Afriq Water

Irrigation Solutions

Factors To Consider When Choosing An Irrigation Method

Soil Conditions

The amount of water needed is influenced by the soil type and crops that determines the amount of flow needed and the spacing of the sprinklers.


  • Main pipe line should be in line with the inclination.
  • Laterals should be parallel to the contour lines as far as possible
  • On level surfaces the rule is to either have a main in the middle of a field with equal laterals to the sides or a main on the edge of a field and laterals in one direction. Refer to TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS.
  • Laterals must be able to be isolated individually by means of the valves
  • Always use similar size laterals to ensure even distribution.

Wind conditions

  • Keep laterals vertical to the wind.

Plant Conditions and needs

  • Specific needs of the specific crop.

The length of the laterals

  • Flow required by sprinklers connected to lateral pipe should not exceed pipe capacity, refer to table on TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS.

Water Source

  • Availability
  • Distance from source

Important Points About Sprinkler Irrigation System

  • Always ensure that an adequate filtration system is used.
  • Regularly flush pipe system during a season to ensure that no foreign material is trapped in the system that could block the nozzles.
  • To ensure homogenous distribution of water ensure that the design is correct, for informative purposes only sample system lay outs in SPRINKLER SYSTEM DESIGN SAMPLES.
  • Never use lubricating grease or oils on the Gaskets.
  • While connecting fittings and pipes ensure that the surfaces are clean and free of any foreign material.
  • After every season it is recommended to disassemble the system and to store in a secure place. It is recommended to remove the gasket to prevent damage by rodents.
  • Gaskets are available separately and easy to replace should there be a need for them.
  • If a permanent system is used drain the water from the system at the end of a season.

Advantages of a Sprinkler Irrigation System

  • Target specific areas for irrigation through the control of valves
  • Adapt to specific needs with more accurate control of water flow
  • System can be used in totality or in part
  • Wide range of sprinklers can be used according to preferences
  • 32 mm threaded raiser pipes to ensure sufficient flow to the sprinkler
  • It provides irrigation on uneven and shallow soils
  • It can be used on steep and sloping contours, without causing erosion
  • It is lightweight and easily carried leading to reduced labour
  • Suitable areas can be prepared for seed germination
  • Can be used for frost protection
  • Can be used to wash salt, insects etc from crops
  • Effective control of water
  • Can eliminate erosion if used effectively
  • Can be used on various crops, different riser lengths ensure optimal efficiency
  • System can be easily adapted to changing needs
  • Wide range of accessories available
  • Can be used to distribute soluble fertiliser
  • Parts of the system can be changed without having to replace the complete system
  • Can be used to supply water to tri pods by means of drag lines

Design a Sprinkler System

Design a Sprinkler System

When designing a system layout for the irrigation of a field or area there are some necessary steps that needs to be taken into account during the process.

Here are some important points to consider:
  • Calculate the available water to ensure that you use what is available. Do not overdesign the system. Typically using a centre feed layout is more efficient than using a side feed design, the biggest advantage being the shorter laterals ensuring reduced friction losses that could cause uneven water distribution.
  • Determine the maximum amount of sprinklers that could be fed with the available water. Divide the available water with the flow rate of the sprinklers as supplied by the sprinkler manufacturer. For example: water available is 4750 l/hr, the flow rate of the sprinkler is 1400 l/hr, 4750/1400 = 3.39. The max amount of sprinklers that could be supplied is 3. If need be to increase or decrease the flow the nozzle size could be adjusted.
  • Measure the lateral length of the area to be irrigated. Divide the length of the area by the radius of the sprinkler. Area = 100m, radius of the sprinkler is 15m, 100/15 = 6.66, this is increased to the next full number being 7 in this case. To determine the amount of sprinklers needed, deduct 1 from this number being 6. If a centre feed system are used two sides of 3 sprinklers will be sufficient. Using a centre feed system shortens the laterals. A side feed system would also have required 6 sprinklers from the main line but the longer laterals would cause more friction loss, maybe requiring thicker laterals and main line.
  • If the water supply is not enough to supply the 6 sprinklers needed the line could be split into two sections at the cross where the laterals join the main line by means of a cross valve. The line will be split into two 3 sprinkler lines. Another option is to decrease or increase the nozzle sizes to optimize the available water; the number of sprinklers needed to fit the lateral length needed could be increased or decreased. Reducing or increasing the pressure could adjust the radius of the sprinkler affecting the spacing.
  • The laterals are spaced at the same distance than the radius of the sprinkler along the main line. The laterals and the layout of the laterals are kept uniformly parallel along the main line. More than one row of laterals could be used together if the water supply is sufficient, this could shorten the irrigation time schedule.
  • capabilities of the pipe. Under tab SPRINKLER SYSTEM DESIGN SAMPLES is a table that indicates the maximum number of sprinklers per pipe size, determined by the flow rate of the sprinkler. The total number of all sprinklers on all lateral pipe lines should also not exceed the maximum capability of the main pipe line.
  • Moving a pipeline system is not recommended as it could lead to damages; the use of valves to isolate main lines, lateral lines or even individual sprinklers is recommended. SPRINKLER SYSTEM DESIGN SAMPLES See a series of possible installations are illustrated.

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