Should You Get Certified in Backflow?

Backflow Graywater from a system at a Florida residence is piped into the home’s drinking water. “Yellow gushy stuff” coming out of some taps in Maryland turns out to be the powerful—and highly toxic—herbicide Paraquat from an agricultural facility. Propane gas flowing into a Connecticut water main from a storage tank causes a washing machine to explode. “Rusty” water coming out of a Michigan hospital’s drinking fountain turns out to be blood from a nearby autopsy room. These stories are enough to curl your hair. These are all real-life incidents caused by backflow, usually the result of an accidental cross-connection between a potable water system and a contaminating source.
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Understanding Back Flow

Backflow When you turn on the tap, the last thing you expect to see is worms. Yet that’s what one Michigan homeowner got when a malfunctioning lawn sprinkler coupled with a water main break sucked nematodes into his water system. there they were, alive and swimming around in the bathtub he’d just filled for his child. ... More

Understanding Backflow

Backflow In May Of 2000, residents living around the subdivision in Pineville, North Carolina, known as Walden Pointe discovered that their drinking water had become contaminated with raw sewage. The contamination reached around 60 homes and more than 100 Walden Pointe residents fell ill. The affected citizens sued their municipality and received a $1.2 million settlement to cover their damages and medical expenses. ... More

Backflow Prevention

Backflow What would you do if you got up one morning, went to brush your teeth and saw yellow gushy stuff pouring from the faucet? Residents in Woodsboro, Maryland, awoke to just this scenario, with gunk spewing out of faucets and spigots all over town. Town officials quickly banned water use and began an investigation. After flushing the water system, the investigation revealed that a powerful agricultural herbicide had made its way into the town’s water system. ... More

Backflow Prevention:The Forefront of Responsible Irrigation

Backflow As the demand for potable water exceeds supply, the responsibility of the irrigation contractor grows. The contractor must protect public water supplies from contamination. ... More

Backflow Prevention: Protecting Water, Protecting Yourself

Backflow For potable water, life is a series of one-way streets. Safe drinking water depends on all “traffic” within a water system to move in the direction it’s supposed to. Fresh water flows one way. It isn’t supposed to turn around and travel in the other direction. ... More

Tracking the Flow of Backflow Prevention

Backflow In a California suburb, a man sprayed his lawn with a commercial weed killer that contained an arsenic compound. ... More

Backflow Prevention & Enclosures for Irrigation Systems

Backflow With each passing year, additional criteria are tacked onto the definition of environmental responsibility. Maybe this year it’s the reduction of aerosol, and next year “greenness” is directly proportional to how much money was donated to the Save the Walrus Foundation. ... More

Backflow Prevention Assemblies Against Contamination

Backflow Backflow preventers are installed in the irrigation system to protect our drinking water, save lives and prevent illness. ... More

Controllers: What’s New?

Controllers Irrigation equipment companies today have their heads in “the cloud.” And that’s not a criticism. The same technological explosion that’s affecting all of our electronic devices is happening to irrigation controllers, too. They’re getting smarter all the time, adding functionality and gaining ease of use, and they’re using the cloud to do it. ... More

Wireless Irrigation Technology

Controllers No question about it, wireless technology has changed all of our lives. No longer are we tethered to telephones attached to walls or boxes. We can talk on the phone just about anywhere, and do it hands-free. Wireless GPS devices mean that no one ever has to get lost again. ... More

In the Commercial Market Smart Controllers Reign

Controllers Once upon a time, smart irrigation control was a hard sell. Property owners, grounds managers and homeowners associations didn't see a need for it. "Why put in an expensive smart irrigation system when the old one works just fine?" ... More

Smart Controllers for the Residential Market

Controllers Remember The Flintstones? The “Modern Stone-Age Family” that powered their cars with their feet and used dinosaurs as power tools? That was a great little cartoon, but it has nothing to do with anything happening today, right? Well, if you’re a landscape contractor with residential clients, you may have seen irrigation controllers that look like they were made in Bedrock. ... More

Making Your Controllers Smart!

