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Six Signs of a Leaky Irrigation System  

Water hose leaky irrigation system commercial landscape

Do you have a leaky irrigation system? It can be tough to know for sure, as a lot of the system is underground, however there are some distinct signs that are visible if you know what to look for. Property owners should know that failure to address leaky irrigation valves can result in costly consequences, including: 

  • Wasted water 
  • Problems with soil quality 
  • Damaged or destroyed landscaping, plants, grass, and trees 
  • Wear and tear on well pumps 

Furthermore, unresolved irrigation issues can impact your property’s overall curb appeal, creating obstructions and eyesores- like puddles and erosion. 

Signs of a Leaking Irrigation System

Pay attention to these six signs that you have a leaky irrigation system: 

  1. Gushing Water: An issue with the irrigation system, like a leak in the line, could cause water to gush from the spout or along the line. In some cases, the water sprays into the air, making it easier to spot.
  2. Overgrown Grass: How does the grass look? Watch for dark spots near the sprinkler heads- which could indicate that there is a leak underneath causing overwatering. These dark spots may be fungal growth from the excess water and could impact a larger section of the grass if left unaddressed.
  3. Dirty Sprinkler Water: If your sprinkler doesn’t seem to work the way it once did, there could be an issue, rupture, or leak in the irrigation line. Since this occurs underground, it may or may not be visible but look at the water coming from the sprinkler itself: Is the water dirty? Does the sprinkler have the same water pressure? These may be signs of an irrigation line or system problem.
  4. Excess Water or Flooding: Watch for puddles, pools, spurts, and sogginess when evaluating your landscaping. Excess water could demonstrate a leak in the line- and water coming out of the ground could indicate a broken sprinkler line.
  5. Fungus, Mold, or Mushrooms: Look and assess any hardscaping in the immediate area, like curbs or retaining walls. Do they show signs of mold or mildew growth? This could indicate an issue of overwatering and irrigation problems. If you notice an uptick in mushrooms growing on the grass or lawn, this demonstrates bacterial growth, also from too much water, possibly from a slow leak in the irrigation line.
  6. Sidewalk Sediment: When sediment is spotted fanned-out over the pavement or sidewalk, there could be an irrigation issue elsewhere. The water is bringing the deposits of sediment and carrying it- which could mean overwatering. Your landscape and ground service professional will likely check the irrigation heads first. 


Keep an eye out for these six signs of a faulty irrigation system, and contact a Commercial Landscaping and Ground Services Company, Carolina Services Grounds Division, in Charleston, South Carolina for assistance. Failure to address a leaky system can wreak havoc on your property- and cost you a lot more later in damage repair.