For over 30 years, Belk Farms in Thermal, California has provided high quality vegetables to supermarkets around the world. For the last 19 years, Brad Lee has made sure that the quality of the produce is top notch. To make sure his crop receives the appropriate amount of water in an area that often reaches temperatures over 100 degrees, Brad depends on a drip tape irrigation system utilizing Yardney Filters to keep the water clean and the drip tape emmiter clear. “Yardney Filters are dependable and haven’t given me any problem throughout the many years that I’ve used them,” says Brad.
Last year, when Belk Farms was ready to replace an aging filtration system, Brad turned once again to Yardney, but this time he installed a Yardney-Filtaworx Automatic Self-Cleaning Screen Filter. “It was an opportunity to try new technology.” Belk Farms had used a non-Yardney screen filter years before with disastrous results and ended up replacing it after just one season. It was important that Belk make the right selection this time. Two things were of crucial importance in selecting a filter: Correct sizing of the units and the reputation of the manufacturer. “We had a bad experience with a competitors screen filter, but with Yardney’s reputation and our relationship with them, we felt comfortable trying the Filtaworx.” The water for the 300 acre site originates in the Colorado River, flows through the Coachella Canal and is piped into reservoirs before being pumped through the irrigation system. In addition to the usual contaminants in river water, the reservoir water also has organic material like algae which can be devastating for a screen filter. Many screen filters are unable to cope with the dense organic material and plug up or need constant service. In the summer months, as water levels decrease, concentrations of contaminants become even greater and a high quality filtration system is absolutely necessary.
The installation uses two Yardney-Filtaworx FW06EX filters installed in parallel formation with a 200 mesh screen on each to irrigate a 75 acre plot of the farm. “So far we’ve grown peppers, corn, celery and we’re planting peppers again without any issues or problems with the filters,” states Brad, I like the low maintenance and the simplicity of the Yardney-Filtaworx. The small footprint makes it easy to access and there are fewer moving parts. The farm has no direct electrical at the site and the pump is operated utilizing a diesel motor. The Yardney-Filtaworx is powered with a hydraulically activated controller so the lack of power was no issue.
The system has worked so well that they have reused drip tape from one season to another because it was in such good condition—further reducing costs. Belk Farms liked the Yardney-Filtaworx system so much they have purchased a third filter for use in another 7 acre site. “We have made the other unit portable so we can haul it from site to site. It is compact and there isn’t a lot of flush, so it is ideal for a situation like that.”
Will Brad be replacing all of his sand media filters with Yardney-Filtaworx? “Not necessarily. We are going to evaluate it on a case by case basis. Sand media filters are still a very solid option, but Yardney-Filtaworx has many advantages like a smaller footprint, less water during the flush cycle and lower maintenance costs due to a simpler set up. When it comes to automatic screen filters Yardney-Filtaworx is the way to go.”