Maintaining your neighborhood system
A well-maintained irrigation system is an asset to your neighborhood. Find information to help you and your neighbors keep it in working order.
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Your neighborhood irrigation system serves everyone best when you take good care of it. If it falls into disrepair, is obstructed or leaks, this could impact your water delivery or cause flooding.
It’s up to you and your neighbors to work together to maintain and repair your system.
Working with your neighbors on repairs
Any damages to your neighborhood system, including damage to ditches, irrigation pipelines and gates, are the responsibility of all neighborhood irrigation system users.
Here are a few tips to help you and your neighbors work together to make any necessary system repairs:
Hire a professional
If you or your neighbors come across damage that requires some extra help, you can hire an irrigation contractor.
Although we can’t recommend or endorse specific contractors, we can offer tips to help you find the right one:
- Request at least three detailed estimates from licensed contractors. Prices and project components can vary significantly.
- Only hire a licensed contractor. You can verify the license status of a contractor or subcontractor quickly by calling (877) 692-9762 or visiting the Arizona Registrar of Contractors website. Check your contractor's status before you sign a contract, and continue to check it periodically during the project as the status can change.
- Make sure your contractor is bonded and insured. Make sure you understand the limits on your contractor's bonding and insurance to make sure your project is sufficiently protected.
- Request at least three references from prospective contractors. If possible, you should also try to visit some of their recently completed projects. Speaking with at least three references will give you a good idea about the contractor's work and work ethic.
- Require your contractor to put all project expectations in writing. This will enable you to better protect your investment. If the expectations change during the course of the project, these changes should also be captured in writing.
- Read all documentation carefully before you sign. It’s important to understand everything you're agreeing to so that there are no regrets later.
Form an IWDD to share repair costs
An Irrigation Water Delivery District (IWDD) is an easy way to collect funds for repairs in your flood irrigation system. Made up of you and your neighbors, the group handles the operation and maintenance of your neighborhood irrigation system. See how to get started.
Choose key homeowners for communication
A key homeowner is a volunteer from your neighborhood that helps SRP communicate with neighbors about necessary repairs and maintenance. They’re also the go-to for information about the neighborhood system.
You and your neighbors can begin the process of selecting key homeowners by asking for volunteers.
A key homeowner should:
- Enjoy working and communicating with neighbors
- Be knowledgeable about the operation of the neighborhood system
Once you’ve found someone or multiple people willing to take on the role, call the SRP Water Contact Center at (602) 236-3333(602) 236-3333 and let us know.
Each property owner in your neighborhood should keep an eye on their irrigation valves, gates, berms and ditches. Here are some tips to keep them in good condition.
Weeds and trash can cause ditches to overflow and interfere with water delivery. We recommend scheduling regular neighborhood ditch cleanup days, as well as these cleaning and maintenance tips:
- Start by clearing out any grass, weeds or debris from your ditches.
- Shovel the bottom out 2–3 inches lower than the bottom of the head gates or pipe.
- Make sure trash gates are properly installed where open ditches flow into a pipeline.
- Cover your standboxes to keep debris from entering your system.
Taking care of valves and gates
Like any mechanical device, the irrigation valve on your property is subject to wear and tear over time. It’s a good idea to check them often and make sure they’re in shape for water delivery.
Follow these steps to make sure your gates and valves are in good condition and ready to receive irrigation water:
- Make sure valves are installed correctly and aren’t upside down. The side with the rubber gasket should be face down to create a seal against the supply pipe.
- Ensure the stem is long enough. When the valve is completely open, the opening should be about the height of four fingers stacked together. If the opening is not high enough or the stem is bent, replace the valve.
- Test the sealing gasket to make sure it is in good condition. If you press your thumbnail into it, the rubber should return to form.
Keep an eye out for these signs that your valve is in need of repair:
- Water is leaking from the top, even when the valve is closed.
- The top is visibly broken or cracked.
- The cover is missing.
- The concrete around the valve is cracked.
Building good berms
Berms are the raised barriers that help keep water on your property. The most common issue with berms is that they're too low to hold water or have been weakened from water pressure. Both cause water loss and waste.
Follow these tips to help you build and maintain good berms:
- Generally, your berms should be twice the height of the amount of the water you are receiving.
- Shovel dirt on the berm area needing repair.
- Mist the dirt with a fine spray of water, and then pack the dirt down gently with a shovel, a roller or your feet.
- Repeat the process until your berm is high and solid enough to hold all the water ordered within your property boundaries.
- Spread grass seed along the berm to help prevent soil erosion.
- If you need extra dirt, construction sites and pool companies are good places to reach out to.
Want to learn how to troubleshoot and maintain your irrigation system or repair berms? Watch these videos.
We’re always here to help
While it’s up to you and your neighbors to maintain and repair your neighborhood system, we’re available 24/7 to answer any questions or provide support. Just call the SRP Water Contact Center at (602) 236-3333(602) 236-3333.