- Author: Lowell Cooper
At first, I thought that I would postpone this entry until I found and fixed an irrigation leak which was actually identified by the Benicia water company. It is not visible from the surface, so I was surprised. But I have been losing enough water that I have been concerned. So, I marched around my garden turning off irrigation zones, which is not too simple since there are 7 irrigation lines divided into 3 zones. All the main lines are underground though the emitters are drip and above ground. The system is about 20 years and, as I am sure you can imagine, a lot has gone on in this garden in 20 years where I have redirected lines and installed piping to cater to my changing plant tastes.
My first challenge was reading the ‘smart' meters so I could see how my fixes were going. That took a special appointment with the city meter reader to get a quick lesson on how to read it. Early on in the process, I turned off the irrigation and voila, no leak. I guess I could breathe a sigh of relief that there was no leak in or under the house or the concrete driveway.
Then I called a leak detection company. They came over and were willing to tackle the irrigation, though if truth be told, I don't think they had much experience with this kind of thing. They did guarantee that they would stick with the project until they found the leak and the person they sent was a really decent fellow. He took his probe in hand and off he went poking around. There were signs of water everywhere and he was running around alternatively poking, turning off pieces of the system, and reading the meter. A 2-hour appointment stretched into 4 hours and I was beginning to lose faith in the wisdom of their way. At some point, I called an old landscaper. Just my luck, she had had an accident and was unavailable. I was trapped with a nice but moderately incompetent guy.
Poking continued with a second block of a couple of hours of running around, poking and reading the meter. The choreography of this event must have looked like a timed Easter-egg hunt. To date, I have fixed a bunch of what looked like leaks but the water loss is still there. As I write this, I am preparing to embark on another explore to find the crucial leak. I assume that I eventually will. Does anyone know a leak specialist who specializes in irrigation? I have a lot of patience and will persist, but will I overcome?