Method of promoting unrestricted flow of irrigation water through irrigation networks

  • US RE45,550 E1
  • Filed: 04/08/2013
  • Issued: 06/09/2015
  • Est. Priority Date: 04/20/2006
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. A method of substantially providing unrestricted flow of irrigation water through an a drip irrigation network comprising intermittent water flow and designed to supply irrigation water and optional fertilizer and micronutrients to plants, wherein the drip irrigation network comprises irrigation water and discharge emitters, and conduits that deliver the irrigation water to the discharge emitters, the discharge emitters having small sized passageways susceptible to plugging, the method comprising the step steps of:

  • flowing the irrigation water through a conduit in the drip irrigation network;

    admixing a biofilm reducing agent (BRA) and a mineral deposit distorting agent (MDDA) with the irrigation water by introducing the BRA and the MDDA into the flowing irrigation water in the conduit, wherein the BRA comprises a chlorite salt, thereby increasing a concentration of mixed oxidants in the flowing irrigation water in the conduit, and the MDDA is selected from the group consisting of phosphonate compounds, phosphonic acid compounds, derivatives of phosphorus, blends of phosphonate and phosphorus derivatives, and phosphonic acid compounds, citric acid, acetic acid, mineral acid and mixtures thereof;

    discharging the irrigation water having the mixed oxidants through the discharge emitters in the drip irrigation network; and

    irrigating plants with the irrigation water having the mixed oxidants, wherein;

    the BRA is an oxidizer that substantially eliminates biofilm formation;

    wherein the MDDA causes mineral deposits to be amorphous; and

    wherein the BRA and the MDDA are admixed with the irrigations water in amounts sufficient to substantially eliminate biofilm formation in the discharge emitters and produce amorphous mineral deposits in the discharge emitters that are washed away by the irrigation water as it the irrigation water flows through the discharge emitters;

    the BRA and the MDDA are admixed with the irrigation water such that there is a slow release of chlorine dioxide and that this release continues throughout the full length of the irrigation network;

    the BRA and the MDDA are admixed with the irrigation water such that a ratio Of mixed oxidants to chlorine dioxide in the irrigation water discharged from the emitters is 2;

    1 to 2.5;

    1;

    and plugging of the discharge emitters is eliminated.

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