Sprinkler or Irrigation System Features
An automatic underground irrigation system, aka an in-ground irrigation system or sprinkler system, consists of zones of plastic (PVC) pipes connected to your water main and controlled by valves and timers. Sprinklers are installed on the plastic pipe throughout your lawn and in your flower beds, if required. A controller sets the date, time and duration of water flow for each of the zones which are comprised of a certain number of sprinkler heads. This mechanical operation can be over-ridden using a rain sensor to ensure that over watering is avoided.
While it is possible to install an irrigation system by yourself, experience is vital for successful results. The system must be designed, before a single pipe is laid. Landscaping, hardscaping, drainage, shade, slopes, water pressure and volume of water are all professionally assessed during the design phase. Coordination with the water utility company is required and only specially trained installers and technicians can make the connection to the water main.
No matter how well the irrigation system has been installed it does not look after itself. Because the ground freezes in the Winter time in this region, all of the pipes, valves and sprinklers need to be emptied to avoid damage from freezing. In the Spring, the water needs to be turned back on and the system needs to be inspected to make sure that there are no leaks and that the sprinklers have not fallen out of adjustment over the Winter season. Also, in the Spring, a backflow device test is required by most municipalities to ensure that the irrigation water is not being pulled back into the drinking water supply. This test needs to be performed by a trained and certified backflow device technician. During the course of the year it is a good idea to have our technicians inspect the entire sprinkler system to ensure everything is working properly. We call this the “mid-season inspection”.