Design or redesign a landscape

Select an irrigation system

Other considerations for water of elevated salinity

  • If the water contains excessive bicarbonate and carbonate, it will leave residual deposits of white lime on the leaves of sprinkler-irrigated plants and on the small openings of irrigation equipment, such as the spray nozzles of a sprinkler system or the emitters of a drip system. Over time, these deposits will accumulate, eventually lessening the plants' aesthetics and clogging the equipment. To avoid deposits on plants, consider using sprinkler heads with low-angle nozzles or changing to a method of irrigation that applies water to the soil instead of to leaves. To avoid clogged sprinkler parts, use equipment with larger openings, if possible. In some cases, you may want to consider installing a system for injecting acid into the irrigation system to eliminate the formation of deposits.
  • If the water has a pH outside the normal range of 6.5 to 8.4, it may corrode the irrigation system's metal components, such as pipelines, sprinklers, and control valves. Using instead components made of plastic or epoxy-coated metal averts this problem.
  • Irrigating with water of elevated salinity is likely to worsen the ability of a landscape's soil to drain well, particularly if the soil contains a notable portion of clay. Installing a system for injecting acid into the irrigation system can help. This may be preferable to applying gypsum to the soil, which loosens up the soil, as desired, but also increases salinity.
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