Irrigation Terms

Understanding Irrigation Terms: Essential Terms You Should Know

Diving into the world of irrigation can sometimes feel like exploring uncharted waters, especially when trying to make sense of all the technical terms, from blowouts and purges to the word “Irrigation” itself. 

Whether you’re a homeowner or a business owner looking to keep your landscapes lush, understanding the language of irrigation is key to ensuring your green spaces thrive. Naiad Irrigation Systems Ltd. is here to break down some of the essential irrigation terms in a way that’s easy to grasp and apply.

Irrigation and Sprinkler Terminologies

Irrigation System

An irrigation system comprises various elements, such as the water source (like domestic service or a pump), the water distribution network (pipes, for example), control mechanisms (valves and controllers), emission devices (sprinklers and emitters), and potentially other essential irrigation tools (such as quick couplers and backflow preventers).


Valves, which are connected to both the timer and the water pipes, open to allow water to flow through the system when they receive an electrical signal from the timer. These valves are typically housed within an underground green plastic box.


The cycle involves applying water slowly and directly to the plant material’s specific root zone area, utilizing very low pressure for precise hydration.

Main Line

The main line is the pipeline that transports water from the street utility to the house and from the house to the sprinkler manifolds (the location of the sprinkler valves). These main water lines are constantly under pressure and should be installed at least 18 inches below ground, though local building codes may vary and should be consulted for specific depth requirements in your area.


Think of blowouts as your irrigation system’s winter coat. Just as you bundle up to face the cold, your irrigation lines need a bit of preparation to survive the winter chill. By using compressed air to clear out water from the system, blowouts prevent the freezing and expanding water from causing damage. 

Avoiding costly repairs is crucial, and Naiad offers top-notch winterization services to keep your system cozy and protected.

Backflow Prevention

A backflow prevention device is like the gatekeeper of your water supply, ensuring that only clean water flows through your taps. It’s an unsung hero that keeps the water in your irrigation system from mixing with your drinking water, safeguarding your health and peace of mind.


Purges are all about giving your irrigation system a good spring cleaning and flushing out any debris or stagnant water that’s settled in. It’s like clearing the cobwebs, ensuring that water flows smoothly and your system works without a hitch.


Creating zones in your irrigation system is like having different rooms in your house, each with its own lighting needs. Zoning allows you to customize watering based on the unique needs of different areas, ensuring that your rose garden doesn’t get the same drenching as your sturdy shrubs. It’s smart, efficient, and saves water (and money) in the process.

Smart Controllers

Smart controllers are the geniuses of the irrigation world. They adjust your watering schedule based on the weather, soil moisture, and even plant types. It’s like having a weatherman and a botanist rolled into one, ensuring your garden gets what it needs and when it needs it.

Furthermore, our Naiad customers are equipped with Wi-Fi timer irrigation systems, which save water significantly and set a shining example of sustainability in action! 

Navigating the Waters With Naiad

Understanding the suite of services we offer at Naiad isn’t just about knowing what’s available—it’s about unlocking the potential of your outdoor spaces. We hope what our team provided here is helpful when learning about the irrigation process, but call us anytime at (587) 296-8456 if you have any questions; we’ll be happy to help! 

Whether it’s laying the foundation with a new installation, keeping things running smoothly with maintenance, or wrapping up your system against the winter chill, we’re here every step of the way. 

Book a service or call us today @ 587-200-3994. We provide top-notch services from Irrigation Association-certified professionals.