Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Emitter clogging in drip irrigation using treated domestic wastewater


Flavio Daniel Szekut 1 *, Delfran Batista do Santos 2, Carlos Alberto Vieira de Azevedo 1, Márcio Roberto Klein 1, Maycon Diego Ribeiro 1, Salomão de Sousa Medeiros 3

Recieved Date: 2015-04-06, Accepted Date: 2015-09-08


The lack of high-quality water for irrigation leads to the use of low-quality water or alternative water resources in irrigated agriculture, such as the application of domestic sewage wastewater, for which drip irrigation is used because it decreases the contamination of crops and workers, and provides high application uniformity. However, emitter clogging poses a problem. In this context, this study aimed to characterize and monitor three models of tubes with labyrinth-type inline drippers, subjected to irrigation with wastewater from treated domestic sewage and fresh water. The experiment was performed on a bench at the field, in the semiarid region of Brazil, in the state of Paraíba. The emitters were hydraulically characterized and monitored for 1188 h, the discharge coefficient of variation and the degree of clogging of the emitters were calculated. The latter was subjected to the analysis of variance with two factors, type of water with two levels and model of emitter with three levels, and means comparison test. At the end of the operation, the labyrinth of each emitter was subjected to scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The initial hydraulic characteristics do not change with the use of domestic sewage wastewater as the water source. Along the operation time, domestic sewage wastewater showed the greatest variability, with coefficient of variation higher than 15% and 792, 720 and 612 h of operation. For the emitter referred to as G1, there was no significant difference between the application of wastewater and fresh water for the response variable degree of clogging. According to the SEM analysis, a type of biofilm coating was observed along the labyrinth. The shape of the labyrinth channels of the emitters and the quality of the water used constituted the main characteristics for the clogging process. Thus, the connection between these factors is essential for studies on clogging of drip irrigation systems.


Biofilm, drip tube, degree of clogging, scanning electron microscopy, fresh water, hydraulic characterization, discharge exponent, bacterial colony, semiarid, water quality, emitter’s labyrinth channel

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2015
Volume: 13
Issue: 3&4
Category: Agriculture
Pages: 60-66

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