Though seldom part of the original design, irrigation systems need filtration to rid contaminants from the lines. This ensures that plants are being watered properly and reduces the frequency of irrigation system maintenance by preventing small particles from progressing through the nozzles to plants.
“Filtration is a must with drip systems,” says Gideon Brunn, president of Automatic Filters, Inc. “Otherwise, the nozzles are constantly clogged.” Tekleen Water Filters take the maintenance out of the process because they are self-cleaning.
The line pressure at the filter outlet drops after dirt settles on the screen. As the pressure reaches a preset differential, it triggers the backwash cycle to begin. The vacuum nozzles suction dirt from the inside of the screen and flush it out into the drain. All of this is done without interrupting the main flow and requires only two gallons of rinse water, making it both production- and environmentallyfriendly.
“You are not flooding the area with a lot of backwash water like a lot of other filters. For example, a 2-inch filter would use two gallons of water per rinse. Other filters with a 2-inch flushing valve would use 20-30 gallons of water,” explains Brunn.
Installation is simple -- attache the filter to the line and turn it on. Aldridge Nursery, Von Ormy, Texas, purchased three additional Tekleen filters after being so impressed with its first one. Its oldest filter was purchased in 2000 and has not needed any upkeep. “We did some things when we first got it that we thought we needed to do, like take it apart and clean it, and we found out it wasn’t necessary,” says Ralph Simnacher, owner. “We thought we knew more than the instructions.”
Ulery Greenhouse, Springfield, Ohio, has had the filter for about 1 1/2 years, with no major problems. “The only thing you need to do is change the battery in it once a year, because it automatically backflushes,” says Ashley Smith, grower.
The only required maintenance is to keep an eye on it. “To make sure the machine is functioning correctly, you have to make sure that you monitor your inlet and outlet pressures. Make sure that the flushing system is working correctly. It’s fully automatic, but you should keep an eye on it to make sure that it’s properly working,” says Rick Ruggeri, part owner of Silver Terrace Nursery in Pescadero, Calif. Silver Terrace Nursery uses three Tekleen filters to back up the sand filters at the reservoir that serves as the nursery’s main water supply, and they report no problems to date. “We haven’t had to maintain them up to this point,” says Ruggeri. One thing Silver Terrace Nursery did decide to do was to take out the battery and use 110-volt controllers. “So they’re basically self-sufficient, and you don’t have to mess with a battery,” Ruggeri says.
With advance notice, Automatic Filters can provide filters that are pre-fit for controllers. Options include 220-, 110-, 12- , and 9- volt controllers. Automatic Filters, Inc., Los Angeles, Calif. (310) 839-2828.