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Efficient, cost effective removal of sediment from river water used for subsurface irrigation is required to protect the subsurface drain pipes from clogging. Flood irrigation of a field combined with controlled drainage was assessed as a potential method of filtering river water used for subsurface irrigation. This system of irrigation consists of applying river water on a small section of the field from which water soaks into the soil to subsurface drain pipes under the flooded area. With the outlet of the subsurface drainage system closed, the water is distributed throughout the whole system, thereby subsurface irrigating the crops. Results indicate that water applied to the flooded section of the field redistributes within a few hours through the entire field. Sealing of the soil of the flooded section with sediment from the river water was not detected. Also, the yield of maize from this method of irrigating was comparable to that obtained under conventional subsurface irrigation. Based on this one-year study, flood irrigation combined with controlled drainage appears to be a practical option for using sediment laden river water to irrigate crops on relatively flat, subsurface drained fields.
D. Nsengiyumva. F. Papineau and R.S. Broughtoll 1997. COMBINING FLOOD IRRIGATION AND CONTROLLED SUBSURFACE DRAINAGE TO IRRIGATE MAIZE IN A TEMPERATE SUBHUMlD CLIMATE. Canadian Agricultural Engineering 39(3):151-156.
Canadian Society for Bioengineering