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Introduction to Irrigation Site Surveys


Irrigation site surveys are a high-level review of a customer’s irrigation setup. Learn how to offer these to potential and current clients to maintain great customer service and get ahead before the busy season.

March 24, 2022

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Site surveys can be a helpful tool when customers are looking for recommendations to improve their irrigation and landscapes. No special certification is required to complete these, and they take around 30 minutes to an hour for a high-level overview of the property including documentation. The purpose of an irrigation site survey is to look for inefficiencies or issues in an established irrigation system and make recommendations on any ways the customer can save water and money. 

When to Survey

It’s typically best to do site surveys as the spring season starts, but they can also add value when taking on a new client or when a current customer wants to upgrade their irrigation system.

What to Look For

Walk through the property with your client to understand their needs, what they’re looking to change or improve, and get their thoughts on pain points.  

After this discussion, conduct your own walkthrough to look for issues before starting the system. Once this second walkthrough is complete and you’ve monitored the system running, you can determine if a system upgrade is needed. 

First look at the controller, check the age, and see if it runs smoothly. If it is a standard “timer only” controller with no smart features or sensors, a homeowner can typically save water (and money) by upgrading to a smart or Wi-Fi based controller and surveying would be a great time to discuss this. Newer controllers have been shown to use up to 30% less water than a timer only controller. It is also very important to check the timer and the system’s schedule- if this is not set correctly and the property is overwatered, you can immediately save customers money and water by adjusting this.

Look for any inconsistencies in coverage, such as turf dead spots, poor drainage or runoff, and sprinkler damage. Sprinklers are usually the cause of higher water use; damage from equipment like mowers and trimmers can cause spray issues. Look for proper zone coverage through a visual inspection of the operating zone and check run times for accuracy. Test sprinkler heads and look for clogged or broken nozzles. Ensure the system has proper pressure. Check for sprinkler misalignment and ensure there is no water on paths or buildings. 

To evaluate valve damage, you’ll need to check flow and pressure settings and look for leaks. To check for controller problems, see if it operates correctly in both manual and automatic modes. Check the sensor as well. If they don’t have one, this could be an opportunity to recommend a sensor that works with the controller for water savings and more efficient programming.

Why Survey?

Irrigation site surveys do not take up much time and are valuable for both you and your customer. If you take notes of everything you find, it’s easy to refer to if needed for a job later in the year. Surveys also build trust and credibility with your customer.

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Give them a copy of your report that lists everything from site conditions, other data, and recommendations for improving efficiency. This includes repairs needed, equipment upgrades, and recommended irrigation scheduling. If applicable, also include any local information on financial incentives to lower cost of recommended enhancements. Don’t forget to include your contact information on the sheet to keep all applicable information in one place.

SiteOne Can Help

If you have any questions on completing a site survey or need irrigation supplies once you’ve completed one, visit your local branch today or shop on SiteOne.com. For more educational articles, read through the Irrigation section of our Learn page.