If April showers bring May flowers, what follows May flowers? If you’re in elementary school, the answer is Pilgrims. For the rest of us, the answer is a little less witty. As the cooler, rainy days of early Spring fade away, we are faced with the longer, hotter and more drought prone days of summer. While this may mean a day at the pool for some of us, it’s the most stressful time of the year for your sites’ landscaping. To overcome these hot dry days and to help lawns and plants stay healthy, and to maintain your brand image, underground irrigation systems offer a strong solution.
If Spring has sprung where you are, it’s time to get ahead of the what’s next and get those irrigation systems started! Here are some things to consider when activating irrigation after a long winter:
While below freezing temperatures will wreak havoc on irrigation systems that are active, the reality is that they can be activated far in advance of when they are needed. Starting your system early in the Spring allows you to choose when to run the system and ensures that the system is ready when you’ll need it.
2. Be Prepared:
What could possibly go wrong with an irrigation system that has been winterized and hasn’t operated since fall? Unfortunately, a lot! To have the most efficient process in place when starting irrigation systems, it’s best to have an established NTE value set with your contractor. This allows for smaller, less costly repairs to be made on the spot; saving time and money in the long run.
3. What Should Be Done:
Here’s what you should expect as part of the activation process: the entire system should be run, adjustments to the heads completed and times on the controller set based on the current needs. When larger issues are found, cost estimates on repairs should be provided immediately. When your contractor leaves the site, the irrigation system should either be completely operational or you should have a full report outlining any issues; with cost estimates included, so you can make the necessary repairs.
4. Next Steps:
Once your systems are started, it’s not over. To ensure proper operation and efficient use of water as a resource, an ongoing monitoring program should be in place. Monthly wet tests to check for needed repairs and adjustments to system run times will help to maximize the systems’ effectiveness and deliver a responsible use of water.
As the seasons unfold the need for irrigation will follow. The first step is to activate the irrigation system, and the points outlined above will help to get things off to a good start.