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Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Grass Groomer, Mar 9, 2005.

  1. Grass Groomer

    Grass Groomer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    I have clients asking me about fertigation but I know nothing about it. All info will be appreciated (cost, effectiveness, hazards, drawbacks, manufacturers, availability, etc.).
  2. Sunset

    Sunset LawnSite Member
    Posts: 13

    You need decent head coverage. Over spray or run off may stain the side walk or driveway. Use a RP for backflow. www.fertigator.com
  3. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    This is something that I've thought about, but the degree of health hazard is increased with such a system - especially if it is being run off of the domestic water system. With just water, you don't have to worry so much about overspray, wind blowing the spray over property lines, and obviously you don't have to worry - as much - about chemicals one way or another getting back into your house water. The RP is one required device, not to mention other requirements and installation guidelines. States could be different...

    There was another thread about this that you may want to look up... perhaps over in the chemical and fertilizer forum, though it was about a different company, not fertigator.
  4. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,036

    I have the fertile earth fertigator system on my system. you do have to install an RP but it's really not too much of a hassle, just include it in your price.

    the things that I have noticed; 1. you still need to use granular fert every once in a while, although it has cut down on the amount of apps a do. it generally keeps the lawn green 1-1/2 months longer than if it was just streight granular.

    I would really recomend that you use the fertigator, though, the one I have gives you no control over the ration of fert, and you can only use there product on it. with the fertigator, you can use whatever kind of fert you want.
  5. aquamtic

    aquamtic LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 303

    I still rather stay away from having anything to do with installing a fertigation system. I am confident with the chemicals that they do have out for the systems, But the problem is what the homeowners end up trying to run through the systems when they don't want to pay for the safe products. If any injury comes along, - you know who they come looking for .
    The homeowner, THE INSTALLER!, The manufacturer
  6. kerdog

    kerdog LawnSite Member
    Posts: 129

    To TClawn--------

    How long have you been using your injection system? Any problems?

    I called my irrigation supplier today. I wanted to know more about fertigation. Like pricing, types of fertilization available, difficulty of installation, etc. The guy tells me they quit selling fertigation, or any other type of injection system, a while back. Kinda surprised me, I thought these fertilization systems would be a hit! He says they don't recommend them, due to the chemicals having a negative effect on the system internals. Says in five (+-) years, the chemicals will eat away at all the rubber parts, like the seals in the heads, and the diaphrams in the valves. Said that was something 'they don't tell ya about'. I had not given any thought about that......

    Anybody else got comments, experience, rumors.........good/bad?
  7. advancedlawnsolutions

    advancedlawnsolutions LawnSite Member
    Posts: 62

    I've installed 2 fertigators this year, one on my yard (fertipro) and one for a customer the fertiflo model. I have installed a testable dual check valve between the service line and the injection point of the fertilizer. But I'm not sure what you guys are referring to as a RP backflow.

    About the fertilizer eating away at the seals & internal parts-- Well thats a gamble I'm willing to take. I mean if it takes 4-5 years to cause serious damage, then it was worth the convienence and I'll just service the system as necessary to last another 4-5 yrs. But this is my first experience with fertigation and I'm still studying turf management to determine the do's and don'ts and how to's of the business.
  8. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    RP is the reduced pressure principle backflow prevention assembly. It's used in cases where you have a higher degree of health hazard. I would imagine that most states would require the RP for any chemical injection system when a cross connection to a domestic water source exists. A double check valve assembly won't pass the bill, legally, but it could be that in your state it does.
  9. kerdog

    kerdog LawnSite Member
    Posts: 129

    In Texas, (and probably most everywhere else) a double check is approved only for low hazard applications. When you have an injection system on the irrigation system, you now have a "high" hazard. A PVB is approved for high hazards, also, but only where there is no back pressure. ( No hills, pumps, etc.) The reduced pressure principle device is rated for back pressure, offers the most protection, and is the recommended choice when using fertilizer injection systems. I would guess that most areas, the RP would be required, like Critical Care stated. Has to be installed horizontally, minimum twelve inches above grade. About twice the price of a PVB.

    I looked at Fertigator's web-site. They "say" the chemicals won't harm the rubber products, because of the dilution rate. Just wondering about long term effects.
  10. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    Here is some info on chemigation requirements for SC, taken from Clemson University.

    1. An interlock, mechanical or electrical, must connect the chemical injection equipment with the irrigation pump. Thus, if the irrigation pump stops so will the chemical pump, preventing too much chemical from being pumped into the lines. In addition to stopping groundwater contamination, this interlock also prevents too much fertilizer or herbicide from injuring the chemigated crops or plants.
    2. A check valve must be installed between the irrigation pump and the point of injection of the chemical. This prevents water that has chemical mixed with it from flowing back into the well or other water source. Any system that does not have this provision is risking contamination of everyone's water.
    3. A vacuum breaker must be installed behind the check valve. This prevents back siphonage of the chemicals by releasing the siphon on the water line when the pump is cut off.
    4. A low-pressure drain must be installed behind the check valve and preferably behind the vacuum breaker. This prevents backflow into the well or water source when the system is not under pressure or when the check valve leaks slightly during pumping.

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