Whether it’s a residential or a commercial lawn that needs to be kept green and looking lush, the father and son team of Bob and Don Dahlk can install and service an irrigation system through their business, Capitol Lawn Sprinkler.
In addition to residential and commercial clients, the Dahlks also install irrigation on sports fields. A specialty installation that has become popular is irrigation for hops fields for brewery applications. Drip irrigation for plant beds, hanging baskets and pots is another application that Capitol Lawn Sprinkler can install. The living wall, an indoor installation of tropical plants at the Promega headquarters in Fitchburg, uses an irrigation system installed by Capitol Lawn Sprinkler.
The business began in the spring of 1984 as an offshoot of a family business run by Bob’s nephew. Originally, the business was just father, son and one other person. The business was run from Bob’s home until 1990. Today, there are 17 employees, including five service technicians.
Bob serves as the president of the company. He has a background in landscaping and irrigation dating back to 1960s. Don is the secretary and treasurer. Don originally had planned to be a tax accountant and earned a degree in accounting. He gained experience working summers during college to run the office while being mentored by his father in the irrigation business.
Don’s sister-in-law, Colleen Volker, has served as the business manager since 2006. Doug Volker, a cousin, is the foreman and has been with the company since 1989. The staff has years of on-the-job training, plus they attend manufacturer-sponsored classes, distributor meetings and seminars.
Using trench-less machines, which are specially designed to pull pipe underground, the irrigation system installation doesn’t create a mess above ground. All that can be seen when the installation is complete are small cut lines. The business provides its clients with a spring startup and a fall weatherization, which are included with installation.
The seasonal aspect of the business raises many challenges. A season with a lot of rain isn’t good for their business, nor is a winter without snow as they do snow removal.
“We have a dedication to the environment, our customers, the green industry and our employees,” Don Dahlk said. “Knowing we make a difference in the lives of others is very important to us.”