What are the signs that you have a broken sprinkler line?

Spring is here, and if you’re like most people with underground irrigation systems you’re probably already watering your yard OR are about to. While most systems start up just fine here are 5 ways to know if your system is leaking. 

  1. The grass is unusually wet. When you walk through your yard on a non-rainy day, does it feel squishy? If yes, this isn’t normal and it probably indicates a red flag. You might notice more around the sprinkler valves or areas where important connections are buried. This could just manifest as wet grass, but you may also see bubbling from the ground. Either way, it’s a good sign that your sprinkler system is leaking underground, though a sprinkler head leaking at the base could also cause that.
  2. Erosion near your sprinkler heads. Something you might not spot right away is erosion near the sprinkler heads. If it looks like the ground is caving in or something has been digging around the sprinklers, it probably isn’t squirrels or a neighborhood dog. Check for a leak and contact a professional to take a closer look.
  3.  Fungus growth. Another indicator of too much moisture due to a leak is fungus growth. Are there mushrooms around your yard? Or growing on the base of trees that might be near buried lines? Mushrooms aren’t natural in suburban or landscaped environments and are often signs that something isn’t quite right.
  4. Water Bill is higher than normal. Of course, your primary indication may not be physical at all. If you noticed that your water bill is higher than normal, you’ll need to look at a couple of things. Providing your daily use hasn’t risen, it could be your sprinkler system. Rule out any issues within the home, such as a leak in your plumbing, toilet, dishwasher, or washing machine. If those seem normal, check out your sprinkler system for leaks.
  5. Water pressure has dropped. There are several things that could cause low water pressure in your sprinklers (such as city supply problems and a partially open backflow valve), but don’t rule out a system leak either.