Landscaping Tips - Irrigation Checklist

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Irrigation Checklist

As landscaping companies implement SLM practices on the properties they maintain, we are sometimes asked what the crews will be doing if they aren’t shearing shrubs every month. Here is just one answer: maintaining and optimizing irrigation systems. Water conservation is a hot topic in our industry and landscape companies will be expected to be irrigation gurus in the coming years. The ALCA Certified Irrigation Technician (ACIT) program rolls out this fall and is ALCA’s answer to the call for more irrigation training for our industry. Here is a quick checklist brought to you by ACIT to bring your properties up to the next level in irrigation management.


  • Controller programs adjusted monthly or as ET dictates
  • Controller menus accurate and in the controller
  • Check and replace back-up battery
  • Test-run (wet-run) system on a regular schedule to check for leaks, misdirection and other problems

Valves/valve boxes

  • Valve boxes and 6” boxes cleaned out for access to irrigation components
  • Low valve boxes raised to 2” above soil grade
  • Broken or missing valve boxes and lids replaced
  • Irrigation components in the ground are contained in valve boxes
  • Leaking valves repaired
  • Ball valves and gate valves exercised 4 times/year


  • Broken heads replaced immediately
  • Rotors and sprays are not mixed on a valve
  • Sprinklers on a valve have matched precipitation rates
  • Irrigation schedule is compatible with mowing schedule for dry turf on mow days
  • Sprinklers checked and adjusted after mowing


  • Spaghetti tubing buried in soil - not running above the ground
  • Poly lines buried in soil
  • Emitters without plants plugged (unless they are a water source for another plant/tree)
  • Drip system checked (filters cleaned, lines flushed out at end caps)
  • Visits for checking the drip system are scheduled for the day after a run to check watering patterns/depths
  • Move drip emitters out to the drip line of the plants/trees as they grow; add emitters as needed
  • Pressure compensating drip emitters are used
  • End caps are at end of runs for easy flush