Irrigation systems can be complicated and expensive. Once you decide to install a system, you want to ensure it is done right, so you don’t have to spend time and money on it again. Here are questions to ask before getting started to ensure your system does what you need to do.
Do I Need An Irrigation Designer?
Irrigation systems are technical. Moving water from point a to point b is challenging because it needs to move at a certain speed (so you don’t’ break things. Water is heavy), and you need to move enough to satisfy your crop or landscape requirements. A certified irrigation designer establishes specifications and design drawings for irrigation projects. This is a map of what needs to be accomplished and provides the following:
- An evaluation of site conditions and water availability, and use requirements.
- Selection of the most effective irrigation equipment, methods, and materials for the application.
- Irrigation designs that meet the plant or crop’s wagering requirements.
- Comprehensive plans and specifications that include construction details, equipment or materials, and appropriate irrigation schedules.
- Direction to end users on system use, scheduling and maintenance.
Depending on the size of the project and your knowledge of irrigation, a designer is often a good investment.
Where Do I Purchase Irrigation Components?
Many home improvement stores sell irrigation equipment. Occasionally, there may be a good choice when needing repair equipment or small additions to a system. However, for new installations or significant updates (think three valves or more), a distributor or dealer specializing in irrigation or landscaping is the best choice. These dealers have experience in irrigation, a wide variety of products to meet your specific project needs, and access to the manufacturers who supply a ton of knowledge, often for no additional charge. In addition, with several manufacturers, the quality provided to professional contractors is better than the quality of the products supplied to the DIY crowd. Sometimes at a better price.
You can visit the dealer locator here type in your address, and a map populates with all the professional irrigation dealers near you. If there are no dealers near, you can always try on an online store specializing in irrigation.
Who Installs The System?
When it comes to drilling wells, installing large filters, tapping into municipal water systems, and trenching, these activities are best done by someone who does them every day. An irrigation contractor with the right tools, equipment, and experience to handle these projects’ challenges. Mistakes are expensive in irrigation, and the best and safest bet is to hire a certified professional.
Here is a link from the Irrigation Association to help you find certified irrigation professional to install your job.
Finally, A Question To Ask Yourself -What Are My Expectations?
It’s impossible to think about irrigation anymore and not conservation, sustainability, and water cost. Your system should last 20 years. The system design should include as many micro and drip irrigation options as possible. This is the only way to reach a high distribution uniformity which helps you save water and money. Irrigation automation should also be included to save water and money. Both Jain Unity and Jain Logic help with automation and conservation. These smart controllers create water schedules for you based on the weather, ET, soil moisture sensors, and satellite imaging based on scientific calculations.
Please use this list of questions as a good start. You will have more specific to your site. Below is an excellent discussion of the questions and a few other essential factors to consider.