An SPIS comprises multiple components that have particular technical specifications and operation and maintenance requirements. Indeed, some mechanical and electrical technology may be vulnerable to defects if operated wrongly. Careful operation of the system not only prevents system failure and costly repairs, but also assures a longer lifespan. While technical data sheets and installation instructions exist most individual SPIS components, operational manuals covering an entire system are the exception. Since an SPIS is designed for an individual case, the operation and maintenance manuals should be customized.
Comprehensive documentation of the system and its operation and maintenance needs to be provided by the supplier and the installer during the acceptance, system test or final hand-over! This should be agreed on with the technology provider and/or the installer during contract negotiations.
The documentation should cover the following main aspects:
- system layout plan including all components of the water source, pumping system, water storage and irrigation system (and connection and wiring plans);
- technical data sheets for all system components including a recording of serial numbers of modules and other components, for example to claim ownership when submitting an insurance claim;
- operational guidelines for all system components;
- warranty information and maintenance instructions and schedules for all system components;
- security instructions, health risk warnings and emergency procedures;
- contact details of maintenance / repair services, help desks etc.
Ideally, the operational manual also includes information about the negative implication of excessive water abstraction for the environment. A systematically designed irrigation system operates on the principle of a sustainable water abstraction in line with the available water resources and the underlying water rights / permits.
- Documentation of all SPIS components including technical specifications, connection/ wiring plans, security instructions, emergency procedures and maintenance information;
- System operation manual;
- Emergency contact details / help desk information.
- Technical specifications of SPIS components.
- Installation service provider;
- Agricultural service provider.
- The documentation of all system components must be complete and understandable.
- Security and emergency instructions should be clearly indicated and visibly attached to the respective system component.
- The installer should provide an operational manual with all relevant procedures and information.