Many utilities are advising their customers to turn off and winterize their sprinkler systems by October 1st. Typically around this time of year, the district responds to several service calls for frozen/busted irrigation lines.
Turning off your system a little earlier than normal this fall shouldn’t affect your lawn’s health. It will come back strong and green in the spring. Without proper preparation, your sprinkler system might be damaged by freezing temperatures.
- Shut off the water supply to the irrigation system.
- If you have a timer/automatic controller, don’t forget to turn that off too.
- Drain water from the pipes, sprinklers, and hoses. Be sure to remove all the water from the pipes and sprinklers so that it won’t freeze/expand and break the pipe. Fully blow out your system or contact a sprinkler specialist to do this.
- Protect your valves and backflow preventers. The main shut off valve for your irrigation system needs to be protected from freezing temperatures. Insulate backflow preventers and valves if they are above ground. You can also use insulation tape for this.
Following the steps listed above before freezing temperatures set in can help protect your system for future use.
Detailed steps for winterizing your sprinkler system can be found at the link below. This fact sheet is provided by the Colorado State University Extension office.