Controllers It’s no secret that smart controllers are the future of irrigation. Increasingly, that future is now. Smart water, smart irrigation—whatever it’s being called at the moment—is being mandated by more and more governmental entities, especially as changing weather patterns seem to indicate that water is becoming a scarce commodity. ... More

Smart Controllers—E.T....Phone Home

Controllers Once upon a time, there was little need for smart irrigation. Water was plentiful, falling from the sky at regular intervals. Oh, there might be a dry spell once in awhile, but soon enough, the rain would fall again, turning everything green once more. If a site had an irrigation system, it was usually cranked up full bore, with little concern for conservation. ... More

Controllers Past... Present... Future

Controllers There was a time—and it’s actually not that long ago—when irrigation systems were turned on and off by hand. For those who have come into the business since then, it might be as difficult to imagine as silent movies, telegrams and computers the size of a gymnasium. But in the age of smart phones, 3-D movies, and tablet computers millions of times more powerful than those gym-sized monsters, irrigation controllers have made similar leaps. ... More

Masterminds of the Irrigation System

Controllers As a landscape pro installing irrigation, you look at water in a different way. Your early morning commute on a warm weather morning might take you past a block of homes where every sprinkler is going full blast. You wince, and two thoughts come to mind. First, those homeowners are wasting water and money. ... More

CASE STUDY: Mind Over Water

Controllers Last November, an affluent six-acre gated community received a notification that their water bill would increase by 10 percent every year for the next five years. Located within the lush hills of Thousand Oaks, California, the Trentwood Canyon Homeowners Association realized their annual water bill of $70,000 would double over that period of time. ... More

Drip Irrigation

Drip Irrigation - Low Flow So where does that leave landscape and irrigation contractors? As more water agencies push for less watering on landscapes, and customers start complaining about their increased water bills, they will demand that lower amounts of water be delivered with greater efficiency. ... More

Low Volume, Low Precipitation

Drip Irrigation - Low Flow “Water, water everywhere,” begins the old poem. Sure, there’s still plenty of water on this planet. However, if the experts are right, we’re going to have a lot less of it in the coming years. Climate change, politics, pollution; all of this affects how much water we’ll either have, or be able to get access to, in the future. ... More

Irrigating Drip by Drip

Drip Irrigation - Low Flow There’s a low, rumbling sound off in the distance. Can you hear it? That’s momentum building. It’s the sound of something caged that can hardly wait to be let out. It’s the sound of one era coming to an end and a new one just beginning.

Unless you’re been as buried as an irrigation pipe for the past five or six years, you know that we’ve been in a long, hard recession. New construction and housing starts have been almost nonexistent. But now the economy is starting to roll again. It’s about time! ... More

Low Flow can Pump up the Volume of your Business

Drip Irrigation - Low Flow Drip irrigation is no longer the new kid on the block. In a region of the world where rainfall is the subject of prayer and water more precious than crude oil, Israel became known for agricultural miracles, as drip irrigation let the desert bloom. In the early days of that nation, targeted drip irrigation was a way for farmers to dole out just enough water to the plants and crops that needed it. ... More

Low-Volume Irrigation: Do Be A Drip

Drip Irrigation - Low Flow How blessed we are to be living in the United States. We are also blessed that our country has always had an abundance of water. So why is it that we are now experiencing water shortages in most parts of our land? ... More

History of Micro Irrigation in Landscape/Turf

Drip Irrigation - Low Flow The basic concept of dispensing less water in the right place is not new. Farmers centuries ago developed a method of irrigating trees in a desert environment with a minimum amount of water. ... More

Hitting Its Stride: Low-Volume Irrigation

Drip Irrigation - Low Flow Drip irrigation systems apply water at low pressure and low volume directly to or near the root zone of plants. Because water is applied slowly, less is lost to runoff and evaporation. ... More

Case Study: Emitters Conserve Energy & Water

Drip Irrigation - Low Flow THE SUMMERS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ARE NO JOKE. The sun pounds the landscape like a hammer, and it’s not unusual for temperatures to reach the ’90s before noon. But the summer of 1999 was particularly brutal. ... More

Go with the Flow

Drip Irrigation - Low Flow How many of you out there have held onto a truck until it was well passed its prime? The body was probably peppered with dings and dents, and the odometer had so many zeros on it that you got dizzy every time you glanced down to check the mileage. But you held onto it because you were familiar with every creak and squeak the engine made. Even though you knew it was the smart thing to do, you had trouble moving on. ... More

Reaching New Markets the Low Volume Way

Drip Irrigation - Low Flow “Do you do drip?” This is a question contractors all over the country are hearing more frequently as the demand for drip irrigation continues to grow. ... More

Water Auditing Made Easy

Miscellaneous Drought is still a problem in a large portion of our country, and experts say it’s going to keep on being one for some time to come, especially in the West. A water audit is meant to show your clients how much water they’re using. Equally as important, by retrofitting their irrigation system, they can not only save water, but save money on their water bills. More customers than ever are requesting water audits and many more irrigation and landscape contractors are offering this service. ... More

A case study... Hydrometers

Miscellaneous LIKE MOST COLLEGES around the country, the 1,700-acre University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City is constantly building new labs and classrooms, new sports facilities, etc. With ongoing campus construction and irrigation components that date back 50 years, there’s no end to accidentally broken lines or leaky valves. ... More

