Mitigating Pesticide Hazards: Irrigation Recirculation and Reuse
Agricultural runoff from surface irrigation is likely to contain sediments, nutrients, and pesticides that can harm the water bodies it is released into. A tailwater return system is a method of recirculating agricultural runoff (tailwater) back to the field. Tailwater is the water that runs off the lower end of the field after typical surface irrigation practices.
Although there are various ways to manage tailwater, collection and recirculation has significant environmental and economic benefits.
The tailwater return system consists of ditches for collecting runoff and carrying water to the tailwater pond, a flow pump and power unit (either an electric motor or a diesel engine), and a pipeline to transport water to its discharge point for reapplication to the field.
Consider the following when designing a tailwater return system: