Do your landscapers know how to turn on your irrigation system correctly?
Spring is quickly arriving and with dry conditions this winter we have already begun to turn on irrigation systems for our clients. It is a good idea to have an irrigation specialist turn on your system to avoid common do-it-yourselfer pitfalls. As much as 50 percent of all water used for irrigation is wasted due to inefficient systems. We just cannot afford to let this happen when water conservation is so critical.
Many irrigation systems unknowingly waste water and common culprits include leaky pipes, broken valves, maladjusted sprinklers or a malfunctioning or improperly programmed irrigation controller. When we turn irrigation systems on, we inspect each zone for proper function and leaks, clean heads as needed, and test the system to assure that your heads are adjusted for proper coverage. We also ensure that your irrigation system is not over or under watering by adjusting the irrigation run times to provide the correct amount of water for the season’s changing water requirements.
Each irrigation station is evaluated and programmed to account for type of sprinkler, sun or shade exposure, type of plants, depth of root zone and type of soil in the specific area. We also figure in historical evapotranspiration rates and climate factors. An efficient irrigation system and watering schedule should be customized to best suit your landscape and account for local climate conditions.
Today’s irrigation controllers offer a variety of features and program options. These new technologies help improve the flexibility of the system but do increase its complexity. The EPA WaterSense program recommends that even with the smartest irrigation technologies, you should consult with a professional certified in waterefficient techniques and practices before installing or making adjustments to your system (www.epa.gov/WaterSense). A “Smart” irrigation controller can run any system, but if the system components have not been installed or maintained correctly then the level of efficiency the controller can provide is greatly reduced.