Ponderiffic's landscape team offers irrigation design, installation and maintenance services for residential and commercial turfgrass, perennial and annual planting beds, drip irrigation and raised bed gardening. Our irrigation team is continually receiving training in the areas of irrigation installation methods in the form of in-house workshops and seminars at local suppliers as well as in depth training at the annual CA Landscape industry show . Our landscape knowledge does not stop here but also extends to advanced smart water controllers and injection systems for drip irrigation systems. We have designed and installed numerous irrigation systems throughout southern CA and serve the following counties: Riverside, San Bernadino, Orange, Imperial, Ventura, San Diego and L.A.
Some of the basics of equipment we install and have experience with are provided below. There are two basic types of sprinkler heads used in irrigation systems and they are spray heads and rotors. They distribute water in different patterns and over different distances and spaces.
Spray HeadsSpray heads distribute water in a circular shape. Different nozzle attachments for the sprinkler can set it to a half-circle pattern or full circle. Spray heads are the most commonly used head in areas where the space to be irrigated or sprayed with water is less than about 22-25 ft in any one direction. They are the most common head used in residential irrigation systems.
RotorsRotors rotate streams of water over the landscape. Typically rotors are used for sprinkler spacings from 18 feet to 55 feet apart. There are rotors available that can be spaced closer than 18 feet but they are generally not cost effective, as a spray sprinkler will work well at this spacing and cost less. There are also rotors available for spacings farther apart than 55 feet but they are typically only used for golf courses. Most rotors require a lot more water pressure to operate than spray-type sprinkler heads. Rotors can be further broken down into impact and gear-driven rotors. Impact rotors move back and forth while sending out bursts of water. Gear-driven rotors distribute water similarly but are quieter, lower maintenance and smaller.
Spray heads require less water pressure than rotors because they are placed closer together. They only need 20 to 30 PSI (pounds per square inch) of water pressure. Rotors require a higher water pressure than the number of feet separating sprinklers (35 PSI for 35 feet).
An anti-siphon valve is a device that prevents liquid from returning to the line from which it came in the event that a siphon action occurs. An anti-siphon device is frequently required on outdoor irrigation systems to prevent possibly contaminated water to be drawn back into the water supply lines if water pressure decreases in the water supply line. Anti-siphon valves are not the same as check valves. A check valve allows flow in only one direction, and requires pressure to function. An anti-siphon valve opens to the atmosphere when there is reduced or no pressure in the line. Ponderiffic uses anti-siphon valves from Rainbird, Toro, Hunter and Irritrol. Anti-siphon valves are installed above ground or below ground in access boxes protected from the elements.
Smart Water Controllers
Ponderiffic installs several smart water controllers that offer savings on your annual irrigation costs. Many irrigation controllers will now take into account many variables in calculating an irrigation interval or session. These factors include sprinkler type, precipitation rate, efficiency, plant type, root depth, slope, sprinkler location on slope, soil type, micro-climate, and usable rainfall. Other systems such as Hunter's Solar Sync controller, continually gather on-site solar and temperature data to be used in the calculation of evapotranspiration ET and then a determines a water requirement from the ET. This system automatically calculates water requirements and adjusts your watering requirement according to geographic weather characteristics.
This technique of applying products through the water is called "fertigation". Ponderiffic designs and installs several makes of fertilizer injection systems or fertigation systems. Fertigation systems offer a distinct advantage over lawn fertilizer spreaders as calculated nutrients can be delivered to various irrigation zones or blocks. This reduces the chances In the case of low flow drip irrigation zones, mild phosphoric acid solutions may be added or injected to reduce calcium carbonate or limestone buildup in the lines keeping them clear for effective irrigation. We have fertilizer injection systems suitable for the smallest home garden, to entire residential or commercial landscapes, to city parks, sports fields or acres of crops.
Drip irrigation is a great way to water your plants and conserve water at the same time. Drip irrigation is an irrigation method that conserves water and fertilizer by dripping water directly into the root zone. A simple drip watering system consists of a hose that carries the water, an emiter that controls the drips and a timer that controls the release of water. Great advances have been made in drip irrigation in the last 30 years.
When properly designed, installed and managed, an irrigation drip conserves water because there is less evaporation than with conventional sprinkler systems and water can be applied directly to the root system of the plants. There isn't as much runoff and possible erosion as there can be with a sprinkler system. A dripping irrigation system is especially useful in Southern California, where we have seasonal water rationing. With a drip system, a little water goes a long ways because it is applied directly to the roots of the plants.
Ponderiffic landscape Construction can install a new drip system from the ground up or we can replace your existing sprinkler system to save you money. Give us a call today for a free estimate and we can let you know what we can do to help you water your yard with a drip irrigation system.
Sprinkler repair is a natural ingredient in a recipe of a well-functioning sprinkler system. Sprinkler heads wear out and break and trees grow and rupture pipes. Any number of small catastrophes or accidents can occur with a sprinkler system and that makes sprinkler repair necessary. If the sprinklers on your property aren't working correctly, there may be many reasons. They may become clogged with debris, require sprayer adjustment or lose their alignment. In many instances the remedy for repair requires only a simple adjustment. These adjustments may include changing the sprinkler radius, arc, distance or water flow. There are however, instances where sprinklers are damaged beyond repair and need to be replaced or a defective anti-siphon valve may need to be replaced. Other times the problem may be with the controller.
