SRP’s ‘Show Off Your Irrigation’ contest

Flood irrigation tips and inspiration from SRP customers

It’s irrigation season in the Valley and customers are sharing their irrigation tips and spreading the irrigation love through an SRP Water Services team contest. Here’s a collection of the yards and lives flourishing from the water that started high in the mountains of Arizona, ending as irrigation on original SRP lands.

Fun for everyone


Chris Lange said, “I love irrigation! To cover the area we need to cover, irrigation makes it possible so my kids and family can enjoy the lawn, plus our livestock can naturally graze all year round.”

Staying safe

At SRP, we love a good safety tip and Kevin Veal had a great one to share: “Our dog, Noodle, can’t get enough of playing in our backyard transformed into a wading pool! But please make sure that your kids (including the four-legged babies) are under close supervision when your SRP irrigation order is running.”

Matt Gorman’s pup enjoys irrigation day. He shared, “I love my irrigation, but my dog loves it more.”

Finding what works


Georgina Marin said, “Originally, I was going to convert my new-to-me property to xeriscaping until an SRP representative came out and explained the benefits and process. My dog’s reaction to irrigation sealed the deal 😁.”

Georgina Marin shared some great tips:

  • Get to know your neighbors so you can coordinate gate activities.
  • Clean and maintain your ditch, gate or valve because grass and weeds slow flow.
  • Follow the schedule and ensure gates are opened/closed at appropriate times and communicate to your downstream neighbor if you’re opening the gate to them early.
  • Wear high waterproof galoshes, because water is freezing in winter.
  • Wear a headlight at night for safety and to monitor irrigation activity.
  • Carry a rake around to remove debris while it’s floating on top in the yard and in the ditch.
  • Teach your family and others in case you are unavailable so they to can do the irrigation activity while you’re gone. Your trees and the wildlife will thank you.

Enjoying the history of SRP irrigation

Image shows a yard and home surrounded by shallow water.
Wayne Evans shows off his “lake for a day” at sunset with irrigation.

Wayne Evans said, “Irrigation makes my home an oasis in the desert. The reliable water supply provided by the Salt River Project brought my grandparents to Mesa in 1929 and helped the desert blossom like a rose. I still enjoy irrigating my acre, growing trees and lawn. I live on the lake for a day.”

Great for trees

Shannon Green Leavitt 's yard featuring producing trees.
The Leavitt family’s yard

Shannon Green Leavitt shared, “We love irrigation for our citrus, peach and pecan trees. They produce so well with irrigation water! It works really well for us to communicate with our neighbors before and after us to prevent flooding and maximize our water use.”

Tropical paradise

Image shares numerous tropical plants growing

Garrett Hill shared, “This is 21st-century gardening and water management. We are located in Gilbert. Our system has five zones integrated with Rachio 3, wireless flow meter and a weather system.”

High- and low-tech hacks

Wayne Bowser said, “It’s that time of year again when locals receive flood irrigation. This water originates in the high mountains to the east and in the Tonto National Forest, and is sent through a series of ancient canals managed by Salt River Project. It’s important to note, this type of yard watering is not for everyone, but for those with large lawns and old fruit trees, like pecans and pomegranate, we love the chlorine-free means of providing deep watering for our landscapes.”
Joel Wakefield shares his water-saving practices that use ancient and current technology.
Image shows a young boy on a paddleboard surrounded by shallow irrigation water.
The Potter family knows how to have fun and make the most of their irrigation.

The Potters had some great tips for measuring and getting the most out of their water: “Paddle boards work great if you take off the fins. Also, if you use a stick instead of a paddle, you aerate your lawn at the same time. Another tip is using our wireless Arlo security cameras and a ruler to manage water height in specific areas.”

Gene Sparks shared, “I love irrigating my back property because it is easy and my citrus trees just love it too! The best tip I can give regarding flood irrigation is maintain your valves well and take only the amount of water that you need.”
Image shows 3 children playing on short boogie board surrounded by shallow water
The Call family enjoys their irrigation and knows just how to direct it to the right spots.

The Calls shared their tips for the right flow: “We use stacked pavers to create a ditch and direct the irrigation around areas or to areas. Works great.”

Dedication and communication are key

Image shows a home bordered by rose bushes with many blooms
Rebecca Maguire’s roses put on a show.

Rebecca Maguire said, “I am happy to have irrigation rights because it keeps my property cooler in summer. And the roses love it! Always watch the water during your run to keep it going where it should. Also, have the neighbor’s number on speed dial so you can have them take the water if you fill up early.”

Image shows a man and a woman in their raised bed garden which uses irrigation.
The Gellenbecks are keeping ancient traditions alive in a sustainable way.

Keeping traditions alive

Terrence Gellenbeck shared, “Why do I love irrigating? Keep Phoenix Beautiful’s Pierson Street “Model” Community Garden uses SRP irrigation as the most efficient and effective means to water our gardens throughout the entire year, continuing to use the same watering methods of the Native Americans before us. We have also learned to store water to use when needed.”

Building berms for native species plants

Arizona Sean shared his tip for keeping native species and irrigation compatible: “Some native plants like desert smoke tree, Mexican elder berry or Rhus ovata (sugar bush) like to be near flood irrigation waters, but not in it. So building up little dirt berms helps some plants use the water, which also helps cut down on the volume of water needed.”

And the winner is ...

Thank you to everyone for sharing photos and videos showing off your beautifully irrigated lawns. Congratulations to Georgina Marin on being selected as our grand-prize winner! We appreciate all of the tips that were shared and encourage everyone to check out other posts on SRP’s Facebook wall for helpful advice.

Learn more about irrigation at srpnet.com/irrigationhelp.

Tiffany Bolton

Tiffany Bolton

Tiffany is a lifelong learner, water nerd and mom. An Arizona transplant, she loves calling the Valley home, even though she kills a garden full of plants each year. When not writing about SRP, she enjoys reading one book each week and driving her minivan.

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