Jeff Banks, the author of the original paper where I got idea for the drip system, and I have been corresponding on my sludge issue. I am going to include the chronology of the discussion here. I think there are some valuable tips.
It’s good to hear back from and how thing are going. It looks like you are almost ready for another year. At this time, I don’t have a blog. Maybe someday. After looking at your blog, it was your pictures that I was trying to figure out who’s they was. I have updated my PowerPoint presentation and also in the process of updating the original fact sheet. I want to make sure I give credit to those who have supplied comments or pictures. I attached a copy of the presentation that includes two of your pictures. After going through the universities peer review process for the updated fact sheet, it will replace the original one. It should be ready by the first of the summer. I have also attached a resource list that includes the links to the fact sheet, video and this presentation.
I want to give you more thoughts about the problem you had with the algae growing in the lateral lines. This past year, I decided to try experimenting with some of my laterals with the holes facing up instead of down. In the middle of the summer I started experiencing the same problem you had of having algae growth in the lines because of the standing water in them. I think I figured out a way to help solve the problem. What I did was with the lateral lines with the holes facing up, I drilled a 1/16 hole on the bottem about every 3-4 feet. This acted as a slow drain hole. After irrigating, the water slowing drained out of the lines. After this, I never experienced any algae build up again. You want to try this and see if it helps. If it does, let me know.
Keep me informed how things are going for you.
Thanks as always for your insights. I will add them to my blog if that is ok with you. I really want to make sure I am giving credit back to you . Certainly happy to help you anyway I can. Feel free to point to my stuff in anyway that helps you.
So this brought to mind another set of questions, what is your typical water pressure and what size holes do you drill for the main flow?
I have used 3/64 and 1/16 (depending on bits I have easily at hand). I have found that I had pretty high pressure. I put in the regulators to drop it down to 25 or so. But it is still almost like a drill. Makes me wonder if I should use larger holes.
Thanks for you help and your cool idea.
It’s good to hear from you again. Thanks your support in letting me use some of your pictures. In my system, in front of the manual valves I have around 80 psi, so I have a lot of pressure. But with everything glued in front of the valves the high pressure is not a problem. After opening the valves as far as needed, because of all the 1/16 holes in the lateral lines, the pressure never does have a chance to build up. I have measured the pressure while I am irrigating and the pressure in the lateral lines is below 10 psi. Just a note I like the water to come out of the holes as a very small stream. Just like turning on a kitchen faucet when it goes from a fast drip to a small stream. The output per hole is around 4-6 ounces per minute. One thought you may be trying to have too high of flow rate. That might answer why you are making such deep holes. Try closing the valves some and see if that makes a difference. One other comparison, when I test the system in the spring, I turn all the lateral lines with the holes up. When I clean out plugged holes the water is only shooting up around 2-4 inches. When I turn the pipes around so the holes are down, I try to have about the same flow rate as when I test the system. One other item, I use a 1/16 inch hole for all everything.
I hope this helps. Let me know if this helps.
Ok, you could maybe sort this from the pictures, but it is not obvious. inline, I have a cut off valve, a pressure regulator and then one of those backflow valves at the bed.
I think what you are suggesting is that I should turn the system on and dial back the cutoff valves and/or pressure regulator so that I have a small stream flowing out of the drip lines. If this is what you are suggesting then it makes a lot of sense.
Thanks again for the tips.
I am planning on capturing this dialogue and adding it to the blog. Seems like a good place for capturing some best practices.