What Is a Lawn Subsurface Drip Irrigation System and All Your Other Questions Answered!

Last updated: January 31, 2024

A lawn subsurface drip irrigation system (SDI) is a type of buried irrigation that uses a network of small tubes with emitters spaced at regular intervals to deliver water directly to the root zone of turfgrass or other plants. SDI systems are often used in areas where traditional above-ground sprinklers are impractical, such as in areas with steep slopes and limited water pressure. Underground irrigation for lawns can also be used to reduce water usage by delivering water only to the plants that need it compared to watering the entire area.

If you’re new to subsurface drip irrigation for lawns but interested in having one installed on your property, here are some of the most common questions asked by homeowners and business owners alike.

Frequently Asked Lawn Drip Irrigation Questions

1. What are the benefits of using an SDI system? 

Subsurface irrigation systems can be used in a variety of different settings and can offer several advantages over traditional above-ground sprinklers, including: 

  • Reduced water usage – Since a drip system for lawns delivers water directly to the root zone of plants, less moisture is lost to evaporation compared to traditional sprinklers. This can result in significant water savings, especially in areas with hot, dry climates.
  • Reduced maintenance Drip irrigation for lawns typically requires less maintenance than traditional sprinklers because there are no above-ground components that can become clogged or damaged.
  • Reduced risk of plant diseaseDrip irrigation for grass reduces the amount of water that comes in contact with the leaves of plants, which can help reduce the spread of disease. A DSI is a standard favourite of contractors doing lawn maintenance services because there’s very little need to deal with a diseased or dead lawn.
  • Extended growing season – SDI systems can extend the growing season by providing water to plants during periods of drought.

Hands holding plastic parts of an underground irrigation system

2. How does an SDI system work? 

An SDI system consists of a network of small tubes that are buried beneath the soil surface. The tubes are connected to a water source, and emitters spaced at regular intervals along the length of the tube release water directly into the root zone of plants. SDI systems are no different from regular lawn irrigation systems, except they are designed to stay underground. They can be used to water a variety of different types of plants, including turfgrass, shrubs, and trees.

3. How do I know if an SDI system is right for my lawn? 

SDI systems are ideal for lawns with steep slopes, low water pressure, or in hot, dry climates. They’re also great for conserving water and reducing evaporation losses during heat spells.

4. How do I choose the right SDI system for my lawn? 

When selecting an SDI system, consider your lawn’s size and layout, plant types, local climate, rainfall patterns, and budget. Remember, SDI systems can be more costly than traditional methods.

5. How do I install an SDI system? 

Installation involves laying out tubes, connecting them to a water source, and setting up emitters. Carefully follow instructions to ensure proper setup and test the system for leaks and pressure issues, or simply have it done by a professional.

6. How do I maintain an SDI system? 

Regular maintenance includes flushing tubes to remove sediment, checking and replacing clogged emitters, and monitoring water pressure. Regular inspections for leaks and blockages are crucial to keep the system functioning optimally. Call a professional who has the experience and the right equipment to accomplish this.

Broken plastic underground water pipe and fixture

7. What are some common problems with SDI systems? 

One of the most common problems with SDI systems is clogged emitters. This can happen if sediment builds up in the tubes or if the water pressure in the system is too high. Another common problem is leaks in the design, which can be caused by damaged pipes or fittings. There’s also the issue of rusting, which can easily be addressed by only buying from trusted system and component shops. For everything else, you should contact a qualified technician for help.

8. Where can I find more information about SDI systems? 

If you would like to get more information about SDI systems, there are a number of resources available online. You can also contact a qualified technician like Green Oasis Lawn and Reticulation.

DIY Vs Hiring a Subsurface Drip Irrigation Contractor

When you’re considering installing a lawn subsurface drip irrigation system, one of the questions that may arise is if it’s worth it to do the project yourself or hire a contractor. There are pros and cons to both approaches, so it’s important to weigh your options carefully before making a decision.

If you decide to take the DIY route:

There are a few things you should keep in mind when opting to DIY. First, make sure you have a good understanding of the process and what is involved. It’s not a complex project, but many steps are involved, and it’s important to do it correctly to avoid problems later on. Second, gather all the necessary supplies and tools before you begin. This will save you time and frustration down the road. Finally, take your time and don’t rush. This is an important project, and rushing through it could result in costly mistakes.

If you decide to hire a contractor:

There are a few things to keep in mind as well. First, make sure you find a reputable contractor who has experience with this type of project. Second, get everything in writing before the work begins. This includes the scope of work, the price, and the timeline. Having everything in writing will help avoid misunderstandings or problems down the road. Finally, be prepared to pay more for the installation than if you did it yourself. However, the peace of mind that comes with knowing the job was done right by a professional may be worth the extra cost.

No matter which approach you take, installing a lawn subsurface drip irrigation system can be a great way to save water and money in the long run. Be sure to weigh your options carefully and make the best decision for your needs.

Top view close up underground irrigation system buried in dirt

Work With Irrigation System Experts

If you decide to hire a contractor, make sure you choose one that’s reputable and experienced. Green Oasis Lawn and Reticulation is a leading provider in the area, so you can expect nothing but the best quality and customer service from their team. Talk to our staff to schedule a consultation today.


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