Waterwise Irrigation Components

Here are some photos and descriptions of many of the components that we use to make up a Waterwise irrigation system:

System Components

Backflow Preventer (Double Check Valve Assembly- DCVA)

Located just after the gate valve.

Prevents potentially contaminated water from making its way back into the municipal water supply. We install Watts 007 DCVAs, typically ¾” or 1” on a residential system.

Most residential DCVAs require testing every 3 years, as per CRD bylaws . We offer certified backflow testing for all our Customers. You will be notified by the CRD when your test is due.

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Boiler Drain Valve

Located after the Pressure Reducing Valve.

This is what the air compressor hose is attached to for system winterization.

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Controller

A programmable electronic device that directs the system to turn on and off at the desired times. We install a range of Hunter Controllers, depending on system considerations. The Hunter Pro-C and X-Core are our most common choices.

Zones can be run manually if desired from the Controller. Hunter Pro-C and X-Core Controllers also feature a “Seasonal Adjustment” setting that allows all programs, as a group, to be adjusted from 0-150% of the main program settings for an indefinite period of time, depending on seasonal weather conditions.

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Drip Emitters

Used mainly in garden beds. Apply different rates of water depending on orifice size, which is indicated by the colour of the emitter. Our drip zones are generally designed to run daily, for between 15 and 25 minutes, though this will vary depending on individual zone factors.

Black = 1 GPH, Blue = 2 GPH. On the ¼” soakerline or ½” polyethylene dripline that we use, the emitters spaced every 6" or 12” apply water at a rate of 1 GPH. It should be noted that, while very little water appears on the surface with drip emitters, the water applied “balloons” out below the surface, to varying degrees, depending on soil type. For instance, in clay soil, lateral movement of water from a drip emitter can be from 1.5-4 ft . 

Drip emitters should be inspected occasionally, to ensure there are no blockages.

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Electric Valves

Each irrigation zone has one electric valve, wired to the system Controller. These valves open and close as directed by the Controller, allowing water to flow to the zone as programmed.

A “zone” means all the parts of your property that are watered together when one individual valve is activated, either manually, or automatically by the Controller.

Hunter PGV Valves are our choice for most residential systems.

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Filter

May be located after the boiler drain valve when filtering an entire system with one filter, or else located after individual zone control valves (some systems have multiple filters installed). Installed on systems featuring microspray and/or drip irrigation, to remove potential blockage-producing particles from the irrigation lines. We prefer Netafim Arkal Disc Filters.

Filters should be inspected and cleaned on a regular basis (at least once in the middle of the irrigating season, or as required). Cleaning is facilitated by turning off gate valve, slowly opening boiler drain to release pressure, unscrewing filter cap, removing filter, and rinsing filter with hose, before reassembly (don't forget to close boiler drain and re-open the gate valve afterwards!).

Island Waterwise staff will always inspect filters whenever performing maintenance on a system.

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Gate Valve

Located closest to the water meter, inside of the first valve box.

Allows for manual opening and closing of the water supply to your system.

Remains open during the irrigating season, and closed during the winter.

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Lateral Lines

The lines that carry water through individual zones.

May be PVC (white, semi-rigid) or Polyethylene (black, flexible) pipe.

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Mainline Pipe

Carries the water from the domestic supply line, through all the above-mentioned features, to the electric valves. Usually under constant pressure throughout the irrigation season.

Island Waterwise only uses heavy-duty Schedule 40 PVC pipe for mainlines.

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Microsprays

Used mainly in garden beds. Apply different rates of water depending on orifice size, which is indicated by the colour of the cap. Generally speaking, a bed featuring microsprays should be watered 3 times/wk, for between 10-20 minutes at a time (though less or more is possible), depending on various factors, including sun/shade, plant type and maturity, and soil conditions.

At 25 PSI, Black = 7 Gallons per Hour, Blue = 12 GPH, Green = 20 GPH, Red = 27 GPH (thus, in spite of their small size, they can apply water at a significant rate, so it is important not to overwater beds with microsprays).

