Checking Your Sprinkler System after a Landscape Flood

15 September 2015
 Categories: , Blog


Many areas in the U.S. experience flooding each year and 2015 has been no exception. The last days in August to the beginning of September, this year alone, have brought storms and flash flooding across a number of states from South Dakota to Arizona. Floods are expected to cost the country an estimated $1 trillion by 2050 and while the main concern during flood is the security of your life and that of your family, the aftermath of a flood can bring a number of concerns and can often cost you thousands of dollars in damages and repairs.

While there are steps that can be taken to reduce the impact of flooding to your landscape, once it occurs you will need to address issues to both the landscape as well as the equipment that is in your yard such as your sprinkler system. Here are a few things to consider.


There are a number of things that you can do yourself when inspecting your sprinkler system for damages. You will need to flush the system and check your irrigation clock and back flow prevention systems. You should also shut off the main water supply to your sprinkle system and allow the water to drain from the underground pipes by opening the drain valves. Take time to also check the rotors that you may have. Allow them to dry out then remove them and rinse thoroughly to remove any silt or contaminated water that may have gotten into them. If your rotor is the gear-drive type that is mounted above ground, make sure to remove and rinse the inside of the head and before replacing.

Before checking any electrical parts, you should make sure the electrical power is off in your home even if the power from the grid is down as it would be dangerous and possibly deadly, should the main power return while you are checking these components.

Call in the professionals

Professionals might be needed to check or replace some of the components of your system. A flooded irrigation clock will need to be replaced and a professional should give the okay on a working back flow system before portable water is reintroduced into the lines. Since drip and micro-irrigation systems can be clogged by a number of items that are carried by flood waters including particulate matter, chemical precipitates, organic growths, and insects, these should also be inspected by the technicians. They may also need to replace the emitters that may be impossible to clear or have become damaged.

Finally the head of the sprinklers must be checked for both free flow of water as well as their movement. Their ability to retract and pop up should be assessed. The spray patterns of the rotor heads and spray heads should also be assessed for damage and repaired if necessary. For assistance, talk to a professional like T & J Landscape Services.