If you have flowers, vegetable plants, or other landscaping features on your property, then you will need to consider how these plants are watered to keep them healthy. If you live in an area that experiences droughts, then you probably do not want to invest in large scale sprinkler systems and underground irrigation. Your first step to a drought resistant property is to invest in plants that only need small amounts of water. Columbine flowers, asters, Japanese anemones, yarrows, and sagebrush are a few good examples. You also should think about contacting a contractor to install a low flow drip irrigation system. These systems have many parts and pieces that work together to supply plants with water. Keep reading to learn about two important parts and what you should pick out if options are available to you.
Emitters are the small devices that are secured to the drip irrigation tubes to release water slowly and regularly. While some irrigation systems may have small holes along the piping system, this water will usually squirt out at a high speed or drip an extremely small amount depending on the water pressure forced through the system. These types of holes tend to clog as well.
Different types of emitters can be chosen for your irrigation system. Long path emitters are one type that slow the pressure of the water moving through the irrigation pipes with the use of small tubes. These tubes are placed in a cone-shaped device that releases water through a small hole on the bottom. These emitters are a good choice if you have high water pressure and if you want emitters that will likely not clog. These devices are usually quite large though, so there is enough room for the tubing. Short path emitters are available too that work in the same manner, but they force water through a shorter tubing system. These emitters are smaller, cheaper, and best used when water pressure is low.
Vortex emitters that force water through a small inlet, an open space, and then out through an outlet are available too. Diaphragm devices that slow down water with a small rubber disk are also options. If you want to be able to increase and decrease the flow of water based on the rainfall, then think about a device with a dial that will allow you to do this. These emitters are called adjustable flow devices. Some options also release water in a mist or a light spray instead of a drip. You need to think about how much water your plants need, your home water pressure, and the spread of the spray you desire when deciding on the best emitters for your property. Also, consider asking your contractor to complete a demonstration so you can see how the different devices work.
Your drip irrigation system will likely have a device called a pressure regulator that will reduce the water pressure from the main water line. Without the regulator, pressure will likely be too high. The emitters will then pop off or the water tubes will form leaks. A large space often sits in this regulator, and this area allows you to place a filter inside. These filters collect debris and some minerals from the water so they do not clog up emitters.
Most filters are basic types made out of polyester mesh. These devices have either one thin piece of mesh that the water is forced through or they have small discs. Stainless steel filters can be purchased too, and these are sturdier to allow higher pressure water through the filter. Filters made out of the same sorts of materials can be added to the water inlet that feeds the tubing part of the irrigation system as well. These filters can be used in conjunction with filters placed inside the regulator or they can be used as the primary filter if there is not any room inside the regulator.