Clear Cut Landscape & Irrigation
This is a backflow device. There are 5 types of backflow devices, but this PVB (pressure vacuum breaker) is the device used on residential properties. By law (TCEQ) the device must sit 12" higher than the highest head on the property. These devices work like the valves in your heart to keep contaminents on the ground from going backwards into the water supply and possibly poisoning someone. It is also the only part of the system above ground (other than the control box), which is why it must be insulated. The first picture shows the insulation in place, and the second picture shows the insulation wrapped in black tape to make it's appearance a little better. The brass bell looking mechanism on top functions somewhat like a relief valve, so it must not be covered. We do recommend wrapping a towel around it when a freeze is expected as the mechanism may pop under pressure and the top may pop off. The towel will help keep it from freezing and popping, and if it does pop, as it should, the top will not be lost. The PVB must also be test certified upon installation and each year after.
The control box is basically a timer. You set the days and time to water, and set each zone/station to water a specific amount of time. The control box is usually mounted in the garage on a residential property and outside on a commercial property.
These two pictures are showing the tie in at the water supply. A shut off valve is installed so the system can be shut down if needed. The black piece with the green top is a valve cover placed over the shut off valve.
Rotors working at a commercial installation.
This control box is a Hunter Pro-C box. The other brand that is widely used is Rainbird. Both brands are easy to use, and have the capability to run the system at several times a day, and to have the zones on different programs, so you can water the flower beds daily and the grass three times a week, for example. These boxes have a 9 volt battery as a back up so if there is a power outage it will retain the programming information. There is also a rain sensor that is required to be added (TCEQ) that will keep the control box from turning on if it is raining.
Irrigation works off the pressure of the water supply. There are two types of spraying mechanisms; spray heads, which supply water in a continuous stream, and rotors, which supply water in a rotating manner. The spray heads are used in areas up to 17' distance and rotors are used in areas larger than 17'. They both are a tube inside a tube and the water pressure itself pushes the head up out of the ground to it's designed height to spray. Each head requires a certain amount of pressure, or GPM/gallons per minute, to push them up. Each property has a certain amount of water pressure coming from their supply, and the calculations on that amount of pressure gives the irrigator a total of GPM that can be used on one zone. That is one of the reasons the property is broken up into zones. Another reason is that spray heads and rotors should not be mixed on one zone as their precipitation rates are different. By the time the rotating rotors water an area the spray heads would soak the area they area watering, so they are not put on one zone together. Another reason is that flower beds are on a separate zone than turf. So when an irrigator is designing the system they will have several zones to accommodate the specific areas and to fall within the GPM established by the pressure of the water supply.
Another valve manifold without the valve covers in place. You can clearly see the solenoid and wires.
This is a valve manifold. You can see the main line pipe behind the valves that is supplying the water. The pipes coming out of the valves are going toward each zone/station. Again, the black piece with the green top over the valves are valve covers to have easy access to the valves. You can also see the wires coming from the control box to the solenoid that controls the opening and closing of the valve.
Irrigation in the state of Texas is controlled by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, or TCEQ. Clear Cut runs under Licensed Irrigator LI7643.
We repair and install irrigation for both commercial and residential properties. To install irrigation a permit must be pulled by the licensed irrigator from the municipality where it is being installed. To repair irrigation a permit is only needed if the water supply will be impacted.
Every irrigation system in the state of Texas must have a backflow device installed downstream of the water supply and upstream of any and all connections coming off the main supply line. When a system has been installed, the inspector from that municipality will perform an inspection to insure that no other lines are coming off the main between these two points. The system will not pass inspection if this occurs.
Clear Cut is diligent about keeping up with their license requirements and permit requirements. Continuing education is an on-going requirement to maintain our license. Some irrigators have received a license and then do not keep up with their continuing education and the license expires. When working with an irrigator, get their license number and check their status on the TCEQ web site. Here is the link to check the licensee; http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/licensing. Under General Occupational Licensing Information you will see Search License Information. Click on that and enter the LI number of the individual that you would like to check on.
All licensed irrigators must list their LI number on their trucks, business cards, bids, contracts, and any other pertinent paperwork. Make sure you are dealing with a reputable, currently licensed individual.