The end of 2012 can't be far away when we hear the irrigation water is going off soon.

The many irrigation districts servicing the Columbia Basin will start shutdown procedures on or around Oct. 15, leaving just a few days to green up your lawn one more time. The Kennewick Irrigation District says water pressure could start to drop or stop altogether as early as Oct. 16 in some areas.

Other districts include the Columbia Irrigation District, Badger Mountain, Kiona, Franklin County, and numerous other areas. Customers are advised to check the website of their appropriate district for complete details of when they can expect the water to go off.

Once the water goes off,  here are some tips for making sure your system stays intact during the winter:

  • If you have underground sprinklers, have them blown out by a trusted professional. Water left in the lines can freeze, causing cracks that won't be detected until you turn on the water next spring, and you could be left with a soggy mess in your yard.
  • Make sure hoses are drained of any excess water and stored in an area that won't consistently freeze.  Even garden hoses are prone to cracking and fatigue caused by freezing temps.
  • Once water is off make sure you winterize your riser and irrigation system.  Tips for how to do this are available from the irrigation district you are in.