Depending on where you are located, winterizing your irrigation system for the winter months might be something that you need to consider in order to protect the system and the components from freezing temperatures. Here in Austin and the surrounding areas it is not recommended to turn off the irrigation due to several factors.
- The plants and turf still require water throughout the winter even if they are dormant. Our winters can be mild, and we don’t always get the needed rain. Certain types of plants still grow in the cold and they in turn need the resources to keep them alive.
- Being able to water your turf and plants before a hard freeze can help them survive. The moisture in the ground helps insulate the roots just like a blanket and keeps the temperature a few degrees warmer.
- Our temperatures do not stay cold enough for long enough to freeze pipes underground.
There is one exception if you have an RPZ backflow device. These will be the only time that you should have irrigation running above ground and they typically look like a brass fixture that has two pipes running into the ground. These can freeze and need to be drained before a hard freeze. You will typically have these if you have a septic system on your property.
Here is a video on how to drain this type of backflow:
It is always a good idea to have a licensed irrigator inspect and service your irrigation system at least once per year.