Monday, July 19, 2010

Water Smart with Underground Irrigation

After our little fungal detour last week (that doesn't sound quite right, does it?) we are back on track with Smart watering tips from the Irrigation Association.

Having an automatic sprinkler will save you time and water. A well designed irrigation system will properly cover your landscape and you don't have to remember to move the hose or turn off the water.  

The following list contains the reasons why the Irrigation Association encourage you to have an automatic sprinkler:

Using an automated irrigation system is one of the best ways to keep your lawn and landscape beautiful and healthy, while minimizing water waste. Plan carefully for a reliable, flexible irrigation system that can grow and evolve along with your landscaping.
  • Use components that provide flexibility. Different plants have different watering needs, and these needs may change over time. Your system should allow you to apply the right amount of water for each type of plant by the most effective method.
  • Install excess capacity. Irrigation zones are areas that are watered by the same irrigation valve and plumbing. Installing extra connections now makes it easier and less expensive to expand your irrigation system later.
  • Think smart. Include “smart” controls that automatically adjust watering based on rain, soil moisture, evaporation and plant water use.
  • Check water pressure. Low or high pressure can seriously affect sprinkler performance; choose sprinklers based on the water pressure on your site.
  • Buy the best. Use the best components you can afford to minimize future maintenance and total lifetime cost of your system.
  • Meet code requirements. Include the right backflow prevention device for your area. Required by the National Plumbing Code for all irrigation systems, backflow prevention devices prevent irrigation system water from contaminating the water supply.
  • Dig deep. Install lines deep enough to protect them from damage from aeration and other lawn maintenance.
  • Look for savings. Many water utilities offer rebates for certain water-efficient products. Before finalizing your new system, consult with your local water provider.
  • Hire carefully. Even the best irrigation system won’t perform well if installed incorrectly. When looking to hire a designer or contractor, always get multiple bids, check references and confirm all vendors are insured.

 The most important aspect of your underground sprinkler is the design. I cannot emphasize that enough. You can have a smart controller, and top quality materials, but if it is designed and installed by someone with little or no knowledge of layout, hydraulics or precipitation rates, you will still be making a poor investment.
Talk to your neighbors, look at yards you like and yards you don't, get references, and request a detailed estimate. Select a company that will service your sprinkler for you after it has been installed. Be an educated consumer and your new irrigation system will keep you happy and your yard green for many, many years.

Have a super week!
Keep it Green!

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