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irrigation vocabular

TermDefinition
APPLICATION RATE A measurement of the volume of water applied to landscape in a given time. (In the United States, usually expressed in inches per week
ARC The area a part-circle sprinkler irrigates, expressed in degrees of a circle. For example, a 90 degree arc provides quarter-circle coverage, while an 180 degree arc provides half-circle coverage.
IRRIGATION AUDIT A detailed review of an irrigation system, including tests to determine overall system efficiency, identify problems areas that need correction, and determine an ideal watering schedule.
AUTOMATIC CONTROL VALVE A valve which is activated by an automatic controller using electric or hydraulic means. Synonymous with Remote Control Valve.
BACKFLOW The unwanted reverse flow of liquids in a piping system.
BACKFLOW PREVENTER A mechanical device which prevents backflow. In irrigation, it is used to protect the potable water supply from potentially contaminated irrigation water.
CHECK VALVE A valve which allows water to flow in one direction only. Check valves are used to prevent low head drainage.
CONTROLLER This is the brain of the sprinkler system. The controller automatically opens and closes valves according to a preset schedule.
COVERAGE The area of landscape watered by a sprinkler or grouping of sprinklers.
DISTRIBUTION UNIFORMITY A calculated value that shows how evenly water is distributed in a sprinkler system to avoid excessively wet or dry areas in the landscape. It depends on the spacing of sprinklers, type of sprinkler used, wind and water pressure among other factors.
DRAIN VALVE A valve used to empty water from a lateral or main line, usually for winterization purposes.
DRIP IRRIGATION A low volume watering method that delivers water slowly and directly to the plant roots for maximum efficiency.
DYNAMIC PRESSURE The pressure of the irrigation system during operation. Synonymous with Working Pressure.
FLOW The movement of water.
FRICTION LOSS The amount of pressure lost as water flows through a system. Synonymous with Pressure Loss.
GPM gallons per minute
HEAD TO HEAD COVERAGE The practice of placing sprinklers so that water from one sprinkler overlaps all the way to the next sprinkler head. This helps to increase overall system efficiency and prevents dry spots in the landscape.
INFILTRATION RATE The rate at which water enters the soil, usually expressed in depthof water per hour. (In the United States, usually expressed in inches per hour. Its metric equivalent is centimeters per hour.) Infiltration rate is determined by the type of soil.
LATERAL The pipe installed downstream from the control valve on which the sprinklers are located.
MAIN (MAINLINE) A pipe under constant pressure which supplies water from the point of connection to the control valves.
MASTER VALVE A valve used to protect the landscape from flooding in case of a ruptured main or malfunctioning downstream valve. The master valve is installed on the mainline after the backflow preventer and the control valves.
MICROCLIMATE The unique environmental conditions in a particular area of the landscape. Factors include amount of sunlight or shade, soil type, slope and wind.
MOISTURE SENSOR A device which monitors the amount of water present in the soil and modifies the watering schedule accordingly.
(PVC) PIPE A semi-rigid plastic material used in irrigation systems.
(PE) PIPE A flexible black pipe used in irrigation systems.
PRESSURE LOSS The amount of pressure lost as water flows through a system. Synonymous with Friction Loss.
PROGRAM The watering plan or schedule that tells the controller exactly when and how long to run each set of sprinklers.
PSI per square inch
RAIN SENSOR A device which prevents the controller from activating the valves when a preset amount of rainfall is detected.
RETRACTION When the pop-up riser of a sprinkler such as a spray head or rotor returns to the case in the ground. Also called Pop-down.
RUN-OFF Water which is not absorbed by the soil and drains to another location. Run-off occurs when water is applied in excessive amounts or too quickly for the soil to absorb.
SOIL TYPE The texture and structure of the soil particles which affects its ability to take in and store water for use by plants. Soils range from clay to loam to sand. Clay soils take in water more slowly than loam or sandy soils (lower infiltration rate).
SOLENOID An electromagnet which is connected to a controller and causes the opening and closing of automatic control valves.
TRANSPIRATION The process where a plant's moisture is lost to the atmosphere through its leaves.
VALVE A valve is like a faucet. Valves respond to commands from the controller. When valves receive a signal to open, water flows to the sprinklers. when they receive another signal to close, the flow of water stops.
WATERING DAYS The specific days of the week on which watering will take place. For example, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, or every third day.
ZONE A section of an irrigation system served by a single control valve. Zones are comprised of similar sprinkler types and plant material types with similar water requirements and soil types.
Created by: dale33