Irrigation systems deliver water very precisely to targeted areas, which saves water and money.
Traditional Water Application
Chances are if you don’t already have an irrigation system you are watering with a hose with a nozzle or sprinkler head. One problem with this system is that it delivers water to the ground faster than it can be absorbed, leading to water runoff and wasted water.
It is also easy to overwater when using a hose and sprinkler, the sprinkler needs to be left to run for enough time to saturate the ground, but has to be monitored to reduce overwatering. It’s easy for you to forget the sprinkler while doing other chores.
The best time to water your yard and gardens is in the early morning, before the heat of day. This can be a difficult task to accomplish, especially if more than one area needs to be watered.
Finally, lugging hoses and sprinklers around can just be annoying. Hoses are hard to move around, they weight a lot and get caught on things.
Watering Strategically with Irrigation
Irrigation systems use zones to target the watering needs of specific areas. Irrigation technicians
will take numerous conditions into effect in order to create zones within your yard that have different watering needs. For example a few considerations would be soil type, plant type, grading, exposure to wind and sun and climate. Each of these zones can be targeted differently to ensure they are not overwatered, and only receive the proper amount of water.
The amount of water used by a properly installed irrigation system also varies by the time of year. In our area of Ohio your system should be programmed to use more water in the heat of August than during the cool, wet spring.
Most people think of sprinkler heads when they think of an irrigation system. However, rotor head sprinklers and spray head sprinklers are only one part of an irrigation system. If you need to water a vegetable garden or flowers in a flower bed a drip irrigation system is more efficient. In a drip irrigation system water slowly drips out of holes in a line of piping. These holes are strategically placed so the water is targeting the plant roots. Because the water is very targeted and there is very little evaporation it is very water efficient.
How Irrigation System Technology Helps Conserve Water
A properly working smart controller is probably the best way to save water and money with an irrigation system. This is how your technician can properly adjust the watering for each irrigation zone. If your irrigation system was installed before smart controllers were an option, do not worry; they are easy to retro fit. Adding a smart controller to a system that doesn’t have one saves, on average, 40%-60% of water usage.
Installing a rain sensor is another good way to save water and money. A rain sensor is relatively cheap and effective. It will be able to tell when there has been a certain amount of rainfall and when that threshold has been met, it will tell your irrigation system not to run.
Sprinkler System Tune-ups Prevent Water Waste
An irrigation system can only work as well as it’s taken care of. Your system should receive a tune up every year. You may be able to spot some issues yourself but if there are any leaks they will probably need to be fixed by a professional. A trained technician will be able to adjust and fix sprinkler heads and repair leaks.
Traditional Watering Methods Vs. Irrigation System
Hose with Sprinkler or Nozzle
Easy to over water/needs close attention
Time and Hassle of lugging hose around
Hard to do at the best time of day
Precise water application in targeted areas
Set it up and forget it
Works even while you’re traveling or asleep
Saves water and money over the life of the system
So, what's the bottom line?
In summary, an irrigation system will save water and money, but you will have a higher up front cost than the alternative and it will require some ongoing maintenance. Depending on your unique conditions it typically takes 3-5 years to realize the savings an irrigation system will provide. A well maintained irrigation system lasts 15-40 years so that can lead to a large ROI over the lifetime of your system.
If you are interested in learning more about a new irrigation system, installing a smart controller or scheduling a tune up – click the button below to visit our site.