Landscaping can be a lot of fun and it really has a significant impact on the curb appeal of your home. Unfortunately, if you are inexperienced working with plants and hardscaping materials, you could have a very difficult time landscaping your yard. On my website you will find a lot of how-to instructions that can help you with the most basic landscaping projects. You will also find a few tips that can help you maintain your professionally landscaped yard. With a little information, you can have the yard that everyone in the neighborhood wants and admires and you will find that information on my website.
If your city offers pressurized irrigation, which is a separate water system that draws lawn irrigation water from a canal that is not treated (for safety) like drinking water is treated, you may want to strongly consider having your sprinkler system redone to accommodate the separate water system if your house currently uses drinking water for landscaping. Not only is it a bit safer, but it could save money, too, even after taking the supply and labor costs into account.
A Literal Line of Defense
When your irrigation and drinking water supplies come from the same source, you risk having garden chemicals seep back into the water pipes through something called backsiphonage. In a connected system, you could install a backflow preventer that would stop water from moving back through the system and into other pipes, such as those leading to your faucets. With pressurized irrigation, you have a completely different set of pipes leading from a completely different water supply, eliminating the backflow issue.
Canal water isn't put through treatment like drinking water is, thus lowering the costs for using it. In general, canal water and pressurized irrigation are going to be much cheaper to use than drinking water, and if you have a lot of lawn, that's a lot of money saved. While installing a separate pipe connection to the irrigation water system will cost money, the savings on your water bills should make up for those installation amounts quickly.
Note that since the water isn't treated for pollutants, you shouldn't drink the irrigation water. Ensure your children also know not to drink from a hose on a hot day, for example.
When You Shouldn't Switch
One thing to note: If most of your yard is given over to edible plants, be they fruit trees or vegetable beds, then you need to use drinking water. You can't risk the potential pollutants in canal water seeping into the growing plants that you plan to eat. Remember, these canals are open to the air, so animal feces, litter, and other forms of pollution can easily get into the supply. Canal water is fine for lawns, but not lettuce.
If you want to stick with drinking water for irrigation, ensure your system has a backflow preventer installed. If you want to switch to canal water, though, irrigation specialists can make the connection. After that, you just need to keep the sprinkler heads clean and unclogged. For more information, contact local professionals like Alberta Outdoor Supply.