Irrigation FAQ’s


- I’m on city Water, what do I have to do to run an irrigation system?

For Muskoka properties that are on city water a line is run off the interior plumbing just after the water meter.  This includes installing a back flow prevention device.

The option to have a second water meter installed in your home for your irrigation system is available through most municipal water suppliers. This means you will only be charged for actual water use, removing the waste water fee attached to your regular water bill. 

 - Can I have an irrigation system if I’m on a well?

It will depend. If you have a dug well, Earth Elements recommends reviewing the refill rate to ensure that is above the irrigation system requirements.  Drilled wells typically have better refresh rates, but a well report is always required for the irrigation system design. 

 - My Muskoka cottage pumps from A Lake, Stream or Pond, what kind of pump will I need?

There can be several variables which can dictate the kind of pump chosen for an irrigation system, such as amount of water needed (GPM), power supply, depth of water and water supply.  Fully licenced electricians are always sub-contracted for all electrical work.

Submersible pumps are used for our irrigation systems whenever possible. These run off a pump start relay and are quiet, durable and long lasting.

Centrifugal pumps are used for smaller irrigation systems with only slight elevation change. They traditionally run off of a pressure tank and pressure switch to run efficiently, but now can be ran off an inline pressure control.  It is common to have them located in boathouses, but can also have a mini pump house built to keep it safe from the elements. 

-        When is the best time to water?

Our irrigation technician will set up your controller to water typically anywhere from 3am-7am. In order to determine the right watering time, Earth Elements reviews several factors including: number of irrigation system zones, plant type, soil type, your schedule and use of landscape areas. For example: If you are on a city water supply early morning watering will save you money on your water bill.

-        What is the best kind of pump to use?

There can be several variables that will dictate what kind of pump to choose for an irrigation system. These include the amount of water needed (GPM), power supply, depth of water and supply (lake, stream, pond) and, of course, appearance.  Submersible pumps are used for our irrigation systems whenever possible because they are quiet and more durable. Centrifugal pumps are used for smaller irrigation systems with little elevation change, they require a pressure tank and pressure switch to run efficiently. 

-        Do you service systems you didn’t install?

Yes, Earth Elements can repair, maintain, start-up/winterize, make alterations and add onto any existing irrigation system.

-       Do you provide design drawings?

System design copies are available upon request.  Every irrigation system we install starts with a design in order to give you the most efficient and effective landscape irrigation system possible.

What kind of products do you use

Earth Elements strives to use products that are durable, the highest quality and incorporate the latest technology. This includes Toro, Irritrol, Rainbird and Hunter parts and supplies, all who are known as leaders in irrigation components and technology across North America.  The poly pipe we use is Oil Creek & Ipex 2000, which is the most durable poly pipe on the market, perfect for the rough Muskoka terrain.  Earth Elements also uses reliable Berkley and Grundfos pumps for pond lakes and streams and Apollo valves for backflow prevention.

Are there any permits required for pumping from a lake or stream?

Yes, the Ontario Ministry of Environment regulates water usage from bodies of water in the province.  On average an irrigation system with 4-6 zones only uses approximately 6500 litres per cycle.  Section 34 of Ontario water resource act states that a permit to take water is required for most water takings of 50,000 litres per day or greater in Ontario. 

Are there ways to save money when irrigating from municipal water supply?

Yes, there are several ways to save money. This begins with watering in early morning or on watering days in summer months.  A second water meter can also be installed in your home for your irrigation system, you are then only charged for acctual water used, removing the wastewater fee attached to your regular water bill.