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Sub-surface dripline and turf: A wastewater irrigation case study

Taylor, K.S., Anda, M.ORCID: 0000-0001-7398-4192 and Sturman, J. (2008) Sub-surface dripline and turf: A wastewater irrigation case study. In: Mathew, K., Dallas, S. and Ho, G., (eds.) Decentralised water and wastewater systems : international conference, Fremantle, Western Australia, 10-12 July, 2006. IWA Publishing, London, UK, pp. 25-32.


Utilisation of treated wastewater is becoming more important in south-west Western Australia (WA) as the population increases and potable water sources diminish. The effectiveness of subsurface dripline irrigation (SDI) for applying treated wastewater was assessed by installing four products to the manufacturer's specifications in three 5m x 5m plots in the town of Northam, WA. These twelve plots were turfed, had sandy loam soil, and were monitored for two seasons (2004 to 2006). Turf managers were interviewed about the benefits, limitations, and appropriate management of SDI systems. The turf at the Northam site was healthy. No evidence of significant emitter clogging was found. Soil moisture sensor reading~ indicated that the plots were overwatered. This could be ameliorated by using a soil moisture sensor to control irrigation. Sometimes patches of saturated surface soil occurred. No evidence of vandalism was found. The greatest problems were leaks at joins and flush valves failing to turn off during operation. Poorly installed plots which leak are thought to increase the public health risk. The turf manager surveys also gave evidence that SDI has no detrimental effects on turf health, but participants reported fewer problems in their systems than occurred in the Northam system. Generally, SDI appeared to be effective for applying treated wastewater to turf in south- west Western Australian conditions.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation: Environmental Technology Centre
Publisher: IWA Publishing
Copyright: © 2008 IWA Publishing
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