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Question DetailsAsked on 7/22/2017

TD
Trees dying drowning in yard water pooling below earth. Suspect sprinkler system happens after running them

We have had the sprinkler installers out twice they say there isn't a leak even after I showed them after running sprinklers the water pooling. I made him digholes in 3 suspect areas. They say it is the grade of our yard pushing water into these areas. I believe there is a problem because it only happens after we run the sprinklers. I have pictures of water pooling up right under the sprinkler irrigation. They have denied it twice that there is not a leak. Please help. Not one of my neighbors around me is,having this problem so I don't think it is the grade. The water has killed 2 trees, a live oak and a Mexican oak. And several others are yellow and drowning as well. We have had n o high water bills, but something has to be wrong if water is. Instantly filling up from below after we run our sprinklers. We have the TINIEST yard too. It doesn't make sense to have this excess of water coming from below the earth if it's not a leak.

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Because you say it only occurs when using the sprinkler system, not in/after normal rains or other times, that rules out a hidden drain pipe, a spring, excessive rain runoff or leak from neighbor yards, leaking pipe or sewer, etc.


Sounds like you need a new Lawn Irrigation company who knows how to diagnose a sprinkler system leak - or maybe that you are watering too long for the permeability of your lawn (like if the lawn is real compacted or you have clayey subsoil) so it is indeed runoff from the sprinklers. I would say if this does not show up in the first 15 minutes or so of sprinkling, then maybe it is not a leak and is due to hard or impermeable soil and you need to go with more frequent shorter watering sessions.


Couple of ways to attack this diagnosis:


1) sometimes, though gets tough right near operating sprinkler heads, is to cover the heads so you don't get soaked (or turn them off if type that can be individually turned to zero flow) and then charge the system, and listen for a leak using a metal rod and your ear or a stethoscope to it to move along the lines of the irrigation piping, listening for the sound of a leak.


2) a drier method though one that will work only if the leak is not near a sprinkler head (unless you turn the individual heads to zero flow) is to use a thermal infrared camera or a smartphone or tablet with the camera sensitivity adjusted all the way to the near infra-red end of the spectrum - the cold water starting to pool on the surface will show clearly in the image. You can get Apps to do this to most modern smart phones and tablets - comes built-in on at least many iPhones and iPads.


3) another solution is to temporarily remove and plug the sprinkler head risers (or shut the heads off if the type which can be turned down to zero flow) and then charge the system to see where the water pops up, as no water should be coming out if all the heads are plugged. Most sprinkler heads can be unscrewed from the irrigation system piping and have standard pipe thread, so would just mean buying enough PVC pipe plugs to replace all the sprinkler heads. Once water pops up, listening at the ground or with a metal rod should tie down the leak location within inches.

Answered 1 year ago by LCD




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