Emergency Irrigation Shut Off

There will be times that a property owner will need to know how to stop the flow of water for an irrigation system. The information below will guide you through the proper shutdown of an irrigation system in the time of an emergency.

Backflow Preventer

If you are on a potable water source you will have a backflow device. The backflow device is usually located near the water meter (the water meter is usually located near the street in a cast iron boxes, in the ground). Sometimes a backflow will be located in a different location to be able to disguise it in the landscape. If you have a reclaimed water source (pink/purple tops on the irrigation heads, pink/purple water meter cover) you will most likely not have a backflow preventer, you will only have a water meter.

Below is the process of how to turn off a backflow preventer. You only have to turn off one of the valves to stop the flow of water. Once this is turned to the “OFF” position, the issue with the irrigation system not shutting down will stop. In the event you are unable to locate the backflow, you can turn off the water at the water meter. See below for instructions on turning off the water meter.

backflow 2 with text

Water Meter

If you have a reclaimed water source (pink/purple tops on the irrigation heads, pink/purple water meter cover) you will most likely not have a backflow preventer, you will only have a water meter. You will want to turn the meter off to shut down the flow of water.The water meter is usually located near the street and it is located in a cast iron box usually. You will need to open the lid and the meter will be located in the box. You may have two water meters located in your yard. One is for your house and the other for the irrigation system. You will know if it is the irrigation meter by turning it off and seeing the irrigation stop. If the irrigation continues to run, you will need to turn the first meter back on and turn the second one off. Below describes the process of how to turn off the water meter.

water meter top arrow
water meter inside with text

Well Systems

Shutting off the flow of a well system will be very similar to the process of shutting down an above ground backflow. The difference will usually be that instead of the backflow being above ground, they are usually located in a green or black valve box, in the ground (usually near the well). There will be some well systems that will have an above ground backflow. In order to shut off either style, the process is the same. You will need to turn one of the isolation valve handles to the perpendicular position and this will stop the flow of the water.