The green grass, healthy plants, and thriving trees on your Atlanta commercial property only scratch the surface of the big landscape picture. There’s a whole underground world of irrigation lines connected to everything from sprinklers to valves, all critical infrastructure for keeping landscapes properly watered in our climate.
You can easily produce a plan that shows where every shrub and flower is placed on site. (It’s not hard to draw what you can see.) But what about what lies beneath? Do you know the location of your water main line, irrigation system clocks, valves, and sprinkler heads?
Understanding the layout of your irrigation system is important so you can accurately locate components for a seamless repair. Also, if you plan on adding to or upgrading the system, you’ll want an irrigation map to guide construction. Finally, before you dig into any landscape design projects on your grounds, it’s highly beneficial to understand how your irrigation system is mapped in case you need to make alterations.
Irrigation Mapping: Different Than The As-Built Plan
An irrigation map identifies key components of your commercial property’s irrigation system—including the many parts you don’t see. A precise, high-quality irrigation map is color-coded, showing where one zone ends and another begins. It marks every valve, every sprinkler head. The map shows irrigation clocks and clearly identifies the mainline for the system.
An irrigation map portrays what actually exists on your property, and this is an important distinction between the map and an as-built irrigation plan. An as-built plan is created by an engineer prior to installing the irrigation system. The thing is, during installation the irrigation technicians can make changes based on your landscape’s needs. What we’re saying is, irrigation systems don’t always get installed as planned. If you rely on an as-built irrigation plan as “the map,” it’s like following directions to a destination only to find roads are closed. You’ll wind up getting lost.
Irrigation maps portray exactly what irrigations are on the property, and where those key components are located.
Creating An Irrigation Map For Your Atlanta Property
How is an irrigation map drawn up? The process begins with an experienced irrigation technician identifying the mainline and irrigation clocks. From there, a device called a valve locator is used to identify every single wire in the irrigation system. Each wire leads to a valve that must be marked on the map.
Properties can contain multiple irrigation clocks and dozens of valves. A modest-sized property we completed recently included 80 valves and five irrigation clocks. The process took two experienced technicians about three weeks to complete the map.
Once valves are located, specific measurements are located and marked. Then, sprinkler heads are identified and recorded on the irrigation map. A completed hand-drawn map is transferred to CAD (an electronic map), and this can be used as a master plan for the property. Some facility managers use the irrigation map as a base; then they add marks for utilities like gas lines or mark other wiring such as light poles.
Landscape Irrigation Mapping Saves Time And Money
If your irrigation system requires service, an irrigation map will guide technicians directly to components they need to diagnose so they can solve problems. Otherwise, repairs and even general service can take longer while technicians essentially guess at the location of valves. (Again, the as-built plan is often not completely accurate.)
Also, an irrigation map is valuable if a property is on the market for sale. Owners who can access the details of infrastructure like irrigation appreciate knowing exactly what is on the grounds.
If you do not have access to an accurate irrigation map for your property, now might be the time to consider getting one. These documents will reduce headaches at service time and ease the construction process if you upgrade your irrigation system or expand it with the addition of new landscaping.
Curious to learn more about what “lies beneath” on your commercial property? Call us anytime at 678.298.0550, or fill out this simple contact form and we’ll get in touch with you.Last modified: November 5, 2021