RainMaster Irrigation will keep your yard looking green

Posted Online: Feb. 05, 2013, 10:51 am
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By Lisa Hammer, rlhammer@qconline.com
Michael Lauritsen is a real-life "rain man" who can help you keep your lawn looking green.

The 2000 graduate of Bettendorf High Schoolwas working for a heating and air-conditioning company in northern Wisconsin when the owner of an irrigation company asked him to work for him.

"I get to be outside and meet a lot of nice people," he said, noting he likes the fast pace of the business during the warm-weather season. "I work really hard all summer long and get to recoup a little in the winter."

After five years of learning the business, Mr. Lauritsen decided to move back home and start his own company, RainMaster Irrigation."2008 was my first year," he said.

The company installs and services underground sprinkler systems for both residential and commercial customers.

Mr. Lauritsen said he feels he might be looking at a good year in 2013, thanks to last year's drought. During a drought, people are more inclined to give up on their burned-up lawns during that growing season, but consider a sprinkler system installation for the following year, he said.

"This was probably the worst summer," he said. "The ground was completely hard. It was just like concrete without moisture in it."

He said troubleshooting can be required when a cable company or anyone else installing underground lines inadvertently cuts into the sprinkler lines. When that happens, he asks the homeowner if he or she has had any recent work done, then uses a locator to find the spot. He said he uses trenchers and a vibratory blade instead of a backhoe, so there is little mess.

Mr. Lauritsen said 2008 was a good year, then business slowed down in 2009 with the recession, but each year since then has shown very steady growth.

"I feel like our customer base is becoming larger," he said. "I'll probably hire another person in the spring."Last summer he had five employees.

"We're a little smaller operation than some, but we keep plugging away," he said.


Local events heading

  Today is Thursday, April 17, the 107th day of 2014. There are 258 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Journeymen shoemakers of Rock Island struck for higher wages yesterday morning, asking 25 percent increases. Employers have acceded to their demand.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Lighting struck wires of the Merchants Electric Light Co. during a furious storm, and many Rock Island business houses were compelled to resort to gas as a means of illumination.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Members of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, decided to erect a new edifice at a cost of about $60,000.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Willard Anderson, junior forward for the Augustana College basketball team, which won 17 out of 22 contests, was elected captain of the quintet.
1964 -- 50 years ago: John Hoffman, Moline, president of the Sac-Fox Council of Boy Scouts, will be honored for his 50 years in scouting by members of the council at a dinner Thursday evening.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Quad-Cities has what is believed to be the area's first elite-class gymnast. It's the stuff upon which Olympic competitors are made. Tiffany Chapman, of Rock Island, not only has earned the highest possible gymnast ranking, she won the honor at age 11.

(More History)