Why should I winterized my irrigation system? It’s not like it’s freezing around here!

How important is irrigation winterizing?
Winterizing your irrigation system is a safe guard in your investment against the cold snaps that have been known to blow by the southern BC coast.  Will YOUR system freeze?  Hard to say.  If  it stays cold long enough then the chances are you’ll have damage. The extent of damage will vary based on extent of cold exposure, pipe depth and amount of exposed components.

If your system was installed correctly by a reputable company with good installation standards then pipe depth should be good and all heads attached at bottom inlets instead of side inlets.

Winterizing a system is by no means a complicated procedure, just one that needs to be done properly.  The correct pressure along with good volume is required to successfully clear all lines and components free of water.  If  done incorrectly a system can be damaged quite easily.  Care needs to be taken so that fittings and components are not over stressed by excessive pressure and get blown apart.

Backflow preventers: These devices serve an important role to protect potable water from being contaminated with irrigation water.  These should never have air blown through them as it can not only damage internal components but also will dry out the rubber discs and o- rings.  If your backflow was Installed correctly below frost level then there is no reason why it  cannot remain filled with water through out the entire year it is in use.  It is good and common practice to have a blow key/ hose bibb after the backflow for winterizing purposes.

 

 

rain

save the rain

Capturing and storing rain in the southern gulf islands is fast becoming an essential part of island living.  Whether it is used for outdoor use, laundry and toilets or incorporated into a more complex potable water system many people are either by choice, or by necessity using rainwater.

So how much rainfall is there?

On average the southern gulf islands get around 41” of annual rainfall.  Depending on the roof size this can amount to thousands of usable gallons throughout the year that can be stored, used and replenished.  Of course there are many factors to consider such as roof size, type and exposure.  Whether it is a small roof and barrel for the chicken coop or a larger system from your house to provide the veggie beds and green house the options are  endless.

So, start by deciding what you want to use your harvested water for. Then you can begin to assess how much you will need to capture and store to get you through the dry spells!

More on capturing and storing water to come!