Spring Startups and the Importance of Communication

By Alfred Dilluvio, Aqua Turf Irrigation Systems LLC

After having just gone through an especially difficult spring season, we want to take a moment to start a conversation about spring irrigation system startup, and the things we can all do to make the process as smooth as it can be. We want to provide an excellent experience for those who trust us with the maintenance of their irrigation systems. That is why we are taking time this year to try and make our process better. It is our sincere hope that we can continue to serve all of our customers with same quality work and service that led them to us in the first place.

An irrigation system must be taken care of in accordance with the timeline Mother Nature has dictated, at least here in the Northeast. With its water filled pipes, plumbing components, and full time residence outdoors, a Northeastern Irrigation System does not work well with freezing overnight temperatures. Often times, major barriers to early system startup involve the fear that a late freeze will destroy important parts of the system. However, wait too long to start the system up, and getting an appointment with your irrigation company can turn into a multi week affair. This year, an already short window was exacerbated by freezing overnight temperatures extending almost all the way through April. Then, just as soon as we could open the very first system, there were thirty one days without a drop of rainfall. That sort of thing is unusual in the Northeast, and those in the landscaping business found themselves in one uncomfortable situation after another. While the seasonality of the northeast will always create a stressful spring startup season, we want to talk about a few things we can all do to reduce stress (both plant and human).

When it comes to preparing for a spring landscaping season, optimum plant and lawn health requires collaboration between homeowners, landscapers, and irrigation professionals. Unfortunately, all three are usually on different schedules. And while that may always be the case, just a little more communication between these parties can go a long way. Irrigation is the insurance that the investment made in one’s property is protected. Therefore, irrigation cannot be an afterthought, and we need to be one of the first professionals called when a landscaping change or decision is made.   Although we start making calls as early as the first week in March, we strongly suggest giving us a call as early as possible. You can always turn the system on and leave the controller in the off position, but its best to be a little early, so you have water ready when you need it. We have started using email lists as a way to contact our customers for scheduling or with important company information. We do not abuse the privilege of having it, and we will only send one to three emails a year as reminders or a way to introduce new services. If you are interested in email reminders for both spring startups and winterizations, please send your email address to Alfred@aqua-turf.com  or call the office at 914 345 1350 and leave the email with any one of our representatives.

As irrigation service providers, we understand the importance of an efficient system. Its managing your property, utilizing arguably your home’s most important resource (which is not inexpensive), and usually doing so while you are asleep. That last part often results in not knowing the issues with your system until it is too late. Although sometimes we wish we could, we cannot be there around the clock. Only now, with wifi and cell based irrigation timers, are we starting to be able to manage systems remotely. These new controllers are constantly watching the system, and sending messages to homeowners and professionals in the event that something isn’t working properly. While advances in new technology may be the answer for some, they aren’t for everyone. The overarching concept here is that those onsite have to let us know if something is out of the ordinary. Give us a call and ask to speak with someone about the operation of your controller. We love to spend time with our customers and make sure they feel comfortable with the system.

We are going to make a concerted effort to serve our customers better. We want to embrace and adopt new technology that will help us stay in touch with our customers during the northeastern irrigation season. The nature of our business is changing. Technology is perpetually evolving, along with it the very definition of service, for the first time giving industry professionals the chance to offer worry free maintenance.