Irrigation Maintenance During Winter

Juan Soulas

If you have an irrigation system, now is a good time to check for any irrigation maintenance issues.

Walk around your yard when it’s dry and look for any unexpected wet spots. If you find any, mark them because there may be a leak. Next, run each zone and check for broken or blown spray heads. All spray heads in a zone/station should pop up when turned on; if not, there might be low pressure in the system or a leak somewhere along the system. Check for leaning and/or misaligned sprinklers that are misdirecting water. Remember, there shouldn’t be any runoff into the street. This is prohibited per city ordinance and can lead to a fine. If you’re handy, you might try making the repairs to your irrigation system yourself. Otherwise, contact a licensed irrigator.

This is the time of year when your landscape doesn’t need much water. Most of your landscape, particularly your lawn, is dormant, and many evergreens require very little water and usually get enough from winter precipitation. For plants that need additional water, consider spot watering. If you decide to run your irrigation system, significantly reduce the run time on your controller to about four minutes per station, once per month. Completely shutting it down for three to four months is not advisable since stagnant material could accumulate and contaminate the water pipe.

Please do irrigation maintenance in winter because if there is a leak in the system, water runs into the street and if we get a freeze, the water from your system is likely to freeze in the street and could cause an accident.

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