Why doesn’t my traveling irrigation system maintain consistent pressure as it moves?

sprinkler system

A traveling irrigation system can be the easiest way to evenly irrigate crops, sports fields or other large, flat areas. Often, however, the system fails to maintain the same water pressure as it moves, and does not distribute water evenly. Why is this?


A sprinkler system that is operating loses pressure through friction – a loss which has to be calculated when the system is designed. Because the primary loss of pressure is due to friction, the further the water has to travel, the more pressure is lost. Selecting the proper pipe size based on the flow rate of the system is an important design element.


If you are operating a sprinkler system on uneven ground, then any change in elevation is going to make the distribution of water pressure uneven. Pipes should be, as much as possible, laid across the slope rather than up and down it.

Compensating for these factors

A well designed system will compensate for this and ensure that you get the design pressure needed at heads furthest from the source or when the traveling system is furthest away.
To get even irrigation requires a certain expertise in system design. W.P. Law, Inc. is experienced in irrigation systems of all sizes, from small residential applications to farms and sports facilities. Contact them to find out what how to get even irrigation and no brown spots.

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