If you’re looking for a more economical and efficient way to water your vegetables, flowers, trees and bushes, consider incorporating a drip irrigation system into your watering.
Drip irrigation systems have been used for decades in dryer climates out West, as well as at commercial nurseries and on farms. However, homeowners across the country, including in Indiana, are beginning to notice the benefits of drip irrigation.
In our most recent blog, the professionals at Indiana American Water explain what drip irrigation is and its many benefits.
How Does Drip Irrigation Work?
Unlike using a sprinkler irrigation system or hose to water your plants and vegetables, a drip system works by placing small drip emitters in an array in the ground near the plants’ or crops’ root system. The emitters are connected by feeder hoses to the water source and release water slowly and steadily. They can be controlled using a programmable timer.
Drip irrigation systems are different because the water is released directly into the soil where the roots are located. The advantages of drip irrigation are that it is much more efficient and reduces water waste when compared to watering your plants with sprinkler systems and hoses.
What Are the Benefits of a Drip Irrigation System?
Conserving water is the biggest benefit of installing a drip irrigation system. According to the EPA, a drip irrigation system uses 20-50% less water than a traditional spray sprinkler system. As much as 30% of a home’s water supply is used outdoors, and a micro irrigation system can save homeowners an estimated 25,000 gallons of water per year.
Because sprinkler systems often water nearby pavement or sidewalks, the sides of houses, and fences when they’re being used, they are only about 65-75% efficient, compared to a drip irrigation system that is about 90% efficient at allowing vegetables and plants to use the water that is applied.
Sprinkler systems and hoses also water the soil surface in areas between plants, which can cause weeds to grow and thrive. Drip irrigation targets only the roots of the intended plants.
Improved Plant Growth
Drip irrigation systems allow water to soak deep into the soil, making it easier for plant roots to access it. This helps plants and vegetables grow and thrive. You can target plant roots even better by installing a subsurface drip irrigation system.
You can potentially save several hours of labor each month by not having to water plants manually or turning your sprinkler system on and off. Drip irrigation provides a slow and consistent flow of water with minimal work involved.
Prevents Fungal Diseases
A drip irrigation system can limit or minimize fungal diseases that are caused when water contacts the leaves or stems of plants. Drip systems apply water directly to the root zone, right where the plants take in water.
Since there is no water runoff with a drip irrigation system, fertilizer is less likely to be washed into nearby natural water sources. This is beneficial to the environment.
Indiana American Water Is Committed to Water Conservation
The professionals at Indiana American Water are committed to water conservation and are always looking for ways to ensure water is available for future generations. Learn more on the Wise Water Use page on our website. Even small changes such as installing a drip irrigation system can make a big difference. To learn how much water you’re using at home, consider using a Water Use Calculator.