The pump

Pumps pressurize the system, and are also the primary consumption of energy in your irrigation system. They are also a necessity, unless you are fortunate enough to receive pressurized water. Therefore correct selection is important.


Selecting the right pump

The pump that you select needs to be able to deliver:

  1.  The required water (m3/hr) (gpm)
  2.  At the right pressure (meters head) (psi, or total discharge head in feet – TDH)
  3.  And do it efficiently (operational cost)

To enable you to choose the right model, pump manufacturers supply pump curves. These curves show the appropriate model based on the pump discharge (flow m3/hr) (gpm) and pressure (meters head) (total dynamic head – TDH). See the example below.

In addition to the pump discharge and pressure, you need to consider:

  1.  The type of pump, e.g. centrifugal pump – horizontal
  2.  The static and pumping water levels
  3.  The height the pump has to lift the water

The ultimate goal is that, by the time the water reaches the emitter, there is enough flow and pressure. So we work from the drip emitter back to the pump.

Selecting a pump is complex, and major pump manufacturers publish their own manuals and guidelines for selecting a pump. As such, here we will provide an overview, and specific considerations related to irrigation.

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