As a homeowner with a lawn to maintain, you may find yourself asking what the difference is between an irrigation system and a sprinkler system. Is one better than the other? Which one’s right for me? Convenience, efficiency, cost, and water conservation should be the primary factors driving your decision. So, let’s get down to the difference between Underground Irrigation Vs Sprinklers.

Underground Irrigation Vs Sprinklers

Sprinkler systems

Built-in sprinkler systems can be wonderful for watering large, flat areas of your lawn. They’re created with a water line that runs beneath the ground. This ensures that it’s protected from your lawnmower and anything else that may damage it. With this system, you can set it with a timer and adjust it after a day of heavy rain. Having it on a schedule will ensure your plants get watered at the optimal time and with the perfect amount of water. Sprinklers are easy to use and usually low cost. If you have a particularly larger lawn, you can opt for rotary or rainbird systems that can go the distance. There’s no need to worry about missing a spot. If you have a smaller lawn, one small sprinkler may be all that’s needed.

Unfortunately, there are disadvantages to sprinkler systems.

Despite their convenience, they can contribute to a good deal of water waste. A hot or windy day can cause an extreme amount of evaporation and blow over. Some homeowners can lose up to 80 percent of their water with this issue. Not only is that detrimental to our environment, but it’s also throwing your own money down the drain. If you reside in a city where drought is common and water costs are high, sprinklers may not be the best option for you.

They’re also not generally great at penetrating your lawn very deeply, causing you to have to run it for longer if you’re looking to get adequate water to your plant’s roots. Since the sprinklers are basically just soaking your plants instead of irrigating the soil, unwanted pests can rear their ugly heads. Uneven water distribution equals excessively wet foliage and with excessively wet foliage comes bacterial and fungal diseases for your plants.

What is an underground irrigation system?

A drip irrigation system has a system of pipes, tubes, and emitters that will help trickle water directly and efficiently into the soil. Because of this, there is no water waste from evaporation or runoff. Water conservation is an obvious advantage with irrigation systems. Drip irrigation is able to focus on one area (typically your plants) instead of watering those in-betweens places that don’t need it (such as walkways). It also waters areas at a slower pace instead of drowning your foliage as sprinklers can often do. The soil is able to actually soak in the water properly causing less erosion and less runoff. It’s also known that gardeners with an underground irrigation system typically have fewer weeds to deal with. Since the watering is concentrated in the correct area, weeds don’t typically grow in the areas that don’t need watering. Being able to work in your garden is another plus. Since there’s less chance of muddiness, you can even get to work while the system’s running. The root systems of your plants will be healthier and stronger and no more muddy rain boots for you!

Unfortunately, underground irrigation can come with its own disadvantages as well. It can often come with a hefty startup price as well as a significant amount of installation time. However, if you choose metered city water, you can save money over time. If you’re using it for your garden, you’ll need to pack it up every season as you won’t want to have it out during the long winter months. This means putting in the energy to do so and having enough storage space to keep it. Additionally, they do hold the potential to clog with debris, algae, and mineral buildup. You’ll want to inspect and clean periodically throughout the season.

Combining the two

Maybe you have borders you need to keep hydrated and a garden and lawn that you need properly watered. In this case, you can opt for both systems. Having both can guarantee that your plants and trees are getting watered at their roots and your entire lawn is getting evenly watered. Choosing the best system is entirely dependent on what your lawn needs. These advantages and disadvantages of both should get you on your way to the right decision for you.

Pioneer Underground Lawn Sprinklers | Omaha’s Best Commercial & Residential Sprinkler Systems

Contact Pioneer Underground Lawn Sprinklers to schedule a free estimate on a system install or to find out what you can do to make your existing system more efficient. We welcome commercial and residential clients. And remember, whether you need our services now… or later in the season, Your Healthy Lawn is Our Passion and we are only a phone call away! Call 402-934-7900 to schedule your service.