Lawn sub surface

Asked August 5, 2018, 7:02 PM EDT

My system is striping and I think I have clogs in the tubing. Do you know who can fix my system?

Larimer County Colorado lawns and turf

1 Response

Striping with subsurface drip irrigation (SSDI) most often occurs when the system isn't run long enough during periods of high water demand and there is no rain - as has occurred recently. SSDI operates on the principle of soil capillarity - very similar to the way that a paper towel or sponge absorbs water. If soil dries too excessively, the capillary "stream" between soil particles is broken and has to be restored by thoroughly wetting the soil (either by irrigation or precipitation).

The striping you are experiencing often occurs with SSDI systems when irrigation run times aren't adjusted to account for high water demand - when the irrigation controller is left on "set and forget" status. Though SSDI can save water compared to overhead irrigation, there is no miracle involved with their installation and use: plants (in this case, turf) still need water. During high demand periods, the system has be run longer and/or more frequently.

If you have defined sections that don't respond to a longer run time, you may well have a leak in the system - or perhaps plugging of the system. Plugging can occur if filtration isn't working effectively - thus causing the emitters in the lines to become clogged. Systems can be flushed to clean out debris. Plugging by algae or other microorganism growth is more complicated to resolve.

The contractor who installed the system should be the first source to consider for system evaluation. If you don't know of that person, I would suggest contacting this person for suggestions on contractors to examine the system (with this I am assuming that your system is a Netafim system (the most commonly installed in the USA):
Jason Scheibel
Parker, CO
(720) 717-1422

Jason should be able to point you towards a more local company/person to examine your system.

Let me know if you have additional questions, and if you might like me to visit your lawn (I see that you are in Larimer County).