The Family drip system, developed by Netafim Irrigation Equipment and Drip Systems company in Israel, is a low-pressure system intended for a family plot. Similar to the drip systems discussed above, no central pressurized water system or power source is required, and the technical level is such that it is easy to understand. The drip tube is made from heavy-duty polyethylene pipes (inside diameter 6 mm, outside diameter 8 mm) for low-pressure performance giving a drip emitter flow rate of 0.65 l/h at 1 m pressure. The drip outlets are spaced at 30 cm.
Uses of a drum system
A drum system covering 5 beds each 1 m wide and 15 m long can be used to grow 250 plants (tomato, egg plant and similar plants requiring a spacing of 60 cm along the plant rows); 500 plants (spinach, cabbage, kale, pepper and similar plants requiring a spacing of 30 cm along the plant rows); or 1,500 plants (onion, carrot and similar plants requiring a spacing of 10 cm). The drum system also offers water storage and control through a control valve, making it possible to fill the drum for irrigating at another time.
Six examples are presented: the KARI drum system from Kenya, the Waggon Wheel system from South Africa, the Family, Plastro and Micro-Tal systems from Israel, and the IDE drum used in India.
This system has been used in Israel and China. Plans are under way to make it available in many countries of the world through the Netafim distribution network of companies.
Construction, operations and maintenance
The standard drum kit system comprises a drum, control valve, a manifold and drip lines. The drum should be filled with the valve in the closed position. To irrigate it is important to open the valve fully. This allows the water to be distributed quickly through the drip lines and allows for good water distribution.
- 920-litre plastic water tank
- 1-inch screen filter (120 mesh)
- Control valve
- 20 m x 40 mm PE pipe
- 14 dripline start connectors for PE pipe
- 14 insert connectors for dripline
- 14 dripline end closures
- 800 m x 8 mm dripline.
- Order material from your supplier according to the area to be irrigated.
- Construct a stand from locally available material.
- Level the plots and install the irrigation system as per instructions.
In Kenya you can obtain further information or buy a complete system to irrigate 500 m2 (for US$ 470) from Amiran (K) Limited.
- Sijali, Isaya V. DRIP IRRIGATION: Options for smallholder farmers in eastern and southern Africa. RELMA, 2001.