Green South Irrigation is a locally-owned business with Cooper Evans currently at the helm. The operation was started in 1998 by his father, David Evans, who gave the business its current philosophy.
The elder Mr. Evans was working on a golf course in Atlanta, Ga. and used what he learned to begin a landscaping business here in Rome. The Evans, being a mission-minded family, took a leave of absence for a short time to travel abroad and help those people in need. So, they chose to spread beauty around the world and not just for their Roman neighbors and friends.
Cooper resurrected the business back in 2017 and rebranded it with a focus on irrigation. He also changed the name to today’s Green South Irrigation. The company performs residential and commercial irrigation systems, providing their services to a wide range of areas in Northwest Georgia and they even service areas of Alabama. Cooper also added landscape lighting to the company’s already long list of outside beautification services.
Irrigation systems, also known in a simpler term as sprinkler systems, are underground tubing for turf and plants. An advancement from the old style of a hose connected to a sprayer head or holding the hose in your hand and watering yourself, irrigation systems work consistently and automatically. The goal is to minimize the risk of over watering almost completely.
Green South Irrigation installs smart irrigation systems. These systems built for efficiency, meaning they are less expensive to run, have shorter run times and provide better coverage than many non-smart systems. They also save most customers 30 to 40 percent on their water bills. “We focus on the cost effectiveness side of things and our service is focused on maintenance of the system and your yard. We like to provide what we call ‘A higher grade of care,” explains Cooper.
Oftentimes, people are not educated about irrigation or just how important it truly is.
“Irrigation is used to maintain agriculture. For example, Rome usually has a sufficient amount of rain that comes seasonally. Also, because of the valley we are in we also receive a ton of heat. It’s extremely humid and it can kill most vegetation. Our job is to water as necessary, not keeping your system on daily or for large amounts of time, but as necessary. Overwatering will kill the landscape. That is something people do not understand. People will go out, see brown grass and immediately think ‘I need to put more water on it.’ But a lot of times, it’s dying because it was overwatered. Yes, it’s true. You can and will kill your yard by overwatering it. Soil has perforation grades that change depending on what the composition of the soil is. If you can, visualize your soil as a flower vase, especially the soil in Rome. Now imagine you open up a fire hydrant to fill that vase. The vase will fall over, or it will fill up way too fast. Either way it just can’t handle too much water. You can only fill that vase so much and all of the additional water is waste, and detrimental to the soil and grows from it,” says Cooper. “We want our customers to know what’s going on. When you spend your hard-earned money on making your yard look great, you want it maintained properly. That is what we do.”
Cooper further explains, “In a world where some contractors are out to rip you off in some form or fashion, we strive to be totally open and honest. We always provide estimates, including communication about what you are being charged for, broken down clearly. There’s no mystery in what we are doing. It’s very open and very honest. My goal was to offer a competitive alternative to businesses like mine in Rome. My goal is to really try to educate customers on what irrigation is and why it is so important. In order to do that, we had to conduct ourselves with integrity, honesty and top-notch customer service.
“Educating customers about irrigation is a goal we are still striving towards,” Cooper continues. “We also want to continue building relationships with landscapers. Combining a landscaper with our services will equate to happier customers and better-looking landscaping because we know how to water it and install it properly. Also, a lot of landscapers will not provide a warranty on a landscape job without an irrigation system. There will be less frustration and less having to go back and fix things. Educating our customer base is definitely something we want to expand in the future. When we started the company again two years ago, we had three customers. Now we have 200-plus customers. It’s a big deal to have a large number of returning customers. It proves that we are totally customer oriented and everything that we do is about our customers. With us being on your property two to three times a year, we want to maintain and take care of the system and build a relationship with our customers.”
With technology advancing, education is of the utmost importance. Cooper speaks on one of the more elaborate systems Green South Irrigation offers.
“One of our most elaborate systems involves the use of MPRs (Matched Precipitation Rotators); that’s the head that we install. It is a highly efficient head. It has calculated percentages for water distribution to the soil and plants. It has WiFi, so I, from my computer in the office, can adjust the customer’s systems, including powering zones up or down. The system alerts me of breaks in the line and other issues that help with diagnosing problems early on. Our products have greatly changed in the last five years. Managing systems from the office has gotten better and keeps getting better. As we grow, our guys are making huge strides to become more gadgets-knowledgeable.”
The Green South Irrigation team has many different service talents among the group. “We are constantly developing the character of our employees. There are consequences for being disrespectful to customers, and there is an expectation to carry forth the honor and integrity of Green South Irrigation. That is how we do business. Every member of the team carries a different care to customers, different relationships, different humor and integrity. What we do is hard work; our bodies are always sore. It is hard to find employees to dedicate themselves to this type of labor and respect that integrity. We make mistakes, we do things wrong, it happens in this line of business. We fix it and we maintain our relationships with our customers,” says Evans.
“We were missionaries, so we love people; people are our heart. Loving people, listening to people and creating relationships is what we do best. When I came back from the mission work, I wanted to figure out a way to be around people. I had a few options, like being a worship leader, playing music in church or serving in soup kitchens. With me being a man with a family, I came up with a way to build relationships and serve people while making money and taking care of my family” Cooper says with a satisfied smile.
He also speaks highly of Green South Irrigation’s, Manager Richie Heyward. “Richie is my main man. He has a certification with the IA (Irrigation Association of America) which is a really big deal. The certification is a 60-hour course. Richie is one of only a few people to have this certification in our immediate area. Richie’s impact on everything is tremendous. The customers love Richie. The other guys love Richie and he trains all of our employees and staff. He keeps everyone’s morale up”, says Cooper.
Cooper speaks on the expansion of the company. “Another service we provide is landscape lighting. We use LED lighting, not the older style halogen light systems. Halogen lighting is extremely expensive to run with average daily costs being approximately $1.50 and adds up to around $500 or $600 a year. The LED lighting that we use is thirty-five cents per year, per bulb and about $50 per year. That is a noticeable and incredible financial savings, as well as a significant increase in energy savings. The LED is extremely efficient and safer. If a line were to get cut, there is less of a fire hazard and less of a shock hazard than the older halogen systems. Landscape lighting systems can also add equity value to your home.”
Green South Irrigation performs free demos and CAD (Computer-Aided Design) designs of your lighting system. “Landscape lighting provides beauty, safety and security to your home. We have over 20,000 light fixtures to pick from. The systems can be operated from a tablet or your phone, including dimming and brightening of the lights. You can also control the lights by zones and by areas,” Cooper explains. He also says that, “the landscape lighting allows us to experiment with our artistic side. We are all musicians and we can release that artistic urge in our souls on the landscape lighting layout. I mean, the irrigation systems can be artistic in its designs and coverage but the landscape lighting can give immediate gratification in in effectiveness and beauty. We really love to show out with it when we can.”