Lawn Watering Infoline
November 5, 2013
Welcome to the lawn watering infoline. We have begun to receive rainfall in sufficient amounts, so irrigation is no longer necessary. Local plants will be going dormant and their water needs are very low. Therefore, this will be our final message for the year. In an effort to help save water, as you speak with your friends and neighbors, mention this infoline to them, especially if they are still running their sprinkler system. Additionally, if you see a sprinkler system running this winter, call us with the address and we will contact the property owner to remind them that winter irrigation is not needed in our climate.
This is the time to be preparing your sprinkler system for winter. The Medford Water Commission offers “Winterizing Your Sprinkler System” a complete guide to preparing your sprinkler system for the cold weather ahead. Visit the homepage and click on the “Sprinkle Smart” link on the left hand side, or call 541-774-2435 to request a mailed copy.
Following are some basic steps to help you winterize your sprinklers.
First, shut off the water source to your system. If you don’t have a shut-off valve to isolate your irrigation system from the household water supply, consider adding one. The valve of a backflow prevention device should not be used as the main shutoff, since these valves should be left partially open when winterizing so that they can drain.
Second, attempt to remove as much water as possible from your sprinklers. Pull and prop the risers up, or briefly remove the cap and riser from the highest and lowest sprinklers in each irrigation zone to help water drain out. If your property is sloped, you may have sprinklers with check valves in them, which require extra measures to help them drain. Instructions to assist you with this are on our web site.
Installing drains at low points can also be helpful. However, if you do so, consider selecting manual drains, rather than automatic drains. That way, you control when the system is drained, rather than it occurring after every irrigation cycle.
In addition, it is a good idea to protect any valves from freezing by insulating them, especially if they are above ground.
Finally, some irrigation experts suggest disconnecting the common wire to the valves at the controller as part of a winterizing program. This will assure that the irrigation system cannot activate accidentally, and it is easy to reconnect in the spring.
While taking these actions may not provide complete protection from freezing, they are worthwhile precautions to lessen the potential for freeze damage. You may also wish to contact an irrigation professional about any winterizing services they may offer.
We hope you find this information to be helpful. If you have any questions or comments, or would like more information, visit our website or call 541-774-2435.