Irrigation Problems - Solved

Back of the RV Drive

What a difference a couple of days make! We were bemoaning the problems we had with a busted irrigation system just a couple of days ago and today the problem is non-existent. Our landscape contractor found the time to come here and fix our woes this week instead of what we thought would be a delay of unknown length. They quickly diagnosed the problems, made the changes and this evening, all is working again.

Of course, the fixes weren’t all as simple as I make them sound in the first paragraph. They actually spent considerable time cleaning up the area behind the RV drive where our “Rosemary Farm” is growing - or maybe overgrowing. In the composite image above, you can see the after cleanup of the back area - I could look in the photo archives to find a before picture, but I’m too lazy this evening. ;)

I forget the exact number of one gallon rosemary shrubs they originally planted back there, but it was over fifty and under a hundred. Each one with a watering tube of its own from the irrigation feed line planted on the hill just above the shrubs. After the cleanup as shown, the crew installed an all new main line and “spaghetti” feeders for each shrub. This time, the feeders are short and they extended the larger diameter feed line for each group of two or three shrubs. We tested it this afternoon and it looks like everybody is getting the water they need in our arid climate.

The first thing they fixed (yesterday) was the leak shown in our previous post about the problem. They also replaced one of two electrically-controlled valves that activate the two main feeder lines according to the program set up in the controller. Both the leak and the valve malfunction contributed to the excessive water usage we have been experiencing.

We are still in the process of doing some other work with the landscapers; there is another area we want to have irrigated where we acquired a nice ocotillo after the fact. There is also some overdue rock and cactus garden maintenance they are willing to do while they are available. We should be in pretty good shape after they’re done with that and won’t need to do any of that for ourselves until after the weather cools down a bit.


  1. drjim said,

    September 10, 2019 @ 21:35:38

    Sounds like you have a very competent contractor. Good to hear they took of everything in short-order.

    I can’t believe how much water we use here on the yard. It would have cost us $800/month in Long Beach, and I’m sure the Water Police would have paid us a call, too!

  2. CapnBob said,

    September 10, 2019 @ 21:56:07

    We’re very happy with the quick fix to the plumbing. They are good, been using them for years now.

    Our usual water bill is on the order of $20/mo here. With the problem, it topped $50. In addition, we get a “wastewater” usage fee for the sewer system whether the water goes into the sewer or not.

    When in 2014 the waterline broke in Torrance, the bill was 2 or 3 hundred, nowhere near the $800 in LGB you quoted. Wow!

    Still so glad we’re outa K’stan . . .

  3. drjim said,

    September 10, 2019 @ 23:10:29

    We hit $250 one month when I’d first moved in with her in Long Beach because I wanted the yard to look nice, and was promptly told to knock it off!

    The electric and sewer/water are run by the city here (combined bill, nicely broken down by category), and now that we know how to properly heat and cool the place, it’s very reasonable.

    But that first $500 electric bill in the winter sure woke us up!

    What would be considered “Excessive Water Use” in Kommifornia doesn’t raise an eye here…..

  4. CapnBob said,

    September 11, 2019 @ 12:51:48

    Arizona Power Service (APS) is our electricity provider. We have an arrangement with them to pay a flat rate all year so we don’t get the summer bump when the A/C runs a lot. We (in over eight years) have yet to heat the house during the cooler months. We just put on warm clothing and that seems to do the trick. The annual electric bill is on the order of $1824.00 or $152/mo.

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