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The Importance of a Properly Designed Irrigation System - Why We Design Each Sprinkler System

In most parts of the world, irrigation system installation is a trade skill that requires education.

Designing and planning the layout for an irrigation system is a complex process. It involves water pressure testing, head output calculations and extensive knowledge in the irrigation field.

In our local area, companies just best guess the layouts and skip the design process. This often leads to a few issues including overwatering some areas while underwatering other areas. It also leads to a spotty lawn from the areas the water doesn't reach sufficiently. They also don't provide proper head to head coverage. We'll go over this important aspect later in this article.

What Does a Irrigation Design Detail?

Irrigation designs vary from project to project. Their main goal is to determine which heads go where and how they should be laid out throughout the yard. A standard irrigation design will include the following:

Property Layout / Head Design - Includes a diagram of the property with building locations, sometimes general dimensions. Includes the head locations with spray patterns and zone layout.

Installation Diagram - Includes the locations of the pipes, house spigots, outlet locations, location of the irrigation manifolds, wiring and controller.

Irrigation System Design
Example Head Layout - A head layout tells us where the heads will be located along with the type of heads used and the spray pattern. Using proper head to head coverage.

Proper Water Coverage

As mentioned earlier in this article. Property water coverage is an important aspect of every lawn irrigation system. We use head to head coverage on our lawn sprinkler installations. This means the spray streams reach at least 80% of the way to the next head(s).

Irrigation heads spray more water closer to the head and as the distance of the stream moves on, the stream disperses more, meaning the further the stream goes, the less it waters the lawn. Due to this fact, head to head coverage is an essential aspect of each irrigation system.

Head to head coverage ensures your lawn is watered adequately and evenly so there are no spotty areas or areas that aren't covered properly. It also allows you to efficiently water the area, saving water.

Water Conservation

A well laid out design will ensure you save water! Leading to savings in the future. This happens in a couple of ways.

Water Should Only Go Where it's Needed - We see this often. An irrigation system where the heads are spraying everything including the sidewalks, driveways, house, etc. This leads to wasted water, potential damage to other areas and further cost.

Water Should be Dispersed Evenly - A well laid out irrigation system will water the lawn evenly and quickly, meaning your irrigation won't need to run as long or as often. Leading to saved water and saved money.

You'll Know Where the Lines Run

An irrigation system design will show the irrigation pipes and electrical lines. This will allow you to locate pipes or electrical to determine locations of potential future issues. It will also allow you to know where the lines are when digging, excavating or installing other yard features.

Let's say a company comes in to install a patio; with a design, the contractor will know where the lines are. They'll be able to excavate properly without issues. They'll also know how to redirect a line quickly and easily if required.

Easier Maintenance and Repairs

If issues arise in the future, you'll be able to look back at the plan to view material locations. Whether that's locating a wiring issue or a leak in a pipe. This can greatly reduce the cost of repairs.

It also helps any future maintenance contractors understand and know your system. Let's say the contractor who installed your system retires. You now need a new contractor to help with your system. Without a design, this new contractor will not know where anything is located below grade. Leading to confusion and potentially further costs to locate issues.

Proper Installation

Above all, a design is proper installation procedure. When plumbers install plumbing in a house, they don't just wing it and hope for the best. They have a plan they follow to allow for proper installation and allow for future planning. Why wouldn't we do the same for our outdoor plumbing?

A well planned system can save water, time and future costs. It's proper procedure and should not be skipped. If your contractor does not include a design for their systems, I would highly recommend finding someone to provide you with irrigation system design services.

In the Winnipeg area and looking for irrigation system installation? We can help.


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