Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why should I install an irrigation system?

Convenience- No more hand watering!  Hand watering is usually inefficient, time consuming, and a major concern if you plan to go away during the spring or summer.

Beauty- Keep your plants and/or lawn healthy and vibrant, by providing them with the right amount of water throughout the watering season.

Value- An installed irrigation system is known to provide an excellent return on investment.

2. What maintenance will be required for my irrigation system?

Spring start-up (system turn-on, set-up, inspection, and repairs if necessary) and winterization (system shut-off, includes blowing all water out of the system with compressed air) are the two main maintenance procedures required.  Periodic inspections during the season are also recommended- these can usually be performed by the homeowner. Backflow preventers require testing every three years by a certified professional.   Island Waterwise provides complete maintenance services for all our customers.

3. How long will the installation take, and will it make a mess of my yard?

Most residential installations are completed within two to four days. Island Waterwise staff go to great lengths to ensure minimal disruption to your existing landscape.

4. What are drip and micro irrigation? Are they right for my garden?

Drip and micro irrigation are the most efficient ways to water plants, and are suitable for most residential gardens.  When properly installed, they can offer 85% (micro) to 95% (drip) rates of efficiency (the maximum efficiency for other types of systems is approximately 75%, and that’s on a good day). Drip irrigation is usually applied at ground level by emitters, while micro irrigation employs pencil-like sprays.  Island Waterwise owner Mike Isacson is Vancouver Island’s first (and only) IIABC Certified Landscape Drip Irrigation Designer (includes Drip and Micro Irrigation).

5. What’s a backflow preventer? Why do they need to be tested?

Without getting overly technical, a backflow preventer is essentially a device that only allows water to flow “downstream” through a system.  No water that is in the system past the point at which the backflow preventer is installed should be able to make its way back into the supply “upstream” of the backflow preventer, thereby protecting the supply from possible contamination.  There are several types of backflow preventers. The CRD mandates the installation of Double Check Valve Assemblies (DCVAs) on standard, low-hazard irrigation systems, and Reduced Pressure Backflow Assemblies (RPBAs) on higher-hazard systems (primarily those where fertilizer is injected into the irrigation lines, such as at a nursery). DCVAs require testing by a certified professional every three years, to ensure they are functioning properly; RPBAs require testing at least once a year. The CRD keeps a record of all registered backflow preventers, and sends out the proper forms when testing is due.  Island Waterwise offers complete backflow installation and testing services.

6. Why do our local municipalities have watering restrictions? Will my plants and lawn get enough water under these restrictions?

Municipal watering restrictions help ensure that our local water supply levels are well maintained from year to year, even in the event of a prolonged drought. The base-level restrictions, such as CRD Stage One watering restrictions, that run seasonally every year still allow for ample watering of plants and turf under most conditions. The CRD Stage One restrictions actually allow for ideal watering practices: two days a week for lawns, at ½” maximum application each time (1”/week is the most a lawn needs in our local climate), is perfect to maintain healthy grass. And plants in the CRD can be watered from 4-10 am and 7-10 pm any day of the week with conventional irrigation, and at any time with hand watering or drip/micro irrigation, which is more than enough to meet any requirements.

If you have any questions of your own, please feel free to contact us, we’d love to hear from you.

e-mail: Phone: 250 590 7760

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