In the Phoenix valley, it used to be more common for residential lots to receive untreated irrigation water. These days, what is more common is that potable, treated water is used for lawns and trees. I was aware of irrigated lots, but didn’t know much about them – until now.

Early this summer, we bought another investment property, this one in Glendale. It was a wholesale deal, where the time from when it became available to when we had it under contract was less than 4 hours. And there are no refunds, no inspections, you like it, you buy it. We bought it. I did drive by and do a brief inspection before committing, and I knew in general what we were buying, but I was very pleasantly surprised to find that it was a home on a flood irrigated lot.

The irrigation systems are managed by SRP, and there are a host of independent irrigation companies who handle the details. In Glendale, the city manages delivery of water, so it is a hands-off process, for the most part. There are various gates and valves that need to be positioned correctly to receive and get maximum benefit of the irrigation water, and many folks just hire one of the irrigation companies to do this; but Glendale hires someone for us, and that makes it easy.

What happens? In the summer, generally April-October, your lot gets flooded an inch or so deep, twice a month. If you are with SRP and not sub-managed by glendale, you can also get water once a month or so, in the winter. They shut the system down for a month or two also, for maintenance, in the winter.

Flood irrigation is inexpensive! and it is why we can have a quarter acre of grass and trees, without paying thousands in water bills each year.

When we bought the house, the previous owner had not been using irrigation for some time, and all the grass looked dead. After the very first irrigation, magic happened:

Of course, along with the nice grass comes mowing and edging. But even with the front and back yards, it takes maybe an hour or two, once a week. Worth it to have such a nice back yard!

Flood irrigation is a relic of the valley’s past, and one I hope continues for a long time. These lots are highly sought after, and if you own one, you probably spend way more time in your back yard than most people! — And you won’t want to sell it.