The term "Smart Water Application Technologies" includes any irrigation product and/or practice that delivers proven, exceptional landscape water use efficiency.
Today, technology comes in many different forms, whether it be the actual irrigation components, advancements in the design process, or the scheduling/management of the system. This page will briefly cover each of the different pieces of equipment.
How SMART controllers help reduce water usage.
The controller (timer, clock, or station timer) is the brains of your underground irrigation system. These devices keep track of the days to water, the start time of the irrigation schedule, and the run time for each individual zone (station). The most valuable feature on your controller is the water percentage adjustment. This feature allows you to reduce the amount of water you apply to the lawn and landscape as the seasons change.
"Smart" irrigation controllers maximize outdoor water use efficiency by using climate and site, or soil moisture data as a basis for irrigation scheduling, maintaining, and in many cases enhancing, the health and beauty of landscaping. A "smart" controller saves money by reducing water usage. Specific water savings will depend on how much you may have over-watered in the past, but pilot studies have shown typical water savings to be in the range of 20%-40% annually. (more on controllers...)
How Sensors can help reduce water usage?
There are many different types of sensors on the market ranging from the simple but effective rain sensor to the highly technical ET/climate sensors. Rain Sensors are preset from a 1/8" to 1" and will shut off your irrigation system automatically during a rain event. There are also soil moisture sensors. Soil Moisture Sensors actually measure the amount of moisture in the soil and will inhibit your system from operating when the soil moisture content is at the correct level, ensuring that you never over water. The most effective of all the sensors are the climate sensors or ET devices. ET devices actually take several different climatic readings and calculate exact run times for each individual zone taking into account soil type, wind speeds, solar radiation, and humidity to determine the exact amount of supplemental water to replace. (more on sensors...)
How can a Spray Rotator reduce water usage?
Spray Rotators are a very new technology. Spray rotators are designed to apply water at a very low or slow rate rate, this reduces run off and allows for deeper soil penetration. A typical rotor will apply water at a rate of about .65" to .80" per hour, spray heads average about 1.57" per hour, a spray rotator applies at a rate of about .45" to .55" per hour. (more on rotors...)
How can a Spray Head reduce water usage?
This is the oldest of the technologies, but still is a very effective way to reduce water consumption. All spray heads no matter the manufacturer, are designed to emit water at 30 psi. Chances are your house probably has somewhere between 50 and 120 psi (water pressure is determined by you water purveyor or the folks that installed your well). The further your water pressure exceeds 30 psi the more a spray head will waste. In our example we will use a house that has 75psi with a 3/4" water service. This means your sprinkler system should be flowing about 11 gpm. With this example one zone of spray heads would waste 13,091 gallons of water per year. Now if your property had four different zones of spray heads your system would be wasting 52,364 gallons of water per year. To put that in perspective it would take 27,154 gallons of water to cover one acre (43,560 sq ft) of ground with 1" of water, or roughly a swimming pool 30ft x 60ft x 4ft. (more on spray heads...)
Hunt Irrigation, the Water Smart Company, specializes in all these technologies, and has both Certified Irrigation Contractors as well as a Certified Irrigation Auditor on staff to assist you with any questions or upgrades. Please feel free to contact us for a consultation. You can reach us at 402.438.8151 or email@example.com