Water: Tips For Designing Drip Irrigation Systems

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Here are a few tips for designing an efficient irrigation system that will promote overall plant health and a thriving landscape.

"There are three important things to know regarding sensible landscape watering," says Mary Lu Nunley, City of Phoenix public information specialist. "Know how much water your plants need. Know how much water each part of your watering system applies. And, match your system's output to your plants' needs. An efficient system saves money by avoiding costly repairs and saves water by reducing evaporation, runoff and weed growth."

Before you install a drip irrigation system, consider getting professional help with your project. It pays to hire a licensed contractor to do the work. While it may cost more than doing it yourself, you're likely to save money in the long run by ensuring a properly designed system for your unique landscape needs.

Ask members of the town's water conservation task force for brochures on xeriscaping, such as "Landscaping with Style" and "Landscape Watering by the Numbers." Also, inquire about upcoming classes. Review the Drip Guidelines Manual at: www.amwua.org.

If you feel comfortable "doing it yourself," there's a few things to keep in mind.

  • Use separate valves for turf and plant areas.
  • Install a backflow preventer.
  • Avoid oddly shaped or narrow turf areas.
  • Install enough emitters to wet the root zone.
  • Watch how much tubing you use.

For more information, visit www.wateruseitwisely.com or contact the Town of Payson offices for information about xeriscaping.

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