Smart Irrigation Month is a public campaign to create awareness about, and promote, the wise use of water.
- If you are pumping your own water or buying water, your utility bills can be reduced with a smart irrigation system.
- Smart irrigation systems reduce water usage, and utility companies can reduce investment in utility construction costs, lowering your costs.
- A healthy watered landscape does provide a positive environmental impact.
- Smart irrigation promotes conservation and efficiency improvements, and protects our water resource for future generations.
Automatic irrigation systems, also known as sprinkler systems have the ability to deliver just the right amount of water very efficiently and at the right time. These Smart Irrigation Systems:
- Make landscape maintenance convenient, effective and very easy.
- Nearly every drop of water does it’s job when evaporation and waste are minimized.
- Over watering is minimized while still keeping your lawn and landscape lush and healthy.
- Adjusts watering automatically every day to account for your weather conditions.
What You Can Do to Improve Your Irrigation Efficiency
Inspect your system monthly. Your sprinkler system is working many times each month to water your property. Things can and will go wrong. If you have a digital controller, create a 2 minute test cycle on one of your timer’s unused programs. You only need run time on each zone. You do not need to set days to starting times. Using your controllers manual start feature, begin a manual cycle on your test program, walking to each and every head location for a close up inspection while operating. Make sure no obvious leaks exist. Look for areas around heads that seem soggy while areas further away are appropriately moist. This could signify a hidden leak.
Make sure sprinkler heads are in proper adjustment. That doesn’t only mean the arc they cover, but also their height or position.low Medford lawn sprinkler head Over time heads can become blocked by turf growth or shrub and flower growth. Consider raising or moving sprinklers as needed to get the water where it was originally intended to go. Obstructed heads, over the water turf or plants that block them making a mess at the least and plant death at the worst. Additionally, the obstructed water leaves other areas under watered causing additional plant health decline and possible mortality.
Observe system operating pressure. Old automatic irrigation lose their ability to open properly over time. If you have zones with nearly an identical quantity and type of heads, the way they spray the water should appear to be similar.
Install an automatic rain shutoff switch. These devices will shut down your system after a predetermined amount of rain and then reset automatically at a later time. Even a small sprinkler system can save thousands of gallons per year with this device.
Upgrade to a Smart Irrigation Controller with a weather sensor. pro c irrigation controller resized 600This type of sprinkler controller offers the ultimate in convenience and conservation. Savings can typically reach 15%-30% while delivering a healthy and beautiful, lawn or landscape. Gone are the days of setting run times in the spring. That method results in over or under watering and promotes lawn and landscape problems that cost money, as well as water waste.
There are a variety of irrigation system weather sensors on the market. These devices are not to be confused with automatic rain shut offs. Some weather sensors require phone line or wifi access for local weather data, and may also require a subscription. Others rely on an on site sensor connected to your sprinkler timer.
They may be sophisticated enough to measure humidity, rainfall, wind speed and temperature. Other units may simply measure solar gain. All are matched to a specific controller, or line of controllers from the sensor manufacturer.
For residential sprinkler systems simple is often the best choice. Many times water utilities or municipalities enact restrictive conservation measures that dictate days or times lawn watering may occur. More sophisticated sensors may not be able to manage adequately in these restrictive environments.
My favorite choice for residential, sports fields and commercial complexes is the Hunter Solar Sync, paired with a compatible Hunter irrigation controller.solar sync This device measures solar gain and takes temperature readings every hour of every day. Solar gain means a cloudy day is not equal to a sunny day of the same temperature. The Hunter Solar Sync uses a built in weather database, custom settings at installation and the usual schedule settings on your sprinkler timer. Solar Sync adjusts the running time of your system daily at midnight, based on weather conditions for the prior 72 hours. This eliminates large swings in run times.
Weather sensor based controls will lessen or increase the amount of water applied to match real conditions. Abnormally hot weather may require 30% more water than usual, while unseasonly cool weather may require a 40% reduction. Every irrigation cycle is just right with a weather sensor based controller.
No matter where you choose to start your sprinkler system maintenance and improvements, you have made a wise decision to protect our precious water resource and your wallet.