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DELTA irons out iron problems

Posted on May 2, 2014

Ironing out iron problems is just one area where the DELTA water treatment technology is excelling.

South Australian farm manager Darren Jenke reckons the proof is in the pigs. Since installing the DELTA water treatment technology on the Lucindale district farm’s southern irrigation system in late 2010, he’s seen a dramatic reduction in iron build-up in the main-line pipe.

The cleaning pig, a foam cylinder that cleans under pressure along pipes, has had less work, it’s cut  maintenance time and power costs and he’s rapt with the Australian-made and owned technology.

Darren installed a Heavy Duty DELTA SL Model to reduce his growing problem of a half-inch-thick iron build up on the inner walls of irrigation pipes on his farm ‘Redbank’.

The maintenance-free DELTA unit sits on a main pipeline fed by two bores at the 4000-acre property’s southern end. About three kilometres of pipeline, the bulk of it with a 10-inch internal diameter, carries water to three centre pivots. A third bore at Redbank’s northern end feeds another three pivots.

Darren says the difference between the southern pipeline and its untreated northern counterpart is definitely noticeable. The northern pipeline which doesn’t have a DETLA needs three ‘pig runs’ each time Darren wants to clean away iron build-up.

But on the southern end where the water is treated with the DELTA water treatment technology, after just one pig run the water is cleaner than the northern pipeline’s third run.

“Iron build-up has become more of a problem over the years and our DELTA unit’s well and truly worked,” Darren says.

“There is a considerable difference in the water between the southern and northern ends. We’ll look into putting another one at the northern end of the property for sure.”

Riverland vineyard

Then there’s Riverland grape grower Louis Curtis, whose irrigation system is cleaner and more efficient since he installed three DELTA units to treat river water supply rich in iron, calcium, algae and clay in 2010.

Louis, who grows grapes on contract, says the DELTA technology has delivered results and he knows a cleaner, more efficient water supply is good news for his vines.

“The DELTA technology has cut maintenance of the filters at the pump station by at least 30 per cent,” Louis says.

Louis, who runs second-generation Curtis Vineyards at Pike River in SA, says he turned to DELTA technology after becoming frustrated with having to clean filter systems at his pump stations so regularly.

“We pump off a branch of the Murray River called Pike River and it’s a shallow creek and fairly rich in minerals,” Louis says. “We got a lot of iron deposits and calcium build-up on the filter systems and iron deposits on the drip lines. Plus lots of clay. It was high maintenance and I was looking for a way to get the system cleaner and more efficient.”

Louis installed three Heavy Duty Grade 4 DELTA units specifically designed for treating iron-rich water at pump stations before the automatic flusher filters.

“Over time I noticed the automatic flush filters weren’t flushing as often and that tells me the system’s running much cleaner,” he says.  “I pulled the filters down a few months later and they were cleaner. I still get a bit of mud in the drip lines but I’m not getting that algae build up.”