July 17, 2014
Hire an irrigation professional

Irrigation – hire a pro...

We love to water by hand – as corny as it sounds there is always something restful – almost spiritual about standing in the garden with a hose and watering wand and giving thirsty plant a good deep drink of water.

But we also know that we can do a better job of irrigation and use less water if we have a well-designed 'drip' system installed in the garden. While an irrigation system can be a DIY project – there are a lot of factors on the design side that make most of us hire a professional team to help with irrigation. Here are a few thoughts on the topic of irrigation systems.

Invest in an irrigation system

Using an automated irrigation system is one of the best ways to keep your lawn and landscape beautiful and healthy, while minimizing water waste. 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 contractor, always get multiple bids, check references and confirm all vendors are insured.

Work with an irrigation professional

Even the best irrigation design won't perform well if installed incorrectly or using inferior components. Make sure your system will operate at peak efficiency for years to come by working with an irrigation expert who:
  • Has specialized understanding of irrigation principles, technology and techniques.
  • Understands local environmental conditions and can help you choose low water plants and grass that will flourish in your climate and lot.
  • Will ensure your system complies with local building codes for licensing, backflow prevention, installation and more.
No matter how small or large your project, always get multiple bids, check references and confirm your preferred vendor is properly insured.
To find an irrigation professional near you, visit the Find a company page
and click on Irrigation.

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