For this Smart Irrigation Month blog, I’d like to borrow from an article from the Irrigation Association, about what to think about when installing a new system and the upkeep of your current one.
Using an automated irrigation system is one of the best ways to keep your lawn and landscape beautiful and healthy. Plan carefully for a reliable, flexible irrigation system that can grow and evolve along with your landscaping.
- Use components that provide flexibility. Different plants have different watering needs, and these needs may change over time. Your system should allow you to apply the right amount of water for each type of plant by the most effective method.
- Install excess capacity. Irrigation zones are areas that are watered by the same irrigation valve and plumbing. Installing extra connections now makes it easier and less expensive to expand your irrigation system later.
- Think smart. Include “smart” controls that automatically adjust watering based on rain, soil moisture, evaporation and plant water use.
- Check water pressure. Low or high pressure can seriously affect sprinkler performance; choose sprinklers based on the water pressure on your site.
- Buy the best. Use the best components you can afford to minimize future maintenance and total lifetime cost of your system.
- Meet code requirements. Include the right backflow prevention device for your area. Required by the National Plumbing Code for all irrigation systems, backflow prevention devices prevent irrigation system water from contaminating the water supply.
- Dig deep. Install lines deep enough to protect them from damage from aeration and other lawn maintenance.
- Look for savings. Many water utilities offer rebates for certain water-efficient products. Before finalizing your new system, consult with your local water provider.
- Hire carefully. Even the best irrigation system won’t perform well if installed incorrectly. When looking to hire a designer or irrigator, always get multiple bids, check references, and confirm all vendors are insured and LICENSED.
Smart Irrigation Month is an initiative of the Irrigation Association, a non-profit industry organization dedicated to promoting efficient irrigation. Learn more at www.smartirrigationmonth.org.
To find an IA-certified professional to design, install, maintain or audit your irrigation system, visit www.irrigation.org/hirecertified.