Going underground to keep your yard or business green

Posted: Wednesday, September 05, 2007


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  Colton Underground Sprinklers Anchorage crew: Matthew Colton Garrett Garner, Cole Christianson, and Sean Hanson at a newly installed system at Lyn Ary Baseball Park in Anchorage.

Theresa, and Mike Colton examine the results of a system at Soldotna Medical Clinic.

Fall may be in the air but it’s not too late to have an underground sprinkler system installed so your home or business can be ready for a perfect lawn and garden next spring. The Colton family of Soldotna, Mike, Theresa, Blake and Matthew have been installing underground, automated sprinkler systems since 1998, “A couple of guys came over to visit my son Matthew and noticed my lawn and commented that I should put in an underground sprinkler system. Well, I thought about it and it just so happened I had experience as a young man working for a golf course, installing and maintaining sprinkler systems so I went ahead and put one in and after that the neighbors liked what we did and decided they wanted one too. Then our friends Scott and Deena Cunningham insisted I have a business license and from there Colton Inc. is now a statewide business with crews here and in Anchorage,” Mike Colton told the Dispatch.


Colton Underground Sprinklers Anchorage crew: Matthew Colton Garrett Garner, Cole Christianson, and Sean Hanson at a newly installed system at Lyn Ary Baseball Park in Anchorage.

Mike’s wife Theresa retired from her long time job at ACS to help the family business, “I’m fulltime with Colton Inc. now and am office and human resource manager and of course everything else that no one else wants to do. In 2005 we installed the largest irrigation system in the state of Alaska for the Municipality of Anchorage at the Memorial Cemetery, 27 acres of beautiful lawn and loved ones. We now run a full crew in Anchorage all summer. We are very proud of our crews. They work very hard for us and we are fortunate to have good employees,” said Theresa.

While some might think that even given global warming, Alaska’s long cold winters would make it the last place someone would want an underground irrigation system, “It’s no problem, you simply winterize the system by purging it with air and replacing the water with air and it’s no different than winterizing a cabin or camper. We use a poly-pipe that expands up to 300% of its original shape and the system is like anything else, if you maintain it it’ll last forever, some of your systems are over 10 years old now and they come back up every year and work like they are suppose to,” explained Colton.

The Colton’s believe that an underground system saves much more than the time of turning hose sprinklers on and off and then forgetting their on and over watering one day while under watering the next, “A huge issue for businesses and elderly people is the hazard of pulling a hose and causing a back injury, or having it strung across somewhere a customer might trip over it which could present a serious liability suit. In Anchorage where we are installing a lot of commercial systems now that may run $3,500 to $7,500 a cost that seems very inexpensive when you look at a potential law suit for negligence, not to mention the benefits of maintaining a firebreak during wildfire season,” added Colton.

Other systems the Colton’s have installed in Anchorage include, Providence Hospital, Wells Fargo Banks, CIRI Corp. and many Municipality road projects. The Anchorage crew is run by Blake Colton, who has a landscape architect background and also does consulting for many of the landscape architect firms in Anchorage. Locally the Colton’s have installed systems throughout the Peninsula and at many private homes and businesses including the well manicured turf on display at the Soldotna Medical Clinic and Kaladi Bros. For more information on installing or maintaining an irrigation system contact Colton Underground Sprinklers and Alaska Dream Homes at 262-7168.

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