DENVER — Hot, dry and windy weather has settled over Colorado this April.
The month of April is the windiest month of the year along Colorado's Front Range, but this year has been a little more extreme than usual.
For the first time in 20 years, Denver will likely be snowless in April and that could also make it the driest April ever on record in the state.
As the grass begins to turn green across the state, many are wondering when is the best time to turn on a sprinkler system.
Denver Water recommends waiting until after the last freeze, typically around May 5, to turn on your sprinkler system, however other Front Range garden experts say now is the right time to turn sprinklers on.
According to Denver Water, Colorado will likely have at least one more night of temperatures below 30 degrees which can damage pipes above or below ground leading to costly repairs and wasted water.
Other experts said that Colorado is unlikely to see a cold-enough freeze that would damage ground pipes that are under six inches of dirt. These experts believe that for sprinkler systems that are turned on, only the above-ground back flow preventer box needs to be covered on a night with below-freezing temperatures.
All agree that when the grass begins to turn green, it is time for watering.
Denver Water recommends those who choose to wait to turn on their system bring out the garden hose and hand-water grass, trees and perennials now.
Whenever you decide to turn on the sprinkler system this spring, here's how to get started:
Step 1: Irrigation Box
The first step is to locate your irrigation box. It's usually out in the front of your house.
Open it up and look for the drain valve. Turn it off by turning the valve to the right. Cover box back up.
Step 2: Back flow preventer
Now, go to your back flow preventer to keep your water from your sprinkler system from going back into the drinking water inside your house.
Look for your ports. It's the area where the sprinkler company blows out excess water in the fall.
You will need a flat blade screwdriver. Turn a quarter of a turn so they are against the pipe, which means they are closed. Make sure they are not parallel to the pipe.
Now open your ball valves. Turn the handles to the left so they are parallel to the pipe.
Step 3: Style ball valve
Locate your style ball valve. It is usually in your basement.
Tighten your port before you turn your water back on or you will have water gushing into your basement.
Open your water valve by turning it right so it is parallel to the pipe.
Step 4: Sprinkler system controller
This is usually located in your garage.
Each system is different so find directions or go online to find an owners manual to set your sprinkler system.
If you don't feel comfortable turning it back on yourself, be sure to contact a professional.
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