Residential Above Ground Irrigation Systems

Installing a residential irrigation system is an economical way to save energy while maintaining a green and lush landscape. An above ground irrigation system is ideal for a residence who wants to use natural drainage to water lawns and plants much like falling rain. The following types of above ground irrigation systems use small polyethylene hoses connected to PVC pipes to carry water from your water supply to individual plants or trees in the garden.

  • Drip Irrigation System—In this irrigation system, water continually drips onto plants and trees or drips intermittently on a timer. Dripping water can also be controlled by a manual valve. Drip emitters are placed on the soil near the base of each plant or installed above each plant to drip from a designated height. When on a continual drip, the system is almost self-sustaining and can be left unattended for a few days or weeks. 
  • Sprinkler Irrigation SystemThis irrigation system uses sprinkler heads at each plant to disperse water on a timer. These sprinkler heads spray water in a circular, semicircular, or quarter-circular pattern. Single and/or multiple rotating sprinklers can also be installed. 
  • Mist Irrigation System—This irrigation system uses mist emitters installed intermittently throughout the garden to dispense moisture in an overhead pattern. A mist system is a low-pressure irrigation system that utilizes existing water pressure. This system is ideal for use in a greenhouse as it adds humidity to the air. It can also be used for a small garden close to residential buildings. A mist system does not use a great amount of water so it is useful in drought conditions.  
  • Garden Container Irrigation System—In this irrigation system, water is pumped from the main water tank or central water supply, piped to each garden container, and dispersed by a drip or sprinkler system. Individual valves are installed for each area of the garden or individual container to control sections manually.

You might be wondering how to even power these irrigation systems. The following are energy and water considerations for your residential irrigation system:

  • Energy Supply—Energy for a water pump or irrigation control system is obtained directly from your household current or can be harvested from solar energy panels installed in your garden. Solar panels are mounted on poles to catch the sun's energy and store it for use as needed. Solar panels are cost-effective and can produce enough energy to use for your garden and also your residence. 
  • Water Supply—Water for your irrigation system can be pumped from your residential main waterline or harvested from rainwater or greywater. Harvesting rainwater or greywater involves catching and storing water in a water storage tank where it is filtered and treated before it is used on plants and trees in your garden. 

An above ground irrigation system can save water and labor by keeping your trees and plants watered on a timer or a manual control valve. If well planned, these systems make sure that all areas within your garden are watered uniformly, without dry spots or overwatering. Your lawns and gardens can look great in any season with a well-chosen and maintained irrigation system.