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Effective: Fall 2011

Grade Type: Letter Grade, the student may select Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU
2.5 hours lecture, 1.5 hours laboratory. (48 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • identify the parts of an irrigation system (pipes and fittings, sprinkler heads, valves, backflow preventers, drip systems, and controllers).
  • program an irrigation time clock (controller) correctly.
Description -
Methods and materials used in the irrigation of ornamental landscapes. Selection of materials and operational theory of irrigation equipment. Installation techniques for sprinkler and drip irrigation systems. Water conservation features and maintenance of irrigation systems.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. identify the parts of an irrigation system (pipes and fittings, sprinkler heads, valves, backflow preventers, drip systems, and controllers).
  2. demonstrate an understanding of the operational theory of irrigation equipment.
  3. utilize basic installation, maintenance, troubleshooting, repair and renovation techniques to meet industry standards.
  4. program an irrigation time clock (controller) correctly.
  5. demonstrate knowledge of the operation of a central irrigation control system.
  6. exhibit an understanding of different irrigation practices around the world.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
Design lab, horticultural facilities and equipment. Students provide appropriate work boots and clothing for fieldwork, leather gloves, tape measure, screwdrivers, mechanics pliers, utility knife, face mask, ear plugs, eye protection, and small calculator

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Overview of landscape irrigation systems as they relate to the installation or renovation of residential, commercial, or park landscapes
  2. Site analysis techniques:
    1. data collection
    2. GPM's & PSI
    3. location of existing irrigation components (assessment of viability)
  3. Choosing correct pipes and fittings, sprinkler heads, drip systems, valves, backflow preventers, and controllers to assemble a suitable irrigation system
  4. Installation techniques used in residential, commercial and park irrigation systems
  5. Maintaining, troubleshooting, and renovating an irrigation system
  6. Overview of central control systems
  7. Career opportunities in the irrigation industry
  8. International irrigation system practices
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Midterm
  2. Laboratory skills tests
  3. Final examination
Representative Text(s) -
Melby, Pete. Simplified Irrigation Design - 2 Ed. New York, NY: Wiley, 1995.
***Note: This is the most comprehensive, and recent, text available for teaching this subject.***

Disciplines -
Environmental Horticulture & Design
Method of Instruction -
Lecture, Discussion, Laboratory, Oral presentations, Demonstration, Field Trips, Speakers
Lab Content -
  1. Copper & solvent welding lab: Hands-on instruction in welding of copper pipe and fittings, solvent welding of plastic pipe, and making pipe & irrigation component connections for threaded fittings.
  2. Spray head & rotor lab: Field installation and adjustment of a variety of sprinkler products.
  3. Controller programming lab: Individual instruction on the programming of irrigation controllers. Lab instruction covers standard solid-state controllers, ET based controllers, and central control systems.
  4. Drip irrigation lab: Installation of drip systems including standard PE flexible lines, Drip Heads, and In-Line drip emitter systems.
  5. Valve troubleshooting lab: Modular lab covers all the common problems that irrigation professionals may encounter when valves malfunction in the landscape.
  6. Irrigation system installation lab: One or more labs whereby students install an irrigation system.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Reading assignments will include reading approximately 35 pages per week from the assigned texts with supplemental reading from a course reader. Out of class reading/assignments is approximately 5 hours.
  2. Lectures will address reading topics and experiences of the instructor. Classroom discussion and demonstrations in support of lecture topics will be provided.
  3. Guest speakers from industry will provide supplemental lecture and demonstration.