Irrigation Engineering >> Sprinkler Irrigation System

Sprinkler irrigation is a method of applying irrigation water to the agricultural field in a manner similar to natural rainfall. A system of pipes is needed for water distribution which is usually by pumping. The sprinklers are used to spray the water into the air through so that it breaks up into small water drops which fall to the ground. It is necessary to properly design the pump supply system, sprinklers and operating conditions in order to enable a uniform application of water.

The essential components of a  typical sprinkler irrigation system are Pump unit (usually a centrifugal pump which takes water from the source and provides adequate pressure for delivery into the pipe system), Mainline and sub-mainlines (pipes which deliver water from the pump to the laterals), Laterals (deliver water from the mainlines or sub-mainlines to the sprinklers) and Sprinklers (to spray water in the form of small drops)

Sprinklers irrigation system can be applied to any type of soil but it  is best suited for sandy soils with high infiltration rates. It is advisable that the average application rate from the sprinklers (in mm/hour) should be less than the basic infiltration rate of the soil in order to avoid surface ponding and runoff.

impact sprinkler

Sprinklers are not suitable for soils which easily form a crust. If sprinkler irrigation is the only method available, then light fine sprays should be used. The larger sprinklers producing larger water droplets are to be avoided.

Other irrigation methods are given below

 surface irrigation  

 drip irrigation  


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