this growth.
Flood irrigation was the first method of irrigating crops. Very little pipe of any kind was utilized. Water was simply directed froma main ditch into smaller ditches or furrows. There were many disadvantages to this type of irrigation. Flood irrigation was characterized by high labour costs for maintenance and operation, extensive land preparation in lieu of piping to direct the water, terrain limitations, high evapo-transpiration, salt build-up, soil sealing; poor infiltration and resultant low crop yields gave way to a more efficient method of irrigating — sprinklers.
There are many types of sprinkler irrigation for crops, all of which require pipe of some type to transmit the water to the sprinklers.
One of the earliest sprinkler systems used was the portable system. As its name implies, the pipe was moved from outlet to outlet. Aluminium pipe was the obvious choice because of its lightweight, rigidity, relatively high impact strength and low cost.
Corrosion was not a problem since none of the mainline or laterals were buried.