Winterization helps restore irrigation system efficiency by sanitation to prevent build-up and microbial growth while the system is not in use. At Meras Water Solutions, we customize each winterization program depending on your water analysis, location, and symptoms.
Over time, mineral build-up and biofilm will lead to plugging or fouling, which can cause significant problems in your irrigation system. The winterization process is a single scrub maintenance application to rid irrigation plugging, while also maximizing the opportunity to restore irrigation system efficiency and distribution uniformity.
The winterization process is conducted during the last irrigations of the season after post-harvest fertilizers and nutrition are applied. Treated water flows through the irrigation system and cleans out the substances that have the potential to cause plugging and fouling. From the last irrigation of the previous season to the first irrigation of the next season, the treated water will remain in the irrigation line preventing the buildup of biofilm and other substances that may cause clogging. The contact time the treated water has in the irrigation system will ensure proper breakdown of potential foulants without causing harm to your system. The oxidizer used in a winterization process is broadly effective against microorganisms in breaking down to safe and inactive residues.
Before your next production season starts, a proper post winterization flush is required to evacuate the inactive mineral or residues, leaving a clean and sanitized irrigation system ready for the new season. A complete flush is comprised of three parts; filter back-flush, flushing main and sub-main lines and flushing drip lines.
Back-flushing your filters should be a regular activity as your filter’s performance depends on it. Any accumulation of debris can reduce pressure and lower the water application rate (GPM) of your system. Flushing should release any accumulated particulate or organic matter and clear it from your system.
Flushing Main and Sub-Main Lines
The main, sub-main, and distribution lines in the system should be flushed in sequence. Each of the lines should be flushed for at least two minutes or until the flushed water runs clear.
Dripline flushing will force evacuate the organic matter, mineral, or residues and will complete the winterization process. Flushing should be performed sequentially for a block in a single systematic flushing until the lines run clear. Depending on your specific irrigation system, a good recommendation is to open up no more than 15 hose ends at a time to keep system pressures high enough to get a thorough flush.
Depending on your specific location and water source, It is recommended that an irrigation system flush should be performed periodically throughout the irrigation season to maintain proper uniformity.
Winterization will prepare your irrigation system for future production seasons. For more information, contact An Ag Water Specialist from Meras Water Solutions to consult with you and go over any questions you may have about the winterization process.