Irrigation Winterization

The bird migrations are a declaration of the implementation of hydration fixation through irrigation winterization or face devastation!  (Translation: When the birds fly south, it’s time to get your sprinklers ready for the winter or you could have big problems!)

As a commercial property manager or owner, you know how important your irrigation system is to your landscape.  You wouldn’t want to turn on your system in the spring to begin watering your greening turf only to find that it is sprinkling where it shouldn’t be!  If not noticed immediately, the damage will not only be to your irrigation system, but to your lawn as well.  

It’s important for any irrigation system in a location where the frost level is below the depth of the piping to be winterized in the fall months.  It’s not merely a matter of draining the system because some water will inevitably be left behind and can freeze and expand, cracking PVC pipes.  Even small campuses use many feet of piping in their irrigation systems so cracked pipes can mean a major expense to repair and be unsightly on your property while they’re being replaced.  If the more flexible polyethylene pipes are used, as is common for commercial properties in regions where freezing is a potential, they can still rupture with the freezing of any water left in them.  Internal parts can also be damaged if water is not completely removed.   From parts to piping to turf, repairs can easily be thousands of dollars which could’ve been saved by properly winterizing your system.  

How are commercial irrigation systems winterized in St. Louis?  The main goal is to remove all of the water from the system.  We first shut off the main water source and then make sure all of the pumps are working properly.  We then attach an air compressor to blow out any leftover water.  If not done by a professional irrigation technician with the right air compressor or the right pressure, your system could be severely damaged or if the pressure is not right, water could be left in the pipes.  After the blowout, the technician will inspect the system to ensure that all of the water is out and visually inspect for damage.    

At Bluegrass, we know that high-quality people do high-quality work.  By hiring our highly trained irrigation technicians to winterize your irrigation system, you’ll have the peace of mind in knowing that when you turn on the sprinkler system in spring, the only surprise will be how smoothly your system runs!

While your irrigation system is being prepared for the cold winter months, it’s a good time to check the sprinkler heads to make sure that they’re all in proper working order.  Sprinkler heads can become damaged or can be clogged with dirt and debris after frequent waterings throughout spring and summer.    

Before you have just any commercial landscape company do the job, ask a few questions.

  1. Is the vendor experienced in complete irrigation system blowouts?
  2. How long have they been doing them?
  3. Are they fully insured?
  4. Are they fully licensed?

It’s important to note that even with the most seasoned irrigation professional, damage that occurred to your system may not be discovered until you turn on your system in the spring.  You may be considering doing the blowout yourself, but beware.  It is a complex system and using high-pressure compressors can be dangerous as it can cause flying debris.  Depending on the size of the property and how many zones it has, the procedure could take hours of labor.  It’s not merely a matter of blowing water out of the system.  The person doing the blowout needs an expert understanding of all of the components of your sprinkler system as these parts are expensive.  It’s worth having an experienced professional do the job to minimize the risk of damage or injury.       

Your landscape says a lot about your property and the businesses, tenants, and customers it attracts.  In order to keep a lush, beautiful landscape, you need to invest in a good quality irrigation system which is an expensive piece of equipment. You want it to last for many years, and the best way to do that is with regular, appropriate maintenance which includes preparing it for the cold winter months.  Proper maintenance can add years to the life of your system.

Winterization should be done in fall.  It’s important to have your irrigation system treated as soon as possible in case Mother Nature decides to show up to the party early!  Call Bluegrass Landscape and Maintenance to schedule your irrigation winterization today!