Our DIY technology guides: Please take a look. Please see if you can update these.

How make your own drip irrigation

No. 2 in the Izindaba Zokudla

Make your own series

of DIY technology guides.

Dr. Naudé Malan & Angus D. Campbell, 2015

Developed by Balimi Food Security Company, 2013.

The Izindaba Zokudla drip irrigation system

Note: When building a gravity fed irrigation system, add the following to the guide below: Construct your drip irrigation pipes in a ”loop” or make sure that the whole system is in a circle with no dead ends. When the pipes are in a loop, pressure will be equal on each drip point. This is what you need to ensure a small gravity-fed irrigation system performs!

To make this drip irrigation system you will need only a handful of components and materials. Everything you need can be obtained from a hardware store. You can show this guide to any plumber and she or he will be able to help you in building a pump like this. The store assistant or owner will also be able to help you in building one of these and in selecting the right components. Make sure everything fits before you walk out of the shop.

You do not need to use exactly the same materials and components as shown here. Anything that gets the job done will work. To make this pump, you will need the following:

1. 1x 25-meter 20mm POLY IRRIGATION PIPE LDPE. This will be cut to various sizes depending on your garden layout. Cost R133 (Builders Warehouse - BW)

2. 1x Water container of at least 100-litre capacity.

3. 1x EMJAY POLY THREADED SOCKET 20mm. To connect male plug to container. Cost R22 (BW)

4. 1x EMJAY BARREL NIPPLE 20mm. To connect to the water container. Cost R9 (BW)

5. 2x 20mm FIBRE WASHER MASTERFLO P/@ (20mm). Cost R7


7. 1x EMJAY INSERT NYLON MALE ADAPTER 20mm. To connect ball value to pipe. Cost R6 (BW)

8. 1x EMJAY INLINE FILTER 20mm. Cost R174 (BW)

9. 3x EMJAY NYLON INSERT TEE. You will need at least three but may need more if your garden is larger. Cost R10 each x 3 = R30 (BW)

10. 2x EMJAY NYLON INSERT ELBOW 20mm. Cost 2 x R7 = R14 (BW)

11. 1x Ball of POLY AGRI TWINE. For a 1kg roll cost R150 (BW)

12. 4x EMJAY MALE PLUG THREADED 15mm. To use as end caps for pipes, but can also bend over pipe and use wire to hold in place. Cost 4 x R5 = R20 (BW)

TOTAL COST (with 25 meters of pipe and not including the water container cost) = R584

All you need:



You do not need a lot of tools to build your own drip irrigation system, but a few will help. You need a spanner for the nuts, a pair of pliers, a hacksaw or sharp knife for the pipe. A drill and 20mm drill bit will be useful to drill the hole through the water container. A hole making device for making drip holes and thin wire to thread poly twine through the holes.


1. Place the water container on bricks so that it sits higher than where it is required to water. It is a good idea to place it near a roof, which you could add a gutter to so that you can collect water in the container to irrigate your crops.

2. Drill a 20mm hole in the side and as low as possible into the container.

3. Place the 20mm THREADED SOCKET inside the container with one of the 20mm washers.

4. Push the 20mm BARREL NIPPLE into the drilled hole with a 20mm washer on it and then tighten the socket on the inside until they are both a tight fit on the wall of the container. You may need someone to help you with the tightening inside the container while you hold a spanner on the outside.

5. Screw the 20mm BALL VALVE onto the NIPPLE. Make sure to place the tap on top so it is easy to access.

6. Screw in the NYLON MALE ADAPTER to the ball valve and then add a section of irrigation pipe.

7. Add the FILTER to the end of this small section of pipe.

8. Add another small section of pipe to the FILTER and insert a TEE

Take a look at the first two photographs that show the connection of the water container to ball value and then to the pipe and then to the filter. You can see how the filter catches anything in the container so that it does not block the dripping holes in the pipe.

[here should be a picture]

Note: Add a pipe here connecting the dead ends on the opposite side to the water reservoir to each other! This will make a “loop”.

6 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Investors and investment in agriculture 30 July 2021

The iZindaba Zokudla Farmers’ Lab this coming Friday will discuss investment and investors in agriculture. Investments in any productive enterprise has always revolved around the idea of property owne