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The Importance of an Irrigation System: An Interview with Greg Winchel of Winchel Irrigation

By Greg Winchel

Please describe the back ground of your company and your qualifications.

We are a second generation family owned and operated lawn irrigation company. Winchel Irrigation is a designated Rain Bird Select contractor, one of a very few in Michigan, we are also the Rain Bird authorized service center for Michigan. We are a Certified Irrigation Contractor designated by the Irrigation Association. Greg Winchel holds certifications in, Water Efficient Products Expert, IQ Central Controls technician, 2 wire central controls.

What are some of the services your company provides?

Winchel Irrigation offers Sales and installation of residential and commercial irrigation systems, service and maintenance of irrigation systems for sports complexes, condominium communities, office parks, and residential homes. These services include Spring activation, Fall Winterization but the large part of service is assessing irrigation systems and making recommendations to make them more water efficient. We also recently started offering insect control systems in different formats, including through your existing irrigation system or stand alone injector system by decks, patios or other dedicated outdoor spaces. We also offer insect spraying on a one time basis or for the entire summer months, the difference in our service is we only use organic products so it won't harm the environment but controls most out door flying bugs, including ants, fleas, and ticks.

Why is it important to install an irrigation system on my lawn?

Realtors use the word curb appeal when selling your home, a properly installed irrigation system will guarantee that curb appeal and save you countless hours of dragging hoses that translates into more free time. An irrigation system is your insurance policy for the large investment you've made into your lawn and landscape and bring enjoyment to your out door living spaces.

Do different types of grasses require different amounts of water?

Yes but in Michigan we have mostly cool weather blue grass, in our climate this grass provides the best quality of turf and deals with our climate.

What are some things I can do to my lawn to conserve water and limit the amount of times I need to use my irrigation system?

Design and install a water efficient irrigation system using products that reduce water use. Design the irrigation system so that you factor in the micro climates of your lawn, keep sprinklers in sun areas and shade areas grouped together so you can regulate run times and frequency of running more efficiently. Use drip irrigation in landscape beds to reduce water waste and run off. Mow your lawn at a taller height in the hot months to require less water to maintain the health of the grass blade.

Are there any features to your irrigation systems that prevent over watering?

Our Eco-Sprinkling system offers products that reduce water waste, our irrigation system design and products show a reduction in water use by 30%. Our irrigation system timer is weather based and operates the irrigation system based upon current weather conditions, the timer calculates the need to operate on a daily basis. The timer creates it efficiency by using ET (evapotransperation) delivering water only when the lawn/landscape need it and where it needs it.

Does Michigan have any water restrictions related to irrigation?

Currently Michigan only has what is known as the water reporting act, which means any irrigation system that uses more than 70 gallons of water per minute must report the actual water used during a season to the State of Michigan. With this volume of water we are typically in very large commercial sites or golf courses. There are currently no water restrictions on residential systems.

What is the best way for people to get in contact with you?

By phone office 616-534-0055 or toll free 1-877-534-0055 or email at greg@winchelirrigation.com or learn more about us at www.winchelirrigation.com.

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