Sprinklers watering lawn

Responsible Watering Part 2

As San Antonio approaches the warmer months, being responsible about water usage in irrigation is of utmost importance. Conserving water is top priority when the Aquifer levels are low due to the long periods of drought and saving water becomes every resident’s responsibility. Learning to use water efficiently, in the most precise and even manner possible, minimizes waste. In part 2 of “Responsible Watering”, we will include additional suggestions that can be used to manage water more efficiently. Evergreen Sprinkler Repair can help with water-saving irrigation and sprinkler repair. Call us (210) 496-2318.

Flow Control Devices
Installing valves with flow control will allow you to better manage the flow of your system and prevent run-off.

Automatic Shut-off Device
Adding an automatic shut-off device on every system can result in 15-20% in water savings. Install an automatic shut-off device like a rain sensor or moisture sensor on every system. These devices automatically shut-off the controller when it is raining or when sufficient soil moisture is reached. They prevent over-watering and the bad publicity that results from sprinklers running when it rains.

Automatic Controller with Water-Conserving Functions
The following are some of the key features currently available in controllers for maximum flexibility and water efficiency:

Multiple start times – allows several shorter and more precise run times to prevent run-off and puddles.

Multiple independent programs – allow the watering schedule to be divided into smaller, more precise watering schedules to accommodate the watering needs of different types of plant life.

Water Budget – provides easy and flexible adjustments to the amount of water used for irrigation.

Rain Delay – allows the user to pause a watering schedule when irrigation isn’t needed and resume watering when appropriate.

Cycle + Soak™ – applies water at a rate that the soil can accept, reducing erosion, run-off, and waste.

Flow Management – enables the controller to detect system problems like line breaks or broken sprinklers and shuts down irrigation to the affected zones to prevent water waste.

ET Programming – enables the controller to calculate daily evapotranspiration (ET) values and adjust the station run times to replace only the water used by the plants. This maintains a healthy landscape while minimizing water use

Central Control System
Central control systems show annual water savings of 25 – 30% on average. A central control system operates a single or multiple controllers, sensors and other irrigation devices from one central location. It contains all of the functions listed in the Controller section above plus additional sensors that monitor and control environmental conditions…automatically and without the need for personal intervention. This is especially useful on commercial sites.

Water Early Morning
Set up systems to irrigate between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. Early in the morning is the most efficient time to water because water can reach its destination without being evaporated by the sun or blown away by the wind. This will also save landscapes from disease caused by water sitting on plants overnight and prevents compaction caused by heavy traffic on wet soils.

Evergreen Sprinkler Repair is experience in all aspects of water efficient irrigation. Call us (210) 496-2318.

Responsible Watering Part I

In San Antonio, being responsible about water usage in irrigation is of utmost importance. With the Aquifer levels low due to the long periods of drought, saving water becomes every resident’s responsibility. Learning to use water efficiently, in the most precise and even manner possible, minimizes waste. In this 2 part blog, we will include a number of best practices and product suggestions that can be used to manage water more efficiently. Evergreen Sprinkler Repair can help with water-saving irrigation and sprinkler repair. Call us (210) 496-2318.

Water saving benefits of water conserving products

Water conservation products are better for the environment AND they can save money. Although purchasing water conserving products can be a little more expensive , it will minimize water wate and save you money in the long run. Just one example, an upgrade to a pressure regulating device on a spray head can save water and money.

Irrigation Design for different plant needs and environmental conditions

Set up irrigation zones and schedules for plants based on the water needs of your plant groupings. This will require more zones and may cost a little more initially, but will go a long way to save water. For example, suppose a landscape includes grass, shrubs, and trees, and the grass requires more water to stay healthy than do the shrubs and trees. If everything is on the same zone, the watering needs will be dictated by the grass, and the shrubs and trees will be over-watered. With separate zones controlled by separate programs on a controller, you can divide the schedule into smaller, more precise watering times and apply on the water needed for the particular plant.

Use pressure regulating devices in high pressure situations

Every 5 psi reduction in water pressure reduces water usage by 6-8%. The savings are over 50% if a 70 psi spray zone is reduced to the recommended 30 psi. So, design an irrigation and sprinkler system for an optimum 30 psi water delivery to spray heads to avoid wasteful misting/fogging. This can be achieved with pressure regulating spray heads, pressure reducing valves, and pressure regulating modules installed on valves. For low pressure situations which can result in uneven coverage, use a high efficiency pump.

Use check valve devices to prevent low head drainage

In landscaping with different elevations, water flows down to the lowest head on the system and drains out, causing puddles, erosion, and run-off. A check valve device prevents the water from draining out by trapping the water in the lateral line.

Use high efficiency nozzles for uniform coverage

Use nozzles in your sprinkler system that apply water evenly and save up to 30% in water usage. This is best achieved using matched precipitation rate nozzles. If precipitation is not matched, the system must be set to water the area that is putting down the least amount of water, thereby over-watering the other areas and wasting water. High efficiency nozzles are matched precipitation nozzles that provide the best and most uniform coverage, thereby eliminating watering gaps and reducing water usage…by as much as 30%. F

Install direct-to-plant-root irrigation in non-turf areas

Use drip irrigation for shrubs, flowers, and other non-turf areas. Drip irrigation systems deliver precise amounts of water slowly and evenly at the plant’s roots, eliminating water waste, run-off and over spray onto windows, walks and streets. The slow, consistent application of water at the plant root reduces weeds and plant disease, and helps plants to thrive.

Stay tuned for more tips on creating water conscious sprinkler systems. Call Evergreen Sprinkler Repair for more information  (210) 496-2318.

Sprinkler Maintenance Tips

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Fall Sprinkler System Maintenance Tips

Each fall, you should winterize your irrigation system to keep it in prime condition for the next spring and summer. To do this:

  • Check to see that your sprinkler system is functioning correctly. Make sure that your sprinkler heads aren’t blocked and are directed to the plants you would like them to water.
  • Look for perpetual damp spots in your landscape (before the fall rains start!) as these might indicate a leak or broken line that will have to be fixed.
  • Get your back flow checked. If you have an automatic sprinkler system, chances are that you have a backflow connection that is required by law to be checked annually. Contact your water provider to see if your back flow is due for a check up.
  • Winterize your automatic sprinkler system by emptying it of water and turning it off for the season (this includes drip systems too!).
  • Put garden hoses away for the season and insulate outdoor pipes. Empty and disconnect your garden hoses from outdoor faucets. Also be sure to insulate your outdoor faucets and any exposed pipes for the winter.
  • Clear debris from your gutters and downspouts. This will prevent overflow and keep the water from your roof directed where you want it to go during the winter rains.
  • Install a rain sensor. Rain sensors are designed to shut off sprinkler systems when rainfall reaches a preset amount, usually 1/4 inch.  Once the moisture level subsides, the sensor re-enables the sprinkler system, resuming the previous watering schedule. Rain sensors should be mounted in an unobstructed area exposed to open sky – minimizing the potential for fallen leaves or other debris from blocking the sensor.