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Anatomy of an Irrigation System

Anatomy of an Irrigation System

Alina Golovinova |

Main Supply (Source)

This is either a municipal water supply or a well (Gulf Islands, Rural). The water source will have a capacity in both gallons per hour(GPM) and pressure (PSI)and an irrigation system must suit the capacity of the supply. In the case of a municipal connection you will need to connect on the private water service line and your connection must be connected by a double check back flow preventer. BC Building code requires a permit to make this connection and it must be done by a qualified backflow installer.

Main Line

  • The main line is under constant pressure and needs to be constructed of high quality piping and associated fittings. The types of pipe used for main lines include Municipal Polyethylene
  • PVC Schedule 40
  • PEX 


The main line is connected to a manifold. A manifold is a pipe or chamber that has a number of opening. In an irrigation system there will be one opening for each valve/zone.


The laterals are only under pressure when you are watering/valve is open. As there is less strain a less expensive pipe is normally used. These pipe are:

  • Blu-Lock (and associated push fit fittings)
  • PVC Schedule 200
  • Prime Polyethylene

Irrigation Controllers

There is a large number of controllers available in the market. The sophistication ranges from single zone battery timers that can be used in places without power to systems that are connected to the internet an control dozens of sprinkler zones. Typical residential controllers control from 4 – 16 zones and have a variety of features. Drop by and we’ll help you choose a controller that is right for you.