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The Importance of Maintaining Your Irrigation System Backflow Prevention

For many of our clients, an irrigation system is a worthwhile investment that keeps their yard looking picture perfect year-round. If you’re one of them, maybe you’ve made life even easier by upgrading to a “smart” system so you can control everything right from an app on your phone, removing the guesswork about the amount of water your grass needs. But while you’re enjoying a lush yard, don’t forget to stay up-to-date on some essential maintenance necessary for your home’s irrigation system.

All irrigation systems must have a backflow prevention device installed and tested annually. A backflow prevention device blocks hazardous substances from being absorbed into the drinking water system, thus creating contamination and putting residents at risk of illness. If you get busy focusing your attention on other home projects and don’t properly maintain your backflow prevention device, you’ll generally receive one courtesy warning from your municipality. The next communication you get could be in the form of a hefty fine. When you go to great lengths to keep your lawn looking worthy of a magazine spread, this surprise piece of mail isn’t exactly welcomed.

If you’re a homeowner with an irrigation system, here are a few tips to save time and prevent a major (expensive!) headache:

  • Keep your backflow prevention device up-to-date as you modify your irrigation system. When you begin making improvements to your current irrigation system, verify that your backflow prevention device is still up to par with current codes. When you make changes to your irrigation system, you’ll need to update your backflow prevention device accordingly. This is why having a maintenance plan with not just a landscaper, but also a licensed irrigation and landscape contractor is important. Just like the installation process, a licensed professional should always handle this work.
  • Know your system. Irrigation systems that are more than a few years old operate using a double check valve found in a valve box that’s stored underground. These systems are more difficult to work on and aren’t the most effective option, as they can begin rusting underground without your knowledge. At S&A, we recommend that our clients use the Reduced Pressure Backflow Preventer (RP) instead, as it’s both more effective and more durable. These are placed discreetly on the side of a house or in a shrub bed in subtle tan or green boxes, so they don’t take away from the aesthetic of your home.

To avoid any unexpected surprises when it comes to your irrigation system and its backflow prevention device, contact us today to schedule your annual irrigation backflow test. This regular maintenance is an essential part of home ownership, and at S&A Landscaping we’re glad to handle it for you. President Scott Attaway is a certified Backflow Prevention Tester, and will expertly keep your system up-to-date and in line with all requirements.

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