Contractors Volunteer

Hurricane Sandy Cleanup

Miscellaneous When Hurricane Sany tore through the East Coast during the last week of October, it left so much damage in its wake that the total tab, when it’s finally tallied, will be in the billions. The superstorm severely affected seven states, with New York and New Jersey the hardest hit. ... More

Recycling Water for Irrigation

Miscellaneous Say the word `recycling` and what usually comes to mind is taking aluminum cans. ... More

Power in Pump Stations

Miscellaneous Just as the human heart pumps blood through the circulatory system to keep a body healthy, the irrigation pump sends life-sustaining water throughout the sprinkler system to keep the turf and plants healthy. ... More

The Perfect Irrigation Service Technician

Miscellaneous If you’re looking to hire an irrigation service technician, what qualifications would you list in the job description? ... More

Harvesting Rainwater

... a Win-Win Deal!

Miscellaneous Water harvesting isn’t a new idea. For centuries, it has been relied upon to supply water for households and other uses. ... More

Winterizing Irrigation Systems

Miscellaneous WHEN I LIVED IN upstate New York, I hated winter and everything that went along with it. Having to protect my body from the freezing cold with boots, gloves and heavy sweaters put a strain on my already tight budget. ... More

2Wire or Not 2Wire? That is the question...

Here is the answer

Miscellaneous The more important question to ask is Why would you care about a new irrigation system if the one youve been installing since you first started your business works just fine? ... More

Sensors Make Business Sense

Miscellaneous How many times have you driven down the street or on the Interstate in the pouring rain and noticed that sprinklers are putting down even more water? While Mother Nature is doing her work by quenching the thirsty soil, the automatic sprinklers are running . . . and wasting water. ... More

The Latest in Fittings

Pipe & Fittings As a contractor who installs and repairs irrigation systems, you’re always looking for ways to get things done faster and more efficiently. So, when something comes along that looks like it could speed up a new installation, retrofitting or repair job, hopefully you’re receptive to hearing about it. ... More

When Pipes Need Repairs

Pipe & Fittings Often two, three, or more pipes will be crowded together in a narrow trench. Wiring to the controller may share that limited space as well. Or the PVC pipe is “snaked” and twisted in the trench in such a way that the “top” pipe may actually be in the middle, side-by-side, or even on the bottom, just a few feet down the line. ... More

Irrigation Pipe Repair


Pipe & Fittings The voicemails you hear when you arrive at your office in the morning may vary, but the message is the same.... “Hi. There’s a big wet spot in the middle of my lawn this morning that wasn’t there yesterday. Can you come take a look at it?” “Hello. There’s water bubbling out of my sprinkler system, where it shouldn’t be bubbling... More

The Basics of Pipe Repair

Pipe & Fittings There is no better feeling than seeing the happy expressions on your clients’ faces as they stand back and take in the exquisite landscape that you and your crew just installed. ... More

Purple . . . The New Gold

Pipe & Fittings In the medieval Europe, blue and purple dyes were rare and expensive, so only the most wealthy or the aristocracy could afford to wear them. And though wearing purple today doesn't indicate wealth, to irrigation contractors it can still mean gold. Especially if they live in areas where the population has access to non-potable water. ... More

Can You Believe That Gauge?

Pipe & Fittings Using a gauge provides us with a measure of pressure in the system. Generally, we expect to see a steady reading, but what does the gauge with a pointer that is unsteady mean? The unsteady or flickering needle shows that the system is seeing rapid changes in pressure. These rapid pressure changes, over time, can lead to failure of the pipes, fittings, or other components. ... More

PVC Fittings: Features and Drawbacks

Pipe & Fittings TENS OF THOUSANDS OF IRRIGATION systems that have been designed and built with PVC pipe and fittings perform satisfactorily, while a very small percentage run into problems. ... More

Irrigation Pipe Repair

Pipe & Fittings YOU’VE JUST COMPLETED A PROJECT that included weeks of planting. As you close the last door on the work trailer you notice water bubbling out of the ground and running along the curb. A moment of panic sets in. What do you do now? ... More

Case Study: Blu-Lock

Pipe & Fittings In the world of landscape maintenance, the contractor rarely gets an epiphany. But that’s what happened to Anthony Reynoso the first time he used a new brand of flexible pipe. ... More

There?s Gold in Them Thar Pipes!

