Montgomery County Municipal Utility District No. 8

Irrigation Suggestions – Part 6 – Row Drip Irrigation


One method of drip irrigation uses 1/2” black plastic pipe with laser drilled holes about every 12 inches. Available in box stores, hardware stores and via internet sales, this type of system is excellent for irrigation with long rows of plantings in a straight flower bed or for hanging baskets on a patio. Rated at 2.2 gal/hour per foot of length at normal residential water pressure.

A variety of fittings are available to use in these irrigation systems allowing manifolds to distribute to parallel distribution lines or single systems around a patio with small tube inserts to water individual plants.

[ picture 1/2″ hard plastic irrigation tubing with drip holes every 12 inches; shows manifold with in-line shut off valves; used for watering row garden plants; attaches to 1/2″ threaded riser ]

The above picture shows a manifold for a hobby vegetable garden. Before going to this drip watering system, spray head watering required 18 heads at 1.5 gallons per minute for about 15 minutes at two to three times per week for 12 weeks or about 12,000 gallons per year growing season.

The drip system requires only about 20 % of spray irrigation water since 100 % of drip water reaches plant root system. Savings = ~ 9,600 gallons per year. Projected water cost savings per year are approximately $26.00 in 2009, $30.00 in 2015 and $ 99 in 2055.

Plus, drip watering waters only the root system of vegetable plants and not weeds which doesn’t eliminate weed growth from rainfall but greatly diminishes time required to remove weeds.

The next picture shows the same type of 1/2” hard plastic drip system for watering hanging baskets and pots on a patio.

[ picture of 1/2″ distribution line with 1/4″ supply and drippers ]

The 1/2” line can be installed to follow frame by using fittings sold for this purpose. 1/4″ supply lines are attached to 1/2” line by special barbed fittings and drippers (various gallons per hour available) are inserted in 1/4 “ tube supply line.

This is a very reliable irrigation system for hanging plants around any type of covered patio or structure.

Water savings versus hand hose watering are unknown.

The next picture shows connection to water supply, 1/2” distribution pipe and drippers for adjacent pot plants.

[ picture of pressure reducer, 1/4″ supply tube, dripper 2 g/h ]

This system has been installed for four years and has been relatively maintenance free. Hanging baskets and pot plants can be moved or changed out by simply changing location and providing water via a new dripper supply. Plugs are available to stop flow from abandoned taps or simply fold 1/4” tube and secure with wire tie.

Thanks for your interest and consideration. MUD 8 Directors and Operating Staff.

Data provided in this series of articles is believed to be accurate; however, MUD 8 & MUD 9 assume no responsibility for guaranteeing savings or cost projected herein. It is the responsibility of the customer to implement changes to save water and associated cost.