If you need to replace your sprinkler system, ask us about ways you can conserve water with a new system. New sprinkler valve technology, smart water controllers and a focus on sustainable landscaping have provided new tools for our team to use that use less water than older systems. Fixing sprinkler s doesn't always have to be difficult. Sometimes you can fix your sprinkler yourself. But sometimes you need to call in the professionals. If you need sprinkler repair services, contact Ponderiffic Landscape Construction for a free estimate. You can call us at 951-368-8614.
Water Savings Tips for Irrigation Systems
Most people probably never realized that a correctly functioning irrigation system can actually save them money? While the act of watering anything is a cost or overhead to any operation, a well designed, installed and maintained irrigation system can save in the long run and preserve the value of the landscape. Here are some practical tips and advice to help ensure that you have a lush, green and healthy landscape.
- Avoiding Overwatering. The single greatest water waste comes from applying too much water and too often. Quite often, much of the water is never absorbed. Rather than watering for one long session, reprogram your controller to water a few times for shorter periods and take 15-minute breaks in between each session. This will allow water to soak in, while minimizing runoff. In addition to avoiding the runoff to surface waters, you are also preventing the leaching of fertilizers into deeper ground waters, wells and aquifers. A very useful publication for determining water needs can be found by accessing this very important link. (Irrigation needs)
- Watch your clock. A great strategy is to water between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. -- when the sun is low, winds are calm and temperatures are cool. Watering during the mid-day tends to be less efficient because of water loss due to evaporation. In addition, windy conditions are often greatest during the day. Evening irrigation is also a bad time for watering as leaves can remain wet overnight which is an open invitation for fungus to grow. Watering in the morning, allows for leaves to have a chance to dry out during the day.
- Divide by zones.
Different plants need different amounts of water. Dividing your landscape areas or acreage into separate irrigation zones so that grass can be watered independently and more frequently than groundcovers, shrubs and trees will reduce overwatering effects for the latter. In some instances we are able to combine both sprinkler and drip irrigation areas irrigated from a single anti-siphon zone valve. However, we prefer to have dedicated zones where we are keeping our drip zones separated from our drip zones. Another way to view precision irrigation is from a water use standpoint and involves the term "Hydrozone". The word "hydrozone" is used to describe the practice of grouping plants that have similar water requirements. Hydrozoning is a key component of any water-efficient irrigation system and landscape design. Effective and efficient hydrozoning requires an thorough knowldege of plants, the rate in which water moves into and through the soil (infiltration rate), the soil type and texture, landscape design, irrigation, drainage, slope, sun exposure, and weather conditions. Hydrozones divide a landscape irrigation system based upon individual plant water requirements, plant height, and planting density. Plant species with similar needs are selected and grouped within each hydrozone. It is also effective to create microclimate zones so that plants with higher water needs are closest to the house and plants with lower water needs are on the perimeter of the garden or landscape.
Each hydrozone will contain plants that will be irrigated on the same schedule, using the same irrigation method.Generally, each hydrozone is served by one valve or control zone (although more than one valve may be required to service an area due to flow and water pressure). By using controllers with multiple run times that are able to support low-volume systems (cycle and soak) and by dividing the landscape into hydrozones, each area will receive the amount of water it needs without puddling or runoff. The result of hydrozoning is improved plant health and less water use.
- Water your greenery and not your street. If you have an in-ground sprinkler system, check that the sprinkler heads are adjusted properly to avoid watering sidewalks and driveways. A properly adjusted sprinkler head should spray large droplets of water instead of a fine mist to minimize evaporation and wind drift.
- Consider drip irrigation. Drip irrigation is the choice for watering individual trees, flowerbeds, potted containers, or other nongrassy areas. Drip irrigation systems apply water directly to the roots and preserve moisture for them as they avoid the watering of unwanted weeds that zap the desirable plants water supply. This will reduce water waste through evaporation or runoff as well.
- Perform routine inspections. As most lawns lawns and gardens are watered in the early morning hours, defective spray patterns and leaks may go unnoticed when leaving home. Therefore, a problem may not be discovered until it is too late. We've received many thank you's from customers where we have re-programmed their timers so that the front yard stations run during the time when the customer leaves the home and they spotted a broken head while pulling out of the driveway. Periodically check your sprinklers to make sure everything is working properly. A clogged head or a ruptured sprinkler line can cause many problems within the landscape and water bill.
- Be rain smart. Adjust your irrigation system as the seasons and weather change. Even better yet, install a shut-off device that automatically detects rain or moisture. These devices are inexpensive and enable you to take advantage of the water without having paying for it. All major irrigation equipment manufacturers now offer advanced equipment that senses rainfall for sprinkler override and most are not incorporating ground moisture sensors for irrigation based on ground moisture levels.