Tag Archives: conservation

10 Ways to Save Water and Money with Your Sprinkler System

Here in the U.S. we done a good job at conserving water inside the home with low flow toilets, shower heads and faucets.  Unfortunately we are terrible at water conservation outside the home as we allowing our sprinkler systems to over-water our lawns by as much as 50% wasting thousands of gallons per month.    There are a number of DIY improvements you can make to your irrigation system to save a ton of water (and money) each month.  Here are our top 10 ideas.

Install a Smart Controller – There is no doubt that the best improvement you can make to your irrigation system is to add a smart controller.    The typical “dumb” irrigation controller is simply a timer set to run each zone for the same number of minutes year round.  Can you imagine operating your heat or air conditioning the same number of minutes each day throughout the entire year?   A good smart controller will determine the ideal amount of time to run each zone based on a number of factors including the time of year, plant material, slope, recent rainfall, soil type, current weather conditions and much more.

Utilize Seasonal Adjustments – If you’d rather not upgrade your controller to a smart controller then consider utilize the monthly adjustment feature in your current controller.  This will automatically adjust the time each zone is run based on the monthly water needs.  So, set June-July to 100% and each month (based on this chart) to a lower % of water usage.

Avoid Water Runoff –  If you run your sprinklers and have water running down your driveway, off the sidewalks and down the road then you are wasting water.  Unfortunately, this generally happens at 3 am and nobody notices it.   Water run off could be caused by a number of issues including poorly adjusted sprinkler heads spraying on concrete, too much water on a zone or even a leak in the system.

Misting from High Pressure

Install Pressure Regulators or Pressure Regulating Sprinkler Heads – Each sprinkler head is designed to work with a optimal water pressure range.  If your water pressure to that sprinkler head is too high then you’ll generate a great deal of waste through additional “mist” or “fog” that essentially evaporates before it reaches your soil.    If you see this in your irrigation system then consider replacing your sprinkler heads with pressure regulating sprinkler heads to ensure the proper pressure at each head.  You can now reduce the time each zone is running since more of the water is reaching your soil vs the air.

Install Water Efficient Sprinkler Nozzles – There has actually been quite a bit of technical improvements to sprinkler heads over the last 10 years.  Many sprinkler manufacturers have more efficient sprinkler head options that utilize matched perciptiation rates to ensure more of the water reaches your soil vs being evaporated or blown into your neighbor’s driveway.  Here is a good video about some  of the efficient sprinkler head nozzle options.


Ensure Your Rