Drip irrigation is a type of micro-irrigation system that has the potential to save water and nutrients by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, either from above the soil surface or buried below the surface. The goal is to place water directly into the root zone and minimize evaporation. Drip irrigation systems distribute water through a network of valves, pipes, tubing, and emitters. Depending on how well designed, installed, maintained, and operated it is, a drip irrigation system can be more efficient than other types of irrigation systems, such as surface irrigation or sprinkler irrigation.
Components used in drip irrigation (listed in order from water source) include:
Pump or pressurized water source
Water filter(s) or filtration systems: sand separator, Fertigation systems (Venturi injector) and chemigation equipment (optional)
Backwash controller (Backflow prevention device)
Pressure Control Valve (pressure regulator)
Distribution lines (main larger diameter pipe, maybe secondary smaller, pipe fittings)
Hand-operated, electronic, or hydraulic control valves and safety valves
Smaller diameter polyethylene tube (often called"laterals")
Poly fittings and accessories (to make connections)
Emitting devices at plants (emitter or dripper, micro spray head, inline dripper or inline drip tube)
In drip irrigation systems, pump and valves may be manually or automatically operated by a controller.