What is the Difference Between Irrigation and Reticulation in Perth?

When you start researching watering systems for your garden, two terms come up frequently. Irrigation and reticulation. But what do they mean? Take the time to read this handy guide into the best option for reticulation installations in Perth.

What is Irrigation?

Irrigation is an overarching term that includes any water added to a cultivated plant by artificial means. The simplest irrigation is something you have likely done to your potted plants, hand watering. Irrigation has been part of human civilisation for thousands of years, and is a fundamental component of ancient agriculture.

Some of the simplest irrigation techniques include digging ditches parallel to rows of crops, with water supplied by a rainwater reservoir or nearby river. In your backyard, while this technique may work in your garden beds, Perth’s sandy soils quickly drain water too deep for roots, and hot sun evaporates any surface water remaining.

For a lawn to be irrigated successfully, specialty equipment has been developed that operate a network of water sprinklers supplied by water from underground piping. This is called reticulation.

What is Reticulation?

Unlike irrigation, reticulation is a term that refers specifically to underground watering systems for lawns. Common to Western Australian homes, these networks of sprinkler heads help to supply water over our long, dry summers, often during the cooler early hours of the morning.

Reticulation systems have a variety of crucial components, these include:

  • Pop up sprinklers. Sprinkler heads that are pushed up by water pressure to distribute water evenly over the lawn. Install these below the lawn level to avoid damage from lawn mowers.
  • Underground piping. High pressure PVC piping is used to transport water from the mains or a bore water source to the sprinkler heads. These are often laid between 30cm and 1m underground to not interfere with root systems.
  • Solenoid valves. These are used to control when the water supply is directed to the sprinklers. An electric solenoid is activated by the reticulation control box to release the valve restricting water, and closes once the electric charge is stopped. Attach multiple to the main water source to allow multiple zone watering.
  • Reticulation Control Box. The computer system that can normally be set to run the water system by timer, manually, or by zone. Use this function to ensure you only water on the days set by the Department of Water, or risk a fine.

What is the Difference?

The main difference between the terms irrigation and reticulation is in the scale. Irrigation is the act of introducing water by artificial means. This includes anything from your rusty old watering can, to the most sophisticated reticulation system.

In contrast, reticulation is specific to complete lawn watering systems. The name comes from the definition of reticulation as a pattern of interlacing lines. In Perth, garden reticulation is used frequently to help keep lawns evenly watered and healthy, while complying with watering restrictions.

If you are having issues with an aging reticulation system, planning to lay new lawn, or are in the market for an upgrade, call Waterwise Landscaping today. Get our team of experienced landscapers to come and inspect your lawn area, where we can help you design the most efficient, effective and easy custom reticulation system to take the stress out of lawn maintenance.