THE DRIP SYSTEM
The Drip System is probably the worlds most common
Its operation is very simple.
The nutrient solution is taken out of the container by a pump controlled by a timer, and conducted through tubes and micro-tubes to the base of each plant where it irrigates it drop-by-drop, by means of a small mechanism known as dripper.
There are two kinds of drip systems which are normally used:- The Lost Solution System or Run to Waste System, and the Recovery Solution System or Recirculating System.
The run to waste system is an open system, and requires less maintenance work, as the excess nutrient solution is discarded after use, generally by infiltrating them into the sub-soil.
Thus, plants are always irrigated with a new fresh solution, so there is no need to constantly monitor the solutions pH and Electrical Conductivity levels, except when filling the container with a new solution.
In the solution-recovery system, which is a closed system, the excesses of nutrient solution are recovered, returned to the container and recycled.
This requires a timer of greater precision and is therefore more expensive, in order to obtain very precise irrigating cycles, which is benefitial to the plants.
In addition, while recovering the solution, the pH and electrical conductivity levels will always flutuate, requiring more careful control over them.
Electrical power failures and pump problems are common with this system, as well as the drippers susceptibility to cloging with dirt, making daily inspection a must.