Sprinkler Systems for Slopes

If you live on a hillside or have land that is sloped, you are probably aware how challenging it can be to keep your yard watered. Those in the market for a sprinkler system for their sloped land must keep some factors in mind.

Watering Precautions

Overwatering plants is never good. If sprinklers stay on too long, too much water can damage even flat yards. Lawns, trees, bushes, flowers, and structures are at risk if there should be a flood of water from neglect or a water line breakage. When you have sloped land, your plants and property are at even greater risk. There are the additional potential risks of erosion and mudslides.

Sprinkler systems must take the slope of the land into consideration. You want sufficient water at the top and bottom of the area, without overwatering. A few precautions include

  • Set up sprinklers in zones. This helps to control smaller areas and potential damage. Should one zone malfunction, the others should be okay.
  • Water frequently, and use less water than you would on flat ground. You will need to time each zone to see how long watering sessions should be. The ground should be wet from top to bottom, but never soaked so much that it begins to erode.
  • Have an irrigation timer for each zone. Once you have determined the watering times and a schedule, set the timer intervals so that water run-off will be avoided.
  • Be sure to have a system with flow sensing equipment. This system should be coupled with a master valve to ensure that any damage to the system is sensed and shut down promptly.
  • Install lateral lines. This will help keep water pressure even. Lines that run up and down a slope can encourage uneven water pressure that may damage the lines.

Sprinkler Angles and Heights

Another challenge with sprinkler systems and slopes tends to be the placement of sprinkler heads. When placed correctly, they are extremely effective. However, when misplaced, they may not do the job.

The good news is that it isn't difficult to figure out the heights and angles once you know what to look for. Pop-up sprinklers work well for lines at the bottom of a slope. The taller your trees or shrubs are, the higher you will want your sprinkler heads to pop-up.

Angle sprinkler heads so that water sprays up and onto the slope. The water will disperse and cover more area. Try to take the wind into account when angling the heads. Proper angling also helps avoid oversoaking the ground.

These are a few helpful hints about sprinkler systems for slopes. The best way to ensure you get a system that will do its job and eliminate chances of problems is to contact a landscape specialist like Michael Bellantoni


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