An irrigation system must be maintained. Before an audit is conducted a maintenance check should be done on the system to ensure it is working as well as possible. If there are known problems and an audit is done, it only means that the maintenance will have to be completed and another audit conducted.
Records of the system purchase and installation may be useful in determining initial design conditions of the system. Records are always helpful in finding where changes have occurred. Wear on a pump may be evidence by a reduced water flow or reduced pressure. Of course, wear on nozzles will show an increase in flow rate and a higher demand on the pump to maintain the required pressure.
A visual inspection of the irrigation system will show if all components are in place and in good apparent condition. Crop appearance is an indicator of non-uniform application of water. Some measurements are suggested to quantify the status of the system.
Before doing the system audit, find the existing minor and major problems and fix them!
- Learners will inspect the system for correct water pressures for the nozzles or emitters.
- Learners will understand the allowed variation in pressures and flow rates in a lateral.
- Learners will inspect nozzles for wear.
- Learners will inspect all components for leakage, breakage, clogs, and other damage.
- Learners will call attention to any components requiring repair so problems are corrected.