Tips and Questions

In August 24, 2014

When choosing an irrigation system, consider selecting one that sends large drops of water close to the ground. These lawn sprinkler systems are more water-efficient than sprinklers that spray a fine mist and lose a lot of water through evaporation. Drip irrigation is a great alternative for trees, shrubs, perennials and groundcovers. Little or no water is lost to evaporation as the water is applied at ground level, near plant roots.

A well-planned watering system can help you avoid over watering, which not only wastes water but can be harmful to your plants. Knowing how much water your plants need, and periodically monitoring and maintaining your irrigation system are the keys to saving both water and money.

Traditional Automatic Spray System:
sprinkler systemAmong traditional automatic spray irrigation systems are pop-up spray heads that can be adjusted to spray a full circle, half circle or quarter circle. The disadvantage of spray heads is that they are often less efficient than rotor heads or drip systems, because they put water down on the ground faster than our clay soil can absorb it.

Whatever heads you use, you want to make sure they are spaced so that each head sprays to the next head, or what is called “head-to-head” coverage. All heads should be of the same type and by the same manufacturer to get uniform distribution of water.

Rotor System:
sprinkler system head Rotor systems are generally more efficient than spray heads. They apply water at a much slower rate than spray heads, allowing the soil to absorb moisture more efficiently. In the past, rotors haven’t been used for smaller turf areas, but there are new rotors specifically designed to apply water at less than half-an-inch per hour, and with a radius of less than 15 feet. Application patterns and radius are adjustable, which can conform to odd-shaped areas.

Cross Connection (Backflow) Protection
backflow irrigation systemAll irrigation systems are required to have backflow protection installed and most must be inspected annually. Backflow protection prevents the mixing of irrigation water that may have been exposed to fertilizers and other outdoor chemicals with drinking water.

Contact your local water provider for specific information on rules and regulations – be sure to ask for the cross connection or back flow specialist

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