How do you clean the drip system after cultivation?

How do you clean the drip system after cultivation?The drip system provides your crop with just the right amount of water. Contamination of the drip system because of water spreading pathogens/germs and algae can cause a biofilm to develop in the drip system. This is disastrous for your crops. It is therefore of most importance that the drip system is cleaned regularly. You can do this during cultivation as well as after cultivation. There are several criteria for this. In this article we will explain about cleaning after cultivation.

Drip system cleaning after cultivation

The most efficient way to clean the drip system is by cleaning with chlorine bleach (cleaning of organic contamination) and nitric acid (cleaning of mineral contamination). During the cleaning with chlorine bleach and nitric acid pH levels are reached that are harmful to the crops, which is why it is advised against cleaning with these materials during cultivation. This way of cleaning is only applied during crop rotation. To keep the drip lines clean during cultivation we advise the use of an ECA-unit or hydrogen peroxide. Keeping the drip lines clean during cultivation with these materials will minimize the need for cleaning during crop rotation.

Order of operations

Cleaning your drip system is best completed by using the below described order of operations

Preparation
1. When using cleaning materials always have your own safety in mind and use personal protective equipment.

2. Ensure with your supplier/manufacturer that your watersystem is suitable for mentioned materials/working time.

3. Remove end caps and rinse drip lines well to remove debris. Take care when increasing pressure, so dislodged debris does not clog capillaries.

4. Isolate pH- and EC-probes, ensuring they do not come in contact with the cleaning products. 

Filling the drip lines
1. Fill the system with a solution of 15% chlorine (dosage 3 liters of chlorine to 100 liters of water).
    - Let the cleaning solution reach the sand filters to clean them as well.
    - By measuring pH levels (pH>11)you can check whether the chlorine has reached the end of your system.

2. After allowing the solution to work for 6 hours, let the solution drip out for one minute and, after that, refill the system with “fresh” chlorine solution. (3 litres of chlorine to 100 litres of water).
    - Put the droppers beside the slab to prevent contact with substrate.

3. After 24 hours rinse the system thoroughly with “clean water” and afterwards rinse the droppers with “clean water”.
- Attention: never allow chlorine bleach to come in contact with nitric acid.

4. Fill the system with a solution of 38% nitric acid (3 litres of 38% nitric acid to 100 litres of water)
    - By measuring pH levels (pH<2)you can check whether the acid has reached the end of your system.

5. After allowing the solution to work for 6 hours, let the solution drip out for one minute and, after that, refill your system with a “fresh” nitric acid solution (3 litres of 38% nitric acid to 100 litres of water).
    - Put the droppers beside the slab to prevent contact with substrate.

6. After 24 hours rinse the system thoroughly with “clean water” and afterwards rinse the droppers with “clean water”.

Druppelsysteem reinigen
Questions regarding drip system cleaning

Do you have questions regarding the cleaning of your drip system? Contact product specialist Jan Willem Keijzer or fill in the form below. 


Contact form
If you ask your question using the form below, we will contact you within 24 hours on working days.


Related articles
- Cleaning the drip system during cultivation
- Cleaning and desinfection decision aid
- Step-by-step plan for crop rotation
- Removing crops during crop rotation
- FAQs to our specialists