It is a good idea to inspect microspray zones occasionally, to ensure that no heads are blocked by any bits of debris that have somehow entered the system (the filter on your system will prevent any debris coming in from the municipal supply, but bugs and debris can occasionally enter microsprays and block orifices). Orifices can be cleaned by unscrewing the jet cap from the base (we can provide a tool designed for this purpose) and inserting a needle through the cap until blockage is cleared (a rinse may be required as well). It is important to ensure that the jet cap is reinstalled with the opening facing in the proper direction (i.e. towards the area to be watered) upon reinstallation. If problems persist, or any microsprays are damaged, please notify Island Waterwise and we will promptly attend to your system.

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MP Rotators

Used mainly for watering lawns. Installed on a spray body, they are essentially a nozzle that performs as a hybrid of the traditional rotors and sprays used in most irrigation systems. A typical system would feature a combination of MP Rotators with varying distances of throw and arc adjustment, designed to provide optimal coverage for the lawn area.

Regardless of distance or arc settings, they apply water at a rate of approximately .4”/hr, therefore 2.5 hrs total a week will provide the ideal amount of water for a lawn at peak season (1”/wk. required). They should be inspected at spring start-up time, and any time there appears to be any issues with water coverage in an area, as a head may be damaged, or the head's built-in filter may need cleaning. Generally speaking, however, MP Rotators require very little maintenance.

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Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV)

May or may not be installed on a system, depending on site-specific design considerations. Located just after the backflow preventer, when installed. Allows for the water pressure in the system to be adjusted for optimum performance. We typically use Watts 25 AUB-Z3 PRVs, adjustable from 25-75 PSI (50-70 PSI is usually optimal).

Microspray and drip zones feature Senninger in-line pressure reducers after the electric zone valve, in order to further reduce zone pressure to the lower levels required for these products (15-25 PSI).

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Rain Sensor

A simple, reliable device that is wired to the Controller, and will cause the system to shut off temporarily when a desired level of rainfall is reached (we generally recommend a setting of ½”). We install Hunter Mini-Clik and Rain-Clik Sensors. There is a switch on the Controller that allows the Rain Sensor to be bypassed if required for any reason.  A smart and affordable upgrade from a regular rain-sensor is the Hunter Solar Sync weather sensor, which includes a rain sensor, and also measures temperature and solar radiation,  It then uses these variables to make daily adjustments to your irrigation program.

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Rotors

Used mainly for watering lawns. Differ from sprays in that rotors have an internal gear mechanism that allows them to rotate back and forth at an adjusted setting, while distributing a diffused arc of water.

We typically install 4” Hunter PGP or I-20 rotors. Arcs are adjusted and nozzles individually selected for each head to provide proper coverage. Depending upon nozzle selection, rotors can apply water at rates between .2”/hr and 1”/hr; 1” per week is the ideal amount of water for a lawn at peak season, so rotor zones may run from 1-5 hrs per week (generally 1 hr., twice a week). Island Waterwise will program your Controller accordingly.

They should be inspected at spring start-up time, and any time there appears to be any issues with water coverage in an area, as a head may be damaged, or the head’s built-in filter may need cleaning. Generally speaking, however, rotors require very little maintenance.

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Shrubblers

Used mainly for pots. Amount of water applied is adjustable, from 0 to 10 GPH (turn cap clockwise to reduce flow, counter-clockwise to increase). Individual pots will require individual adjusting. Zone run times can vary, but generally 2-5 minutes/day every day will suffice.

Occasional inspection to ensure there are no blockages is recommended.

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Sprays

Typically installed in both lawns and garden beds. Apply a steady, even spray of water in a preset pattern and distance, from 1-360 degrees. We mainly use Hunter Pro-Sprays. Nozzles are selected according to design requirements.

Average precipitation rates are 1.5”/hr, and as 1” per week is the ideal amount of water for a lawn at peak season, spray zones will be set to run approximately 40 minutes per week (at peak season). Because of the high application rate of sprays, zone runtimes are usually broken into shorter cycles, allowing time between applications for the water to be absorbed.

They should be inspected at spring start-up time, and any time there appears to be any issues with water coverage in an area, as a head may be damaged, or the head's built-in filter may need cleaning. Generally speaking, however, sprays require very little in the way of maintenance.

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Valve Box

The (usually green) plastic box in the ground that various system components, such as backflow preventers and electric valves, are installed in. Allows access to components for servicing. Can be round or rectangular, and varies in size.

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