Irrigation Money Saving Tips
By Ajay Dhawan, Waterwise Consulting, Inc.
As July ends, so does Smart Irrigation Month. Smart irrigation can mean a few things to improve your irrigation system. Most importantly, your return on investment can save you thousands of dollars over the life of the product, if it is installed and maintained correctly. Smart irrigation controllers, flow sensors with master valves, high-efficient rotary nozzles and converting areas to drip irrigation are usually the best bang for your buck.
Upgrading your irrigation equipment in most cases is not a hard thing to do and most landscapers can do the work. But in order for it to work correctly, you will want to make sure you hire the right company for the job. Hire a licensed C-27 landscaper who will know more about these products. You can find certified landscapers through California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) or another good resource is the Irrigation Association (IA). Once you hire the right company, have them inspect the irrigated areas first and repair any major problems they find before installing the new irrigation equipment. Some common problems found are:
- Broken lateral lines;
- Broken sprinklers or rotors;
- Valves need maintenance or replacing;
By upgrading your devices, you can save up to 50% on your water use. Smart irrigation controllers save you money by adjusting the daily watering schedule based on the current temperatures. Also, most controllers have an option for a rain sensor where if there is rain, your controller will shut off and turn back on the next scheduled cycle. Make sure to install a master valve and flow sensor when installing a new controller. A flow sensor is a great device to notify you via text or email that a problem has occurred in your irrigation. High-efficient spray nozzles can not only save water but they can reduce or eliminate run-off to the storm drains. Finally, drip irrigation is the most efficient way to water your plants and tree areas. It will take longer to run, but the water will only be used directly to the plants. This is another great practice that can reduce or eliminate water run-off.
Did you know that most water companies offer a rebate incentive for installing some of these devices? Check with them first before you make any changes to your irrigation. You can find more information about Smart Irrigation by going to the following websites: