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Responsible Water Usage With An Irrigation Checklist

An irrigation checklist helps identify existing and possible problems in an irrigation system. It ensures that all items and parts have been properly maintained, and damaged parts have been fixed before they have a chance to become a major problem.

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What Is an Irrigation Checklist?


An irrigation checklist provides a reference for irrigation inspectors or officers to evaluate the efficiency of an irrigation system and identify areas of improvement. It is also used to properly maintain the different parts of the system and repair damaged parts.


An irrigation inspection form is commonly used by landscapers or farmers to ensure the system will deliver the amount of water needed by plants and crops in order to survive and thrive. In farming, the inspection is usually conducted before planting season.


Depending on the application, the items on the checklist might vary but the main areas of focus are:


  • Sprinkler heads: check for damages and clogs
  • Valves: check for leaks
  • Time clocks: check if they are activated and the schedule is right
  • Signs of long-term problems: check for overspray


In this article, you will learn:


1. The 6 Elements Of An Irrigation Inspection


2. The 4 Most Common Irrigation System Problems


3. How A Digital Checklist Simplifies Irrigation Inspections



Irrigation System Aerial View

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The 6 Main Elements To Check For Before Irrigating


Ignoring irrigation equipment exposes it to risks that can lead to damages and downtimes that will cost you valuable time and money. In order to avoid such repercussions you should focus on the following key areas when inspecting your irrigation equipment:


1. CHECK AND TEST CONTROL POWER BOXES


With the power off, open each electric box and spray with compressed air to remove dust and debris. Seal all the holes where insects and small animals might gain access. Apply a small amount of long residual action insecticide to the bottom of the box to prevent insects from building a nest inside. Repair or replace any faulty connections and make sure surfaces are free from corrosion.


2. INSPECT PUMP ENGINES AND FLUID LEVELS


A small coolant or oil leak can greatly damage the irrigation equipment. Check each part to determine whether it needs repairs or has to be replaced. Inspect the safety shut-down systems to see if they are working properly.


3. MONITOR STATIC WATER LEVELS IN WELLS


Irrigation could lower the water table, so monitoring and documenting the water levels in wells before you start pumping. It will allow you to compare the difference in the water level before and after you pump and maintain the longevity and functionality of your well and watering systems.


4. CLEAN SCREENS, ROCK TRAPS, AND FILTERS


Remove sand, small stones, and debris from rock traps, screens, and filters. Remove rock traps for the winter, as water condensation could accumulate in the pipes and traps and damage them. Also, make sure to put bird guards in place of rock traps to prevent birds from nesting.


5. ADJUST END GUNS


Make sure that every area of planted ground has ample water while avoiding those with no plants. Make fine adjustments to keep out water from areas where it shouldn’t be.


6. INSPECT IRRIGATION TIRES


Check the air pressure in each pivot tire and refill to the recommended level. Monitor tires that are less than five pounds and check back after a week if they leaked. Tires lose two to three pounds of pressure every year if not refilled.



Fiel Irrigation At Sunset

Common Irrigation System Problems


Irrigation provides a number of benefits for gardens and crops. First and foremost, using an irrigation system is a time-saver compared to manually watering your plants, as it is more efficient, effective, and convenient.


However, if they haven’t been properly and regularly maintained, they will become major problems that will cost you a lot of money in the long run. Proper maintenance may seem tedious at times, but it will save you cost and energy in the future.


These are 4 of the most common irrigation problems to look out for:


  1. Clogged sprinklers
    Dirt and tiny debris can get into your sprinkler heads and cause a lot of trouble over time. Soon very little or no water will get out of your sprinklers, which will lead to uneven watering and dried out plants.

    Clogged sprinklers can be fixed easily, even without a plumber present. Identify which sprinkler has a clog, remove the nozzle, and rinse it and its filter thoroughly until water runs clean. If the problem persists, however, you should call a professional.
  2. Obstructed Sprinklers
    In a complex irrigation system, it is easy to lose track of all the locations of the sprinklers. As plants or crops grow, they might end up obstructing the sprinklers. Ensure therefore that garbage bins, plants, or other objects do not block the sprinkler streams. Plants grow in unexpected ways, and if you don’t regularly check or maintain your irrigation system, they will start to work against the watering systems that maintain them.


  3. Missing Nozzles
    Sprinkler nozzles come loose as time goes by and can come off from the sprinkler during yard work. When the nozzle is missing, large amounts of water will start to pour out of the sprinkler, flooding your garden, overwatering your plants and wasting water.
  4. Run-Off
    When water from your irrigation system starts to run off onto the driveway, it means the soil cannot absorb more water because it has reached its saturation point. There are several factors that can potentially contribute to such an occurrence:


    • Type of soil
    • The slope of the land
    • Compaction
    • Type of sprinkler

    If the run-off happens regularly, set your irrigation system to run for shorter periods of time. It prevents over-watering your garden and wasting water.



    Perform Irrigation System Audits With a Mobile App


    It has never been easier than with Lumiform to ensure the proper maintenance of your irrigation equipment. You can perform a multitude of upkeep and quality inspections on the go from your smartphone or tablet – online or offline, in your garden or in the fields. Create irrigation inspection forms to easily collect data for current and future reference and reduce disturbances of your workflow by ensuring faultless equipment.


    • We offer thousands of pre-made templates to choose from, so that you can take your inspections digital immediately.
    • If you prefer your own irrigation inspection forms, Lumiform’s flexible checklist builder helps you convert your paper-based lists into a digital format within minutes.
    • With our app being designed to be as easy-to-use as possible, you and your team can perform irrigation inspections easily.
    • All of your results are automatically summarised in a report that can be sent to responsible personnel on-the-fly.
    • Comprehensive and automated analyses provided by our software help you keep track of equipment status and threats to your systems fast and effectively. This way you can concentrate on improving processes continuously.



    Man and Woman Watering Garden


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