Sprinkler & Drip Systems
Make your sprinklers smart
Caption plum:Install an irrigation system that works for your landscape
All landscapes are different, so water savings from efficient irrigation can vary. Avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach to watering will have an impact. Commercial organizations have achieved water savings of 25 to 75 percent by improving irrigation systems and hydrozoning. Smart controllers which adjust irrigation levels according to site- or weather-based conditions can play a key role.
Smart controllers respond to varying conditions and adjust the timing and amount of water accordingly. These include systems which receive weather-based data by radio, telephone or cable. There are also sensor-based systems that can respond to soil moisture and atmospheric conditions. The simplest smart controllers water using historical data. (Rain, freeze and wind shut-offs can also eliminate watering when prevailing conditions are not favorable.)
Irrigation equipment and design
Use matched precipitation spray and rotor heads. Matched precipitation means the sprinkler units are coordinated so that all lawn areas receive sufficient watering. However, other areas, such as shrub and flower beds should need less water. Consider grouping plants with similar water needs together (hydrozoning) and use drip irrigation systems for shrubs and similar plants.
Inspection and maintenance
Whatever the size of your business, you should make sure your sprinkler systems are inspected regularly. Having one person responsible for overseeing regular scheduled inspections is usually the best way to reduce waste through leaks, misdirection of sprinklers and inefficient operation.
Share tips that may be useful to the person responsible for your irrigation system:
- Get the most out of your sprinkler system by conditioning your soil for optimal lawn health. Visit Mulch & Soil for more information.
- Hydrozone and install designated "grass only" zones.
- Check your sprinkler clock after storms or power outages (it may return to a default mode).
- Water at most once every three days, even in the summer months.
- Activate your sprinkler system only at nighttime or before the sun rises.
- Replace or repair leaking or misdirected sprinklers - a wet customer can be an angry customer!