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Irrigation is artificial watering done by causing water to flow from one place to another using irrigation products. Common examples of irrigation tools include plumbing, hoses, and sprinkler systems. Irrigation products encompass every part of an irrigation system, including irrigation pipes and pipe fittings, the control valves that regulate water flow, and sprinkler or drip heads used to distribute the irrigated water. The word irrigation is also less frequently used to describe sewage removal systems like sewer pipes, which move sewage from one place to another for disposal, so irrigation products can be products used to irrigate waste.
Irrigation can be performed in many ways with a great number of irrigation products. Types of irrigation for plants and gardens include drip irrigation and sprinkler systems. One of the simplest and most common irrigation products is the everyday garden hose. In addition to the hose itself, irrigation products include any attachments that adapt the hose to better watering. Often, a garden hose is used to connect a sprinkler or drip irrigation system to its water source.
The material that makes up an irrigation pipe varies depending on its use, but often includes plastic or metal. While plastic is used more frequently for small-scale irrigation systems like home gardens, metal is used more frequently in industrial agricultural settings. Metal pipes used for industrial agriculture are often reinforced pipes specially designed to guard against leaks in the irrigation system. Other irrigation products include the pipe fittings that adapt or change the direction of the straight pipes in an irrigation systems, like elbow pipes, tee-connection pipes, and end plugs.
Drip irrigation is a common type of irrigation used for agricultural purposes. Generally, a drip system involves polyvinyl chloride (PVC) used in combination with smaller polyethlene tubing and valves that control the flow of the water through the drip irrigation system. Drip irrigation can also be known as microirrigation.
Irrigation systems can be equipped with a number of accessories that perform specific tasks necessary to the type of drip irrigation. Many irrigation systems output filtered water, while some supply nutrients and fertilizer with the water delivered in the drip irrigation system. Other drip irrigation products feature automatic-control timers that trigger the irrigation system to start watering. Some also have valves that can be used to water specific parts of the irrigation system, which can be helpful in agricultural systems that grow different types of plants.