What to Consider Before You Invest in an Irrigation System

Man looking at lawn with Toro irrigation controller in hand

Using an automated irrigation system is one of the best ways to keep your lawn and landscape beautiful and healthy, in addition to minimizing water waste. Plan carefully for a reliable, flexible irrigation system that can grow and evolve along with your landscaping.

Plan for Now

1. Meet Code Requirements

Include the right backflow prevention device for your area. These devices prevent irrigation system water from contaminating the water supply. The National Plumbing Code requires these devices for all irrigation systems.

2. Dig Deep

Install lines deep enough to protect them from damage from aeration and other lawn maintenance.

3. Check Water Pressure

Low or high pressure can seriously affect sprinkler performance. Make sure to choose sprinklers based on the water pressure on your site.

Plan for the Future

1. Install Excess Capacity

Irrigation zones are areas that are watered by the same irrigation valve and plumbing. Installing extra connections now makes it easier and less expensive to expand your irrigation system later.

2. Use Components That Provide Flexibility

Different plants have different watering needs, and these needs may change over time. Your system should allow you to apply the right amount of water for each type of plant by the most effective method.

3. Think Smart

Include “smart” controls that automatically adjust watering based on rain, soil moisture, evaporation, and plant water use.

Make the Investment

1. Buy the Best

Use the best components you can afford to minimize future maintenance and total lifetime cost of your system.

2. Look for Savings

Many water utilities offer rebates for certain water-efficient products. Before finalizing your new system, consult with your local water provider.

3. Hire Carefully

Even the best irrigation system won’t perform well if installed incorrectly. When hiring a designer or contractor, always get multiple bids, check references, and confirm all vendors are insured. To find an IA-certified professional to design, install, maintain or audit your irrigation system, visit irrigation.org/hirecertified.