Irrigation system cleaning

In this article i write about Nitric Acid. This can be very harmful if it gets into contact with any body part (hands, eyes etc). Therefore take very good care that you don’t get into contact or breath the vapor of Nitric acid in. Always use good protection (hand-shoes, clothing, eye protection, mask etc).

Because of the use of fertilizer in irrigation water, pipes, valves and other parts can get precipitates of for example calciumcarbonates, calciumphosphates, calciumsulfates. This may lead to clocking of drippers and an uneven distribution of water, therefore drying of pots and dying or sub-optimal growth of plants. Therefor i advice to clean the irrigation system at least once a year (in the time between two crops, as there are no crops in the greenhouses). This can be done in the following way:
1- take the drippers out of the pots
2- Clean the mainlines:
a- Check if the whole system is resistant against a pH of 3 with Nitric Acid
b- Fill the whole system with a solution of nitric Acid with a pH of 3.
c- Let it be in the system for about 24 hours
d- Flush the debris out of the system with clean water
3- Cleaning of the drippers. Prepare a new solution with a pH of about 2,5 with Nitric Acid. Drip with this solution for about 10 minutes. Check very thoroughly if all the drippers are dripping good. If not, then repeat this procedure or exchange those drippers that don’t perform wel.
4- Clean the whole system with clean water.