Drip Irrigation
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Drip Irrigation

Friday, 16 January 2015
Video Length:  1:00
Presented By:  Jake Lott


Join us this week for a great discussion on Drip Irrigation. Water is precious and so is your time, so let Land F/X help lift your burden by showing you how to place drip rings, bubblers, single emitters, emitters by area, and dripline by area. We will go through the entire process – from selecting your drip source and components to zoning and piping. Finally, we'll show you how to calculate and schedule each zone.

(Note: The following catalog of content covered in this webinar is time stamped to allow you to follow along or skip to sections of the video that are relevant to your questions, You can also search for content on this page using the FIND command in your browser (CTRL + F in Windows, Command + F in Mac OS.)

  • Drip Irrigation Webinar
  • Intro/TOC
  • Pros/Cons of Drip Irrigation
  • Types of Drip Components
  • Adding Equipment to Your Project
  • How to Place Drip Equipment
  • Drawing and Sizing Lateral Pipe


0:00 – 1:35: Intro/TOC


1:36 – 6:43: Pros/Cons of Drip Irrigation


  • Can be the most water-efficient method of irrigation
  • Minimized evaporation
  • Reduces runoff
  • Reduces overspray
  • Point source water to the plant material
  • Reduced moisture on plant material reduces diseases to plant
  • Fewer weeds
  • Reduced chance of hardscape damage/site liability (slip and fall)



  • Sometimes more expensive to install
  • Hard to identify stress until too late
  • Poor design can lead to improper root development
  • Can’t tell when the zone is running
  • Granular fertilizer cannot be watered in
  • Damaging tubing when digging or planting, or from vandalism
  • Cooling/cleaning effect of rain is lost


(Disclaimer: You can still overwater when using drip irrigation incorrectly.)


6:44 – 15:29: Types of Drip Components

Component Types (6:44)

  • Bubblers
  • Micro sprays
  • Emitters
  • In-line drip
  • Valves and accessories


Drip Classification Terminology (8:36)

  • Area for Drip Emitters
  • Individual Emitters
  • Custom Emitters
  • Area for Dripline (Dripperline)


Drip Component Terminology (8:50)

  • Drip control valve / Filter / Regulator
  • Pipe transition point (optional)
  • Drip air relief valve
  • Flush cap / Valve (optional)


Adding Drip Components (11:06)

Make sure that:

  1. You have a project set up.
  2. Your project scale is set correctly.
  3. You know what type of equipment you want to use.


Example of a drip irrigation plan in a CAD drawing (13:50)


Note: Always Xref your separate plans (planting, irrigation, etc.) into your site design drawing, rather than putting everything into the same drawing. Each plan should be in its own file (planting, irrigation, etc.). You can then use the Xref feature to import them as external references, or Xrefs. (14:10)


15:30 – 23:22: Adding Equipment to Your Project

Overview of the Irrigation Manager (15:30)


Overview of the drip irrigation equipment types (15:50)


Adding a manufacturer’s equipment (example: dripline) to a project (16:15)

  • Model options (17:10)
  • PSI options (17:40)


Adding bubblers (18:00)


Adding tree rings (18:20)

  • The Custom button (18:55)
  • Entering a Model and Schedule Description for a tree ring (19:00)
  • Selecting a symbol for a tree ring (20:05)


Placing tree rings (20:40)


Adding a pipe transition point (21:41)


Adding details to the project (22:23)


23:23 – 52:58: How to Place Drip Equipment

Placing an area for drip emitters (23:23)


Question: At what depth do you place your tree rings? Is this an important consideration? (25:25)

Answer: It depends on your final intent for your tree rings. Tree rings are best places on the surface – especially when they consist of in-line emitter tubing. Placing tree rings at or near the surface allows you to increase, decrease, and remove them as necessary as the tree grows. However, the depth will depend on your actual design intent.


The Match Head tool, which allows you to match the properties of a head to those of another head (27:00)


Note: Always look at the manufacturer’s specs and recommendations for each piece of equipment when adding and placing it. This will ensure that you’re not over- or under-designing with that particular equipment. (27:30)


The available standard and drip emitter types from the F/X Irrigation ribbon (28:40)


Selecting and placing an emitter (29:10)


How the Area for Drip Emitters works (and how to edit/adjust an Area for Drip Emitters) (29:34)


Placing Area for Dripline (31:45)


Note: Cool new Irrigation F/X feature: You can now select Place Area before drawing a polyline to define the area. Just type D for Draw polyline, and draw your Area polyline on the fly! (31:58)


Note: Hatches for dripline areas are simply hatches; they don’t show each individual line. In fact, your plans shouldn’t show your individual lines. If you want to show individual lines, you should do this in your details. This will allow you to zoom in closely and show the individual lines more effectively. (33:20)


Question: Do you have to place separate emitters for the plants that surround a tree ring? (35:40)

Answer: This is another design preference/consideration. Check the manufacturer’s specs to be sure. Also, make sure you match your precipitation rates (flows) between your dripline and the surrounding equipment, which will help you avoid under- or overwatering.

Question: Is there a concern that tree rings will limit the rootball from expanding? For example, is there a drip option that is helpful in assisting in a good root structure? (38:07)

Answer: Yes, this can be a concern. Make sure you follow the existing design standards for the system you are laying out. Put the actual drip ring halfway or three-quarters of the way from the dripline to the tree, and make the roots stretch outward. It’s a “movement game” – you’re continually moving and even removing dripline to force the roots to expand outward (“roots chase water” type of a game).


Understanding the flow (GPM) for your irrigation design using the View Data / Equipment Info tool (40:57)


Editing an area and adjusting flow (42:14)


Checking your zones with the Circuit tool (44:50)


Calculating your total flow (and available flow) with the Flow Total tool (finds and adds up flow totals for all existing areas) (Note that Flow Total is built into the Circuit tool, as a button in the dialog box). (45:20)


Note: Flow Total gives you guidelines on what equipment the existing system can handle – not what you need to add. You’ll need to understand your equipment, and place your equipment and plants appropriately (hydrozones, etc.), to ensure that your system functions correctly. (47:10)


Question: How do we account for slope? (49:10)

Answer: You need to make sure that the water use is different on different levels (example: having two valves instead of one valve on a sloped area, which will ensure that the upper and lower portions of the slope will receive the proper flow).


Question: I’ve heard that with multi-port devices used in an Area for Drip Emitters, the ¼-inch tubing should be the same length to each plant in order to ensure equal amounts of water. Can you comment on this? (50:27)

Answer: Pressure, rather than water amount, affects flow to the greatest degree. You’d want to avoid exceeding a specific length to each emitter, which would cause either under- or overwatering at different emitters.


Question: Is it necessary to specify only 6 of 8 ports when using a multi-port emitter? (51:24)

Answer: No. You’re better off anticipating having all ports running. This will help prevent you from underdesigning your system.



52:59 - end: Drawing and Sizing Lateral Pipe

The lateral piping options available with Irrigation F/X: laterals, pipe hops, pipe sleeves (53:15)


Inserting a pipe sleeve (53:29)


Placing pipe transition points (or other drip equipment) (54:18)

  • Note that when you place a transition point within a given area, it will recognize the entire area. (56:00)


Piping between transition points (56:15)


Verifying the laterals using the Verify Laterals tool (57:00)


Sizing lateral pipes and selecting elevations (58:00)


Checking the pressure coming from a valve (58:20)


Running a Critical Analysis and checking pressure loss (58:30)


Understanding the pressure loss to specific pieces of equipment (58:40)

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