COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- With the arrival of consistently warmer weather and continued dry conditions, many homeowners are eager to get their automatic lawn sprinkler systems ready for the season.
But some customers report experiencing longer-than-normal wait times, with some local sprinkler companies booked until at least mid-May.
That doesn't bode well for lawns needing regular watering to look their best.
Juan Lightfoot, a technician with All Seasons Sprinkler & Sewer, said that worker shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are not the reason for the increased service demand.
"This is nothing unusual," he said. "All of the sprinkler companies are busy at this time of the year. But with the drought, there's more of a sense of urgency this year. People want to water their lawns as soon as possible. People who are new to the area, or new to automatic sprinklers, may not realize why it's so busy."
On Wednesday, Lightfoot was part of a crew installing backyard sprinklers at a home on Beaumont Road, on the city's southeast side.
"We took out the existing system that was old and broken, and replaced it with a new one," he said. "This one has one-inch lines instead of 3/4-inch lines to provide a great volume of water."
Lightfoot said that the busy period will continue through mid-June.
"Homeowners can do the work themselves if they know what they're doing," he said. "But if they don't, they can damage the system end end up paying more for repairs than if they had hired a professional to begin with. However you do it, don't wait too long."
Some homeowners in the neighborhood said that they have automatic sprinklers but no longer use them, or maintain them themselves -- to either save money or avoid wasting water.
"Sometimes the automatic sprinklers will come on when it rains, or when it's windy," a neighbor said.
And then, there are those who prefer watering their lawns the old-fashioned way -- with a garden hose and spray nozzle.
All Seasons was the only one of a dozen companies contacted by KRDO NewsChannel 13 who responded Wednesday.