The declaration of days, weeks and months is getting pretty tiring – there’s a day for everything now (National Fruitcake Toss Day, anyone?). At BG Outdoor Services, one we do celebrate is Smart Irrigation Month, which the Irrigation Association designated as the month of July. No parades or Hallmark cards for this celebration but an excellent time to have your sprinkler evaluated for peak efficiency.
The best way to do that is with a combination of regular inspections and every four to five years scheduling a sprinkler audit. Periodic performance inspections ensure your irrigation system is running as it should, while an audit is more in-depth. Our standard sprinkler system audit includes a senior technician who meets with a homeowner for about an hour. They will go through each zone of the system fine tuning performance, noting problems, giving programming tips and most importantly, suggesting new technology upgrades.
Since most sprinkler systems run in the wee hours, homeowners rarely notice problems. Until a section of lawn begins looking parched or there’s a geyser of a leak, most assume it’s working perfectly. Our company recommends all of our customers watch their system run every few weeks so they notice when a bush has grown over a head or there’s a small leak. While regular inspections will reveal obvious problems, scheduling a sprinkler audit every few years can uncover more subtle things that potentially cause wasted water or system inefficiencies.
Not having your system properly programmed is probably the number one all-time water waster (see our blog post on “How to Program a Lawn Sprinkler System for Effective Water Use”). The basic concept is that all sprinklers put out water faster than the soil can absorb it. The trick is to get the water to soak into the soil to the depth of the root zone without losing a huge amount to runoff. No small feat when you factor in slopes, sun, shade, etc. It can be a pain to get it right but once you do it will lead to improved root growth (and lawn health) as well as cheaper water bills.
Both of the above (vigilance on finding/correcting problems and proper programming) have always been important for maintaining an efficient sprinkler system. In the last several years however, the advances in smart sprinkler water-saving technology have made it cost-effective to look at upgrading many of the components in older systems. One upgrade is replacing rain sensors with on-site smart device compatible weather stations. These WiFi smart controllers automatically update with local weather info to self-adjust programming (they also have an app to control the system through your phone which is pretty cool). Other recommendations include using affordable soil moisture sensors and pressure regulation at each sprinkler head to ensure maximum performance. Most of these examples and more like them add up to significant water savings and optimized system performance.
Unlike Take Your Houseplant for a Walk Day or National Squirrel Appreciation Day (we sure won’t be toasting those bird feeder destroyers), we want you to celebrate Smart Irrigation Month. Do so by making sure your sprinkler system is operating at peak efficiency. It’s no joke because water is one of our most precious resources – let our experts help maximize your water savings today. If you need a sprinkler system audit, maintenance or repairs, contact BG Outdoor Services today.