There must be a large number of people with colostomies who deplore the need continuously to

wear a bag (I don’t like the word pouch, although I know some prefer it), but who have fought shy

of the route to a release from it in the form of irrigation. This is perhaps partly due to the "Carry

On" connotations of colonic irrigation, but put that behind you, and consider the advantages of

(typically) wearing a bag, if at all, for no more than a couple of hours in every 48 hours.

These notes represent the results of trials and experiments, and my own personal experiences,

over the past fifteen years of irrigating. While I would not suggest that every detail is directly

applicable to every reader, it should provide a useful starting point for those who wish to give the

technique a try. One must remember, however, that all people are different, and each will need

ultimately to establish what works best for him or her. Readers who are already irrigating may well

be able to use this as a self-help manual, but those who have not tried irrigation might be better

advised to regard it a collection of ideas and experiences to discuss with a stoma nurse.

Before embarking on irrigation it is desirable to check with one’s consultant that there are no

contra-indications. In particular, a heart problem could rule out irrigation, because the introduction

of liquid into the colon stimulates the vagus nerve, which slows the heart rate. Irrigation is also only

possible with a healthy colon, and is not normally advised for those with a hernia.

How long after surgery should one wait before starting irrigation? There can be a variety of

opinions on this question, but my own suggestion is that the time to start is when normal appetite

has returned, the digestion no longer feels fragile, and a more or less normal diet has been

resumed. Note the words “more or less normal” – they reflect my own experience that although I

eat almost all the foods I ever used to, I still avoid even mild curries, which seem to have the effect

of stimulating my stoma into unwanted action.


Of the simple and basic designs, based on water fed from a plastic bag hanging up, the best

irrigation set, in my own experience, is undoubtedly Coloplast Code 1511. This has a liquid crystal

temperature indicator, a good flow control, and a well shaped tip (Code 1110). Users of an electric

irrigation pump (Irrimatic) made by B Braun all appear to speak highly of it, despite the

disadvantage that it is not available on the NHS (except, I believe, in Scotland), and is quite

expensive to purchase. I have now been using the Irrimatic myself for nearly three years, and you

will find my evaluation of it on the website, entitled Using the Braun Irrimatic Pump.

I believe that a position squatting on the WC is conducive to evacuation, but is w

how it was

Irrigation makes agriculture possible in areas previously unsuitable for intensive crop production. Irrigation transports water to crops to increase yield, keep crops cool under excessive heat conditions and prevent freezing.

Less than 15% of U.S. cropland is irrigated, although irrigation is essential for crop production in some of the most productive areas of the country. For instance, in Arizona, home to some the highest corn yields in the country (208 bushel per acre state average in 2001 compared to 152 for Illinois), much of the crop is under continuous irrigation from planting until harvest.

The need to irrigate is usually driven by the necessity to meet the water needs of the crop from year to year (some areas of the country simply receive too little rainfall during the growing season to support economical crop growth). In other situations, irrigation is viewed as insurance against occasional drought. In areas where rainfall is plentiful in most years, irrigation can bring benefits by reducing risk, meaning that a farmer is better able to control income fluctuation. Other benefits include:

  • Improving crop quality (most noticeable for vegetable crops)
  • Significantly increasing crop yields, particularly on sandy soils which have low moisture-holding capacities
  • Increasing opportunities for double cropping (planting soybeans after wheat in the same year)
  • Providing a means of liquid fertilizer application

THIS IS IT!!!!!!!!!!!

rrigation occupies a very small portion of land in Australia but provides an enormous amount of food and fibre for the nation. Irrigators operate in all states of Australia producing a variety of fresh and bulk foods and other commodities.

Many foods that Australians eat every day are produced through irrigation. Major irrigated foods include fruit and vegetables, dairy products, nuts, rice, fruit juice, wine, sugar, cereal grains and even some meat. Sustainable irrigation is the key that has made the Australian cotton industry a global leader and a highly sought after product. All Australians wear, eat and drink high quality, safe products grown right here in Australia under irrigation.

Large-scale irrigation began in Australia in the late 1880s. The area irrigated grew steadily from the 1920s until the mid 1950s, then increased dramatically through the wetter second half of the 20th century until the mid-1990s. Since then it has fluctuated between 2.0 and 2.5 million ha, influenced by seasonal water availability.

Access to Water

Agriculture uses 65-70 per cent of the water consumed in Australia per annum and irrigation uses 90 per cent of that. The vast majority of irrigated water use is controlled by regulations and licences. Irrigators need an authorised allocation to extract specified amounts of water from rivers or bores (groundwater) or from irrigation supply systems. For some products such as rice, irrigators need special permission from governments to grow the crop.

this is how it runs

In 2007-08 irrigated land comprised less than 0.5 per cent of all agricultural land in Australia but produced 28 per cent of the total gross value of agricultural production.

In 2007-08, vegetables contributed the highest value to total irrigated production of $2.9 billion, followed by fruit and nuts ($2.3 billion) and dairy production ($2.29 billion). These three commodities accounted for 61 per cent of the total gross value of irrigated agricultural product (GVIAP) in 2007-08.

The Murray Darling Basin is Australia’s largest irrigation region. In 2007-08 the MDB had irrigated production to the value of $5.1 billion, or 41 per cent of Australia’s total value of irrigated production. It should be noted that 2007-08 followed one of the driest years on record in the MDB with most irrigation allocations at zero. In contrast the value of irrigated production in the MDB during 2000-01 was $5.1 billion, or 53 per cent of the total value of irrigated production for the nation at that time. As conditions in the MDB continue to improve, the value of irrigated production is expected to rise.

The commodities that contributed most to the value of irrigated production during 2007-08 in the MDB were fruits and nuts ($1.18 billion, 23 per cent), grapes ($1.1 billion, 22 per cent) and dairy production ($961 million, 19 per cent).

Supporting Rural and National Economies