Water-Wise Irrigation Design - Step-by-Step
4.5 (10 ratings)
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Water-Wise Irrigation Design - Step-by-Step

Learn the basics of great irrigation design and get some helpful tips and tricks for installing your new system!
4.5 (10 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
103 students enrolled
Created by Rob Littlepage
Last updated 7/2015
Current price: $10 Original price: $25 Discount: 60% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Design your own irrigation system and get tips on successful installation
  • Choose the best sprinklers for your situation
  • know how to determine your soil texture for optimum irrigation efficiency
View Curriculum
  • You should be familiar with some basic mathematics and algebra before you start this course. You should also be comfortable with reading charts and catalogs.

This course will show you how to design an irrigation system for yourself or for your client. Irrigation design is a critical part of any landscape and proper design will save you time, water and money.

At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • calculate flow rates, gallons per minute and available pressure using a simple flow gauge
  • determine your soil texture so you don't over-water
  • use a pressure loss chart to size pvc pipe
  • lay out your sprinklers for optimum efficiency
  • calculate your sprinklers precipitation rates so you know how fast water is being applied
  • develop a simple watering schedule that best fits your soils and landscape

Seven sections with easy to follow video lessons explain and demonstrate what you'll need to know to design your own system from start to finish - including some helpful installation tips.

Water efficiency and conservation has become much more critical; this course will give you the knowledge you need to maintain a healthy, water-wise landscape.

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is for you if you would like to understand how to design and (maybe) install your own irrigation system. Even if you don't want to do the installation, you'll have a much better understanding of what it takes to design your system and be able to talk with a contractor or gardener about the installation. This course probably isn't for you if you're not interested in being "hands-on" with sprinklers, controllers or any other aspect of irrigation.
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Curriculum For This Course
28 Lectures
Welcome to Water-Wise Irrigation Design
1 Lecture 01:33
Introduction to Irrigation System Design
6 Lectures 16:03

This Course is divided into 7 Sections. Each section is broken down into easily understood Lectures using videos, PowerPoint slides and graphics so you'll be able to see the process for designing your irrigation in logical progression.

We'll start by showing you how to determine your flow rates and operating pressure, how to figure out what your soil texture is and why it's important and we'll finish in Lecture 7 with some helpful tips and tricks to installing your system.

Preview 03:08

Knowing what your operating pressure is and how many gallons per minute you have avaliable is critical to success! This lesson shows you how to figure all this out.

Preview 02:52

When you irrigate you're really getting enough water into the soil so that your plants can have access to it. Knowing your soil texture will aide in creating a watering schedule later on. In this lesson we'll look at how to collect your soil sample.

1.3 - Collecting Your Soil Sample

Once you've collected your soil sample the next step is to know the percentages of sand, silt and clay. This video shows you how to determine these values.

Preview 02:59

Sand, silt and clay occur in different proportions in our soils. The amount of each will be a factor in how quickly water will percolate in and how much water can be stored by the soil. Once you learn how to use the soil triangle then infiltration rates and available water can be determined.

1.5 - Reading a Soil Triangle

Now we'll do a quick review of Lecture 1 and where we'll be going next in this course.

1.6 - Wrap up of Part One
Mapping and Drawing Your Property to Scale
5 Lectures 25:26

Doing a site survey can be a lot of work, but in this lecture you'll be introduced to some methods of mapping that will make this important task much easier to complete, and you'll see how to plot your survey on paper, to scale to aide in your design.

2.1 - Introduction to Mapping and Drafting

In this lesson we'll look at an overview of some basic rules to get you started with your project.

2.2 - Basic Rules of Irrigation Design

Being able to draw to scale will make your work easier and more accurate. This lesson shows you how to use a scale quickly and easily.

2.3 - Reading an Architects Scale

Sometime locating points and objects in the yard can be a challenge, but once you know how to use triangulation it becomes much easier.

2.4 - Triangulation

How to Survey and Plot Your Property on Paper

2.5 - Mapping Your Property
Sprinkler Selection and Placement
5 Lectures 32:31
3.1 - Introduction to Sprinkler Selection and Placement

When your lawn has a square or rectangular shape then laying out your sprinklers is easy - just start in the corners!

3.2 - Sprinkler Placement in Square Corners

When your planting area is has curves then laying out sprinklers can be an exercise in trial and error. This lesson will show you a way to do this easily and accurately.

3.3 - Sprinkler Placement on a Curve

Although this may seem daunting, understanding how to use a pressure loss chart and how to read a manufacturer's catalog are key to designing (and installing!) your irrigation system. This lectures explains how.

3.4 - Reading An Irrigation Catalog and Pressure Loss Charts

3.5 - Review of Part 3
Zoning the System and Sizing Pipe
4 Lectures 20:08
4.0 - Introduction

Selecting the proper sprinkler nozzle at the design phase can make your system much more economical to install. This lecture points out the differences between using a low volume nozzle and a conventional spray nozzle and how you can save money by making the right choice.

4.1 - Rotators vs Sprays

4.2 - Sizing Pipe

4.3 - Review of Part 4
Precipitation Rates - What They Are and What They Mean
1 Lecture 08:54
5.1 - Precipitation Rates - How to Calculate and Why They're Important
Irrigation Scheduling
2 Lectures 11:28
6.1 - Irrigation Scheduling Part 1

6.2 - Irrigation Scheduling Part 2
Installation Tips and Tricks
4 Lectures 14:15
7.1 - Introduction to Installation Tips and Tricks

Protecting your irrigation valves from freezing, animals and other damage is critical. Installing your valves underground in a valve box is the safest way to protect them - in this video I'll show you how to do this.

Valve Box Installation

Connecting valve wires and adding in a simple on-site weather station for better efficiency is key to a successful installation. In this short lecture I'll explain how to install these items.

Basic Controller Installation

7.4 - Course Wrap-Up and Thanks!
About the Instructor
Rob Littlepage
4.5 Average rating
32 Reviews
255 Students
3 Courses
Landscape Architect & Educator

Robert Littlepage, as his many former students can attest, is a dynamic instructor who brings real-world experience and a touch of humor to his teaching style. His love of teaching and enthusiasm for his topic is a source of inspiration to his students. Mr. Littlepage founded the California School of Garden Design in 1998 to fill a much-needed void. He discovered that other than two-year junior college programs and a few correspondence courses, there was no place in the United States where someone interested in becoming a garden designer could learn these skills quickly and at minimum expense. Rob created the School to provide an opportunity for those individuals to learn necessary skills and to become proficient in Garden Design in a short but intensive period of time. This has lead to his now offering on-line classes through Udemy.

Rob began his career as a forester and a licensed landscape contractor and has had his own design practice for over 30 years, creating gardens for clients throughout California and the surrounding states. His designs have been featured in garden design books and won awards at numerous shows. He studied garden design in England in 1994, and obtained his teaching credentials shortly thereafter. Rob previously taught landscape and irrigation design at Sierra College in Rocklin, California and at the Placer Adult School in Auburn, but decided to open his own garden design school. Landscape designer David Stevens, of David Stevens International has collaborated with Rob to present design classes in the United States and wrote the forward to Rob's latest book "Fundamentals of Garden Design" which is a complement to his course on landscape design.

He is a licensed landscape architect in California (#5674) and Louisiana (L-249 - retired). He is a Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) an EPA WaterSense Partner and is a certified landscape irrigation auditor.