Underground ceramic tube watering system

Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)May 6, 2008

I am currently reading "Solviva" by Anna Edy (Trailblazer Press, 1998).

In this book, she tells (rather skimpily) about an underground watering system invented by her brother.

(page 100)

"In mid-October my brother arrived from Sweden to install the C.I.T. (Capillary Irrigation Tubes) underground irrigation system he had invented several years earlier. These special formula low-fired ceramic pipes, which can be made from local clay anywhere in the wordl, had already been installed in arid areas such as Botswana, Egypt, Peru, Mexico and Sri Lanka, providing astonishing increases in yields and reduction in irrigation water. Also tested in Sweden, this sytem has met with equal success, growing cut-and-come-again shrub willow for the production of fuelwood. Buried permanently below ploughing depth, the C.I.T. system can remain effective without maintenance essentially "forever". The test installations have demonstrated that this is the most economical, effective, water-conserving and low-energy irrigation system in the world. Solviva would provide the opportunity to test this system in a northern greenhouse.

"It took two days to install 400 feet of C.I.T. pipe 12 inches deep. To test it, we put a hose into one of the 13 upright vent pipes distributed along the system, and after a few minutes the water level started rising in all the other vent pipes, confirming that the whole system was evenly filled with water. We then turned down the flow of water from the hose and left it on for 12 hours. The water level in the vent pipes remianed at the same level, demonstrating that the water was being absorbed by the soil surrounding the clay pipes."

It sounds wonderful, but.....

How do minerals in the water supply affect the porosity of the pipe?

Are there issues with roots?

Where would you find them?

I've tried looking online for information, and although I can find references to ceramic irrigation tubes, I can't find specific information about purchase or use or even if the method has succeeded or failed.

So, do any of the GWers know more about it?


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I imagine you'd have the same type of root problems that occur with sewer and drain pipes. Probably depends on the crop and how often the field is plowed.

In landscape irrigation, we used a tube that had tiny holes drilled in it with a laser. Those holes did get clogged from mineral build-up with time, but they were quite small.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 7:15PM
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