Acid handling guidelines

  • Acid is a dangerous substance. Follow carefully the manufacturer’s instructions and local regulations. All information contained in this module is secondary to local laws and manufacturer instructions.
  • Contact with acid may cause severe skin burns. While handling acids, use protective gear, including gloves and boots.
  • Protective goggles must be worn, as contact of acids with the eyes can cause severe injuries and blindness.
  • Inhaling acid fumes and swallowing acid can be fatal and must be avoided. Make sure that the workplace is well ventilated.
  • When diluting, the acid should always be added to the water, never add water into acid. If water is added into acid, an exothermic reaction will occur, which may boil the water which is dangerous.
  • Do not leave acid treatment site unattended and ensure only authorized access during the operation.
  • Acidification tests and calibration, and compatibility with the irrigation system must be determined before injecting any acid into your system. There should be no contact between the concentrated acid and the parts of the irrigation system that are sensitive to it as this may cause extensive damage.
  • When the irrigation water is diluted with acid, this irrigation water must not leak into any potable water system by using an appropriate check valve or another adequate method.
  • Acid must not be mixed with chemicals that can produce dangerous by-products (e.g. chlorine).
  • When using chelated micro-nutrients in irrigation water, the pH should not be lower than 4, because the chelates will disintegrate and be ineffective.
  • Flushing after treatment is critical for the protection of sensitive irrigation components. For example, many barb connectors are made of acetal. A short period of acid treatment is generally okay, but if you do not flush afterwards, damage will occur to the connectors.

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