Effect of flushing pressure and time on the unclogging of Drip Emitters with Treated Effluent
Water scarcity is a problem for many sub-Saharan Africa countries. The reclamation of wastewater is an alternative and available water supply source for critical food security. The utilization of wastewater in agriculture is more compatible with drip irrigation. Limited to emitter clogging, flushing pressure was investigated with regards to recovery of clogged emitters and Christiansen Uniformity of Coefficient (Uc) operating with Treated effluent. A set of orthogonal experiments using Flushing pressure and flushing duration was used to study the emitter recovery of an online labyrinth drip emitters. Water discharge rates was measured and characterized at 72-hour intervals during the entire operation period. Water analysis (physical, chemical and biological) were carried out from the maturation pond to the clog causing parameters. Flushing was performed with pressure ranges of 40kPa, 80kPa and 120kPa among 5,10- and 15-minutes duration. The online emitters clogged more severely, producing a 50% lower averaged mean discharge rates. The analysis of variance indicated that flushing at 120 kPa for 10 minutes had a significant effect on the discharge of the fine sediments, resuscitating the emitter discharge. Chemical treatment implemented with the flushing pressure improved mean discharge rates, uniformity coefficient (Uc) and the statistical uniformity coefficient (Us). Clogging of emitters could seriously deteriorate system performance. Flushing pressure discharged the precipitates that were dislodged by acid and chlorine treatments. Therefore, when treated effluent is utilized, this is an excellent method to be used as management and control practices for emitter recover.
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