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   From Me to You
   Calendar of Events
   Things to Expect & Do
   Zucchini Recipes
   A Color Palette
           for Your
   Computer Corner
   Word Wise
   Inspecting Your
           Irrigation System
   Ocotillo: Fiery Beauty
   How Do I Care For My
   May Monsoon Prep
   National Garden
           Bureau Introduces
           New Flowers &
   Choosing A
           Good Nursery
   Summer Tree Care
   Pine Bark Beetle
            in Arizona
   Bark Beetle FAQs
   Nature's Mimics
   Tubac Secret
           Garden Inn

   Parade of Ponds
Master Gardener Journal  

E A R T H   F R I E N D L Y   G A R D E N I N G

Inspecting Your Irrigation System

by Donna DiFrancesco,
Water Conservation Specialist, City of Mesa

As gardeners, we know how important water is for our plants. But, we are also aware of how important it is to use water wisely in our desert environment. You can water effectively but still save a lot water and money by periodically checking your irrigation system. To make your job easier, follow this checklist. Monitor your system while it is in operation and check off each item when completed.

  • If you have an automatic timer or irrigation controller, check that the controller program is correct.
  • Check for leaks through the entire system. Look for standing water, soggy ground, and eroded soil.
  • If the controller has battery backup power, replace the battery yearly.
  • Replace missing or broken sprinklers, bubbler heads or drip emitters.
  • Move emitters out to the drip line as plants grow, or increase basin sizes for bubblers.
  • Set sprinkler heads at the proper height to prevent them from becoming blocked or submerged by grass and other surrounding plants. They should also be straight with the soil surface, not tilted.
  • Be sure your system is watering only the areas intended, with no water running onto walks, into streets or down the gutter.
  • If you have a sloped yard and have water runoff, then split the watering schedule. Water for half the calculated time and repeat after one hour.

Maricopa County Master Gardener Volunteer Information
Last Updated April 29, 2003
Author: Lucy K. Bradley, Extension Agent Urban Horticulture, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Maricopa County
© 1997 The University of Arizona, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cooperative Extension in Maricopa County
Comments to 4341 E. Broadway Road, Phoenix, AZ 85040,
Voice: (602) 470-8086 ext. 301, Fax (602) 470-8092