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Removing Organics & Inorganics From Surface Water

Luda Hazan<br>Regional Sales Manager - CIS
Luda Hazan
Regional Sales Manager - CIS // 09 Nov. 2018
Luda has years of experience in leading global irrigation projects.
(Updated May 2023)
screen filter on water source background

Protect your irrigation system with automatic self-cleaning filters

Crop yield can be greatly affected by water quality. In fact, success often depends on it. Effective surface water filtration is your first line of defence in protecting your irrigation equipment and providing the best possible water quality. 

leaf on the water

What is surface water?

Surface water is any water on the surface of the planet: oceans, rivers, lakes, ponds, dams, canals, rainwater, and wetlands. It covers more than 71% of the Earth’s surface. Surface water generally carries a lot of organic and inorganic matter. To better understand how this affects your irrigation system, we must first distinguish between the two:

Organic matter — Organic compounds that have come from the remains of organisms such as plants and animals and their waste products in the environment, for example: sticks, leaves, algae, moss, fish, snails, and seeds.

Inorganic matter — Inorganic compounds can be defined as any compound that is not an organic compound. Inorganic doesn’t necessarily mean artificial materials such as chemicals and plastics. Some simple compounds that contain carbon are often considered inorganic-matter as well, for example: carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonates, cyanides, cyanates, carbides, and thiocyanates.  Sand is also considered inorganic.

top view of a water reservoir

In a previous blog post, we discussed the three leading causes of emitter clogging in irrigation systems.

Surface water often contains all three:

  • Physical causes such as silt and clay (inorganic matter)
  • Biological causes such as algae, snails, plants, and moss (organic matter)
  • Chemical causes such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and manganese (inorganic matter)

Irrigation emitter clogging of any kind can greatly hinder your agricultural irrigation system’s performance and severely impact your crops and bottom line. It is therefore crucial to use screen filters when using surface water as a source.

How automatic self-cleaning screen filters work

Screen filters have a coarse screen and a fine screen. Raw water enters through the filter’s inlet and passes first through the coarse screen which catches large debris and sediment. The water then continues to flow through the filter and passes through the inner fine screen which catches the remaining smaller particles. A differential pressure switch (DPS) monitors the pressure caused by the accumulation of debris on the inner screen. Algae, together with inorganic matter, can even create layers of hard “glue” on the screen. When it senses a specific difference in pressure, it initiates the self-cleaning process. The internal cleaning mechanism removes the buildup from the screen, which is then discharged.

The Mini Sigma

Amiad’s Mini Sigma is a multi-screen automatic self-cleaning filter designed to be user-friendly, efficient and easy to install. Since corrosion can occur when using water sources with high organic and inorganic matter such as surface water, its strong and durable polymeric body is designed to be corrosion resistant (so it won’t rust).

The Mini Sigma’s unique conical scanner has highly designed nozzles, allowing the filter to suck heavy particle loads from the filter’s screen. With a low minimum operating pressure of 1.5 bar (22 psi) during the flush cycle, the Mini Sigma operates flawlessly even at low pressures. This reduces or eliminates vacuum formation and other problems caused by low water pressure in irrigation lines. The filter can be safely operated at pressures up to 8 bar (116 psi.) With filtration degrees from 80 – 500 micron, the Mini Sigma is suitable for almost any irrigation system.


It’s important to understand how using poor quality surface water can affect your irrigation system. Without the right filtration system, organic and inorganic matter which can be found in this water source can cause serious damage to your crops and yield. By using screen filters, and especially the Mini Sigma, you get the best protection for your irrigation system and benefit from improved crop yields. The Mini Sigma’s ability to work under very low operational pressure reduces pumping costs and energy requirements, thereby saving money and giving you peace of mind.

Removing Organic And Inorganic Matter From Surface Water

Want to learn more on surface filtration?

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Case Study Mini Sigma Pecan Grove