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Detect An Irrigation Leak
There are quite a number of geological signs, which if they were to be investigated further, could lead us to an underlying problem on your irrigation system that may have gone unnoticed, otherwise.
Old faithful – it is an irrigation leak alluvial sidewalk pattern. When you see an alluvial pattern in a parking lot or a sidewalk, chances are that there is an irrigation leak. We can agree that when water shoots up in the air, it is a sign that something is wrong unless you are drilling a borehole of course. One thing you need to note is that a mainline hole runs continuously, whereas a ruptured irrigation head only runs during the irrigation cycle. And because there is so much water that gets wasted when an irrigation head breaks as compared to one that is functioning properly, it can easily bring about the next signs.
Niagara Falls – unless it is raining, when you see water overflowing over a curb, then it is a clear indication that there is a problem. It tells you that water is being wasted, and it’s also a sign of broken irrigation, over-irrigation, or poor drainage. So, you need to pay close attention.
Mississippi Delta – remember in geology where we were told that the River Mississippi flows in an alluvial fan pattern into the Gulf of Mexico? If you do, then I am sure you remember what that pattern looks like, right? Well, if you see that kind of a pattern on a parking lot or even a sidewalk, then you need to know that it may be a sign of a damaged irrigation head. And that means you will need to do something about it.
Grand Canyon – when an irrigation head breaks, it releases more water with high pressure, where it shoots in the air and back down on earth with massive destructive energy, and can easily trigger soil erosion depending on the vegetation and type of soil in your landscape. When this happens near the irrigation head, you better check it to confirm whether it’s really broken, cracked, or has some loose connection at its base.
The grass is green on the other side – the other sign you should look out for is the availability of taller grass or some darker spots around the irrigation head. If you see this, there are very high chances that the irrigation head is either broken, cracked, or clogged. But when you see green spots further away from the irrigation head, then that’s not an irrigation problem.
Green, Slimy Curbs – if you see a slimy fungus starting to form in an adjacent curb, then take it as an indication that you may have an irrigation leak or you are over-irrigating.
The Spins – one of the things that you can use to check if you have a slow irrigation leak, is the irrigation meter or sub-meter. Just open the box where the meter is located and try to locate a small, black, or red dial or triangle. If you find it moving even when the irrigation is not running, then that’s a clear indication that you have a leak.
Trickle-down effect – if you see water running out of the irrigation head steadily and in small amounts after turning the system off, then the irrigation valve might have a leak. In most cases, these valves work really well, but after some time, the solenoid or diaphragm in the valve might fail or get blocked by debris preventing it from closing fully.
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