DENVER — A cold air mass is set to cover most of the country this week bringing frigid temperatures to the Centennial State.
The National Weather Service (NWS) is forecasting high temperatures in Denver to be near or below freezing for several days.
Overnight low temperatures will fall below 20 degrees several nights this week including 10-degree lows Thursday and Friday.
Many Coloradans are wondering when they should winterize their sprinkler lines.
When should I turn off the system?
9NEWS spoke with garden experts who say October is the perfect time to winterize sprinkler systems, especially once lows begin to drop below freezing at night and lawns require less water with daytime highs in the 60s.
Grass in Colorado will begin to go dormant at the end of October and beginning of November.
If you wait until November to blow out your sprinklers, you could face a hefty sprinkler repair bill.
What about manually watering?
Remember to water your trees and shrubs by hand periodically throughout winter so they don't dry out too much during stretches of warm weather.
What's a backflow preventer?
It's a device that’s installed on your home’s water pipes that allows water to flow in one direction, but never in the opposite direction.
The purpose of a backflow preventer is to prevent drinking water from being contaminated due to backflow from your irrigation system.
The backflow preventer is usually a set of brass pipes located around your house that stick up out of the ground.
How do I turn off my system?
STEP 1: Locate the valve that shuts of the water to your irrigation system and turn it to the off position. (Not the whole house, just the irrigation.)
This irrigation valve can be located in the home, basement or crawl space. In some cases, if irrigation water is separate, the valve can be in an underground box out near the curb.
STEP 2: Once the water is shut off, drain the water out of your backflow preventer. This process is different with different systems.
If there are valves on the backflow preventer itself, turn the two blue levers a quarter turn and the two screws a quarter turn. You don't want them to be all the way shut or open.
Then, turn the water release valve at the end of the irrigation manifold to release the water.
If there are no valves on the backflow preventer, there is likely a release valve at the bottom of a large capped PVC pipe. This requires a special tool to reach down an turn the knob that releases the water.
STEP 3: Once the water is off and the backflow preventer is drained, the next step is to cover it by wrapping it with towels and duct tape, and then drape a blanket over it.
Now that your sprinkler system is ready for winter, you may need to periodically water your lawn manually because of Colorado's dry climate.
The climate on the Front Rang is dry, only averaging between 14 inches and 15 inches of precipitation in a whole year. An area that gets 10 inches or less would be classified as a desert.
Colorado's lawns don’t enter into winter mode until November and sometimes it's late November or even December. Until that happens, they need regular water, which doesn't normally come from Mother Nature on the Front Range.
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