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Irrigation leaks & conservation tips

Irrigation leaks:

Irrigation water conservation and irrigation leaks are important topics and I hope you find this information helpful. Lets begin with irrigation leaks that commonly go unnoticed during the Summer months. To effectively check your sprinkler system for leaks, visually check your water meter to see if it is moving or showing water usage. If the meter is moving with your irrigation supply valve “open” and everything in the house is off, turn off your irrigation supply valve and re-check the meter. If the meter has stopped with the supply valve turned off you may have a leak within your irrigation system. At this point, check all your sprinkler heads for water seepage. The presence of water at any of the sprinkler heads might be an indication that the solenoid valve for that particular zone isn’t completely closed thus creating the leakage. If further help is needed to pinpoint an underground irrigation leak you may find a call to a professional leak detection service  very helpful. If while using the meter to determine if you have an irrigation system leak and you find you have a slow leak on your main supply, try isolating all the items in the house that use water such as toilets to see if this stops the meter movement. Again, a call to a professional leak detection service can precisely locate irrigation leaks as easily as a main supply leak so you or a contractor can repair it without the added damage often created by unearthing your property in search of it.

Faucets and watering hoses:

Another common summertime leakage issue is often traced to leaking watering hoses attached to the house. These can drip or represent leakage issues while connected with the faucet valve in the “on” position. It’s a recommended best practice to turn off the faucet after each use whether watering the garden or washing the car. Turning off the faucet will assure there is no leakage when left unattended.

Irrigation water conservation:

To better understand proper irrigation watering times, the Sammamish Plateau Water & Sewer District website offers a method used to measure and monitor sprinkler system water usage. It’s called the Tuna Can test and can be found within their website under Outdoor Conservation. By process of setting out several tuna cans within a watering zone and manually setting the run time to 15 minutes, the water collected in each can is measured afterwards to determine average water accumulation and areas within a zone receiving too much or too little water so proper adjustments can be made.  All too often we set our watering times to a best guess measurement. This “tuna can” test is a great tool to best understand how much water is being distributed while allowing you to optimize water conservation efforts within your landscape.

Irrigation water conservation & leak detection is important for everyone and lost water due to over irrigating or the discovery of irrigation leaks should be remedied.  Leak detection help with pinpointing hidden irrigation leaks is readily available in SammamishRedmondBellevue & Issaquah. I hope you found this post informative and helpful as summer approaches.

Michael Fend