Irrigating newly planted grass seed in roadside areas disturbed by construction is a common challenge for many local agencies. To address the problem, the City of Edina Engineering Department has developed a temporary roadside turf irrigation system.
The City of Edina received a $5,900 grant through the LRRB’s Operational Research Assistance (OPERA) Program for the project team to develop and test the temporary roadside turf irrigation system. The team designed the system with parts readily available at most hardware retailers for less than $200.
The city tested the system along a portion of the roadside of a small city road and utilities reconstruction project. Turf establishment was monitored and compared to the traditional method of irrigating with a water truck on the remaining portions of the project. The contractor was directed to water the turf areas per the specifications but to not water the temporary irrigation area.
It was assumed that testing the system on a 50-foot strip that was 5-feet wide would yield the same results when applied to a much larger area. It also was assumed that both areas were undisturbed during turf establishment and that the water for both applications came from the same source and was not contaminated during application.
The temporary system and a control plot were installed along a portion of the project that was not watered by a permanent irrigation system. City staff monitored staff time, gallons of water, and length of time to achieve 90 percent coverage with 6-inch turf grasses.
Steps for creating a temporary roadside turf irrigation system
- Identify a local water source.
- Fabricate an irrigation system with common parts.
- Set it, relax, and watch the grass grow.
The City of Edina intends to share the design, installation, and use of the temporary roadside turf irrigation system with other local agencies. See fact sheet (PDF)
With the wet fall this year, the city did not see any difference in the turf establishment between the test and control sections. Staff would like to do the test again next year.
City of Edina