Pipe & Fittings Have you tapped into the possibilities that expanding your landscape-only (or -mostly) business may be hiding? Well, there are a variety of ways that can add some oomph to your income statement by paying more attention to the H2O at your client’s site. ... More

Understanding Rotating Stream Nozzles, Low-Precipitation Rates and Spay Heads

Sprinklers The late comedian Rodney Dangerfield had a catchphrase: “I don’t get no respect— no respect at all.” For a long time, the same thing could be said of water. Certainly, we knew it was essential to life; however, we thought it would always be around, in abundance. Rather than show it outright disrespect, we simply took it for granted. ... More

Waterscapes products

Sprinklers Pondless Waterfall Vault Aquascape introduces its Pondless Waterfall Vault, designed for small to midsized waterfall projects. The unit handles pumps up to 12,500 gph and provides efficient water circulation through horizontal and vertical water intakes. ... More

Sprinklers: Clearing the Mist

Sprinklers Can finding the right sprinkler head leave you as perplexed as Ponce De Leon on his quest for the Fountain of Youth? If you have a lot of confusion distinguishing one type of sprinkler head from another, or figuring out which applications will best serve your needs on a specific project then read on. ... More

Grow Your Sales with Sprinkler Retrofits

Sprinklers Spring is here and the season is beginning. What are you doing to jump-start your business? Are you thinking to yourself, “What can I do to generate more revenue? ... More

Filtering Through Filtration Choices

Sprinklers When landscape professionals think about designing an irrigation system, most minds wander immediately to spray patterns, drip hoses, timers and installation. But success is shortlived with most irrigation systems without good filtration to safeguard the components and help ensure reliability. ... More

Case Study: Precision Spray Nozzles

Sprinklers WITH WATER SHORTAGES BECOMING MORE PREVALENT AND restrictions looming, municipalites, communities, school districts and property owners are seeking ways to conserve water. ... More

Keeping Up With New Sprinkler Technology

Sprinklers It's no mass government conspiracy that the availability of fresh water is decreasing every day, while populations continue to rise along with the demand for water. It's not as if there are more freshwater sources today than there were a million years ago -there aren't any new ones to tap into. Some scientists predict that by the year 2050, more than one billion people in Asia alone could face massive water shortages. ... More

Case Study: Using MP Rotators

Sprinklers Glen Graye knows a thing or two about lawn irrigation. He should. Growing up as part of the Melnor family, known for its portable lawn sprinklers... ... More

Heads Up on Sprinkler Head Spacing

Sprinklers No two snowflakes are alike, everybody has their own unique fingerprint, and no set head spacing fits all lawns. ... More

Valves & Valve Boxes

Valves If you think of an irrigation system as somewhat similar to the human circulatory system, it may be a little easier to understand how it works. Although there are other components that make up an irrigation system, for purposes of this article we will address only valves and valve boxes, taking into consideration that the valves being installed are underground. ... More

Understanding 2-Wire Decoder Systems

Valves Chances are, you’ve already installed or inherited a 2-Wire decoder irrigation system, or at least heard about them. This game-changing valve control technology is here to stay, and for good reason. Here’s a little of the what, why, and how, that makes 2-Wire decoders a powerful option. ... More

Valve Boxes Add the Finishing Touch

Valves A little over a year ago, I noticed that our backyard lawn was turning brown even though we had an automatic sprinkler system. I called in a landscape contractor to find out what was wrong. He discovered that the irrigation system was not working. ... More

Valve Boxes: Do We Need Them?

Valves While taking a walk in my neighborhood one day I noticed that water was spewing out from everywhere at a nearby home, or at least it seemed that way. Upon closer inspection it appeared that the valves that service the irrigation system were damaged, causing this mess. ... More

A Room With a View

Valves A POND OR WATER FEATURE CAN be a striking addition to any landscape. It can be sized to fit both the smallest lot and the smallest budget, or built to dwarf an average swimming pool. The problem with ponds is that they're sometimes put in the wrong location. ... More

Container Gardens

Valves ADD THE SOUND AND BEAUTY OF A WATER GARDEN TO YOUR FRONT PORCH by creating your own mini water feature. ... More

Valves and Valve Boxes

Valves Installing valves and valve boxes can be as routine as pouring another cup of coffee on the way to your truck. But as routine as this task has become, how you do it says a lot about you and your company. ... More

What's New In Valves?


Valves Technology has evolved rather quickly in the last twenty years. Many of us cannot imagine a world without computers, compact disc players and cell phones, but in the world of irrigation, technology moves at a different pace. ... More

Valve Installation ... Follow the Steps To Do It Right

Valves To experienced irrigation contractors, installing electric valves is like driving – you can do it almost automatically, without thinking. This can make it difficult to explain to a novice; however, by following the installation steps properly when installing an irrigation system, one will avoid inevitable problems and service calls in the future. ... More

Let's Talk Valves

Valves Controllers are the brains of an irrigation system, but the heart of the system is the most unglamorous element ? the valve. ... More