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Working with your neighbors to maintain your irrigation system

Irrigation is a team effort from start to finish. Canals, dams, lakes and laterals help make up the larger system, but neighborhoods have an equally important role. Each homeowner who receives irrigation water has a responsibility to uphold in their neighborhood irrigation system.

Know your neighborhood system

It is always a good idea to have a printed or digital copy of the irrigation schedule along with a contact number for everyone who irrigates in your subdivision. Neighbors who work together have the most success when it is time to irrigate.   

You can find a map of your neighborhood online by logging in to your SRP My Account™ profile or by calling the SRP Water Contact Center at (602) 236-3333 to request one. You’ll also need to know the name of your subdivision, which we can also help identify if needed. 

Tips for settling disputes

The most successful irrigation systems require neighbors to work together throughout the year. Neighbors should work together to make repairs and help maintain their system.  

Sometimes there can be miscommunications among neighbors. For example, most of the time when your neighbor is getting water at the wrong time, it is by mistake. The best thing to do is to go talk to your neighbor and work out the problem.  

Remember, problems can best be resolved by staying calm and listening to each other. Some neighborhoods choose to select a “key homeowner” who acts as an unbiased moderator and can assist with disagreements. If that doesn’t help, and you need help meditating a dispute with your neighbor, call us at (602) 236-3333 to schedule an appointment with a Field Service Liaison.

How Field Service Liaisons can help

A Field Service Liaison is an SRP employee who can help you learn how to irrigate successfully. Some of the services they provide include:

  • Troubleshooting your private irrigation system when you have problems. 
  • Help you troubleshoot lot coverage.  
  • Provide you with a dry-up so you can safely make repairs to your private system.  
  • Verify any repairs you made. 
  • Help you learn how your neighborhood irrigation system works.  
  • Mediate disputes with your neighbors. 

Hire professional irrigation services

Commercial irrigators are available for hire to manage private irrigation systems. Please note, these companies are not affiliated with SRP. If you are not happy with their service, please contact the commercial irrigator directly to resolve any disputes you may have. 

If you’re considering hiring a commercial irrigation service, remember to: 

  • Request at least three detailed estimates from irrigators. Prices and irrigation delivery services can vary significantly. 
  • Request at least three references from prospective irrigators. If possible, you should also try to visit or speak with other customers of that company. Speaking with at least three references should give you a good idea about the irrigator’s work and work ethic. 
  • Require the irrigator to put all irrigation delivery services in writing. This will help you better protect your investment. If the service expectations change at any given time, make sure these changes are also documented in writing. 
  • Read all documentation carefully before you sign. It is important to understand all that you agree to, so that there are no regrets or misunderstandings later. For your protection, check with the Better Business Bureau on any irrigator you are considering hiring.

Tips for managing common irrigation issues

Less water upon delivery

If your water does not cover your yard, it is because the property grade is not allowing the water to run downhill. Over time, dirt and sediment will build up on your property, causing the water to pool up in some places and not to reach other places in your yard. If your property has been irrigated for years and you have never leveled your property or “graded it,” then it might be time to do so.  

If you have questions about property grade, call us to schedule an appointment with a Field Service Liaison. Our experts have been trained to identify coverage issues, including property grade. If you already know it is a property grade issue, consider hiring a licensed contractor who specializes in property grade.   

If there seems to be less water pressure, this is often a result of a plug in the irrigation pipe, dirt and debris in open ditches and missing or worn seals, ports and gates. Private irrigation systems need quarterly and annual inspections, maintenance and repairs. Check out these videos to help you identify your water pressure issue. 

Water overflowing the yard

The fastest way to stop water that is overflowing is to locate where the water is coming from. More than likely, someone forgot to open their valve or port at their scheduled time.  

Look at the irrigation schedule to determine what house should be irrigated. Contact that person and ask them to open their valve or port. If you are unable to do that, contact us as soon as possible and we will have a Zanjero turn off the delivery.  

How Zanjeros can help

The work title, “Zanjero,” belongs to team members who specialize in helping keep our water flowing. Zanjeros are always on-call to help customers with flooding or other irrigation issues.  

Zanjeros are also available to help confirm the amount of water customers are scheduled to receive and can ensure that gates are free of debris. Follow a day in the life of a Zanjero. 

Construction and dry-ups

If there is a new development being built nearby that is impacting your private irrigation system, the first thing you should do is contact the developer. Most developments will have a contact number on the fence, truck or office trailer. The sooner you contact them, the sooner — and better — you can educate them on how your private irrigation system works and where it is located.  

If you have questions about your rights as a private irrigation system owner, they can be found in the Arizona Revised Statutes on Water Title 45. If you are unable to contact the developer, call us to discuss the issue with a Field Service Liaison. 

Another disruption that can take place is our annual dry-ups. Every fall and winter, parts of SRP’s major canals north and south of the Salt River are dried up to allow for construction, cleanup and repairs.  

During this time, most water delivery requests cannot be fulfilled. This is the best time of year for you to also construct, cleanup and repair your private system. View the annual dry-up schedule.

If you would like to safely repair the neighborhood system, call the Water Contact Center and ask for a private system dry up.

New to irrigation?

Schedule an overview with one of our knowledgeable Field Service Liaisons by contacting us any time at (602) 236-3333

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