9 Ways to prevent water waste
Everywhere you look the world is (trying) to “go green”. This is especially true for the irrigation industry — finding ways to water our yards, gardens and crops that cuts back as far as possible on the senseless loss or overuse of water is key. Here are 9 ideas that can be easily implemented in your own yard.
Water at night: By watering at night, more water is able to get to the roots of the plant than if you were to water during the day time because the sun and its heat are not causing the water to evaporate.
Mulching your grass clippings: Instead of bagging your lawns clippings, it can be beneficial to mulch the clippings and let them settle back into the turf. The clippings will create a mat or thatch of sorts which traps the moisture in and protects from too much direct sunlight. Most recent lawnmowers have a mulch setting, or a removable bag which causes the mower to mulch by default. Additionally, special blade(s) can be purchased for your mowers which are designed to mulch the clippings while they are inside the mower by adding an airfoil and additional sharp up-turned blades to further mulch the grass as it tumbles around under the mower before falling down into the turf.
Mow it high: Keep the deck setting of your lawn mower up above the 3.5” setting. The taller grass will allow a shadow to be cast from the turf and prevent water from evaporating too quickly. Additionally, taller grass looks healthier and helps to hide stressed areas.
Geyser Stop: With the help of this little device, you will never have to worry about waking up to a H2O geyser in your front yard or outside your business. Simply install one of these inexpensive devices inline with each sprinkler head you have and it will mechanically monitor and regulate the flow of water. Should the sprinkler head break or become damaged and begin to gush water out in a geyser the metal ball that is housed within the valve will be forced up against a seal preventing any water from flowing through that head. All other heads will be able to continue watering as usual.
Smart Controller: The new generation of smart controllers is making big waves in the sprinkler industry. Suddenly, managing the start and stop times of your sprinklers is easy to do! You can use your laptop or smart-phone to create watering schedules and programs and schedule them in a calendar to start and stop at predetermined times. Because sprinkler controllers can be difficult to program, many people took a “set it and forget it” approach to watering. Letting the sprinkler system run for the same amount of time all year long, instead of giving the lawn the prescribed amount of water according to the season. A smart controller will empower you to make those changes without the fear of messing something up and having to call someone to reprogram the controller.
Rain Sensor / Moisture Sensor: Without a rain sensor or a smart controller that is connected to a live weather feed, your sprinkler system won’t know the difference between a sunny day and a downpour. Incorporating a rain sensor will prevent watering during a rainfall. Some rain sensors can even meter the quantity of rain and calculate how much system run-time was replaced by the rainfall and stop the system from running accordingly. Similarly, a soil moisture sensor is able to override the watering schedule when necessary.
Installing Check Valves: Check valves are designed to prevent from needlessly draining out of sprinkler heads at lower elevations in the system whenever the system is turned off. This problem is especially prominent in conditions where there are elevation changes and hills where water can run back down from and out of sprinkler heads at lower elevations. Look for sprinklers with build in check-valves in them. Sprinkler heads that include a check valve in them will prevent any water from escaping in low pressure situation and are often indicated as “SAM” (Seal-a-matic) or “CV” (Check Valve) in the model number or name of the product.
Water Meter connected to smart controller: Most controllers will accept a water mete to be installed for ministering the amount of water being used. When paired with a smart controller that is connected to a wifi network. The smart controller will monitor the amount of water that is used on average and if water begins to be used at a higher rate than what it has come to recognize as “normal” it will send out a warning message over the network to let you know that there is a problem of some kind.
Stay in adjustment: Check your sprinklers regularly to ensure they are not spraying places that they shouldn’t be. Common offenders of misplaced water waste are sprinklers spraying on sidewalks, the road, sides of buildings or fences, or vegetation which is blocking the water from spraying where it needs to go.