The following are eight methods to maximize the effectiveness of your irrigation, reduce the amount of water used and cost to irrigate a property:
Phase out ground cover and other water demanding plant material:
Ivy, red apple and gazania are popular groundcovers in San Diego, but require a large amount of water. Ground cover can be replaced with native plant material, mulch, decomposed granite or boulder accents. Water demanding plants should be replaced with drought tolerant, regionally appropriate alternatives.
Auditing each station to make sure all valves and heads are working properly and that you do not have mixed plant material, with different watering needs, on the same valves. For example, turf and planters. Turf areas require more water than planters; if both areas are connected to the same irrigation valve, the planters will be over watered.
Regular irrigation system inspections and tune-ups:
Conduct routine audits of an irrigation system by running each station to monitor for breaks, run-off and pressure issues.
Weekly meter readings:
Weekly meter readings uncover spikes in water usage. If there is a broken valve or sprinkler head, causing runoff in an area out of view – water use will spike. By reading the meters on a more regular basis, an irrigation manager is able to reduce the time between problem and solution.
MP Rotators are multi directional, slow volume sprinkler heads. They deliver water at a slower rate, for better absorption and less runoff, so a greater percentage of the water is used for its intended purpose – irrigation. MP Rotators are very good for slopes and dense soil. They typically produce a 30% water savings, compared to more traditional sprinkler heads.
Drip line is a more efficient way to deliver water to plant material, especially in the small and narrow planters that you might find in parking lots and along walkways. Drip line irrigation is a better alternative to sprinkler heads that tend to spray water on the adjoining pavement and sidewalks, which results in runoff and evaporation.
Fertigation is fertilizing through a drip irrigation system. Every time the system is on, a small amount of fertilizer is delivered to the plant material. Fertigation saves water because it doesn’t require the soaking that fertilizer granules do. Less water results in less water runoff.
Smart Controllers with water flow sensors:
Smart controllers have precipitation sensors that prevent the system from operating during or right after a rainfall. Water flow sensors provide alerts when an abnormally high level of water is being discharged. The irrigation manager will know to analyze the system to see what’s causing the surge in water use.
Heaviland Landscape Management employs a number of Reclaimed Water Supervisors, Reclaimed Water Managers, Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditors and Watershed Wise Landscape Professionals. We’re your landscape irrigation experts.
If you’re a Property, Facility, Community or Apartment Manager and looking for ways to reduce a property’s water usage, contact Heaviland today or complete the web form on the right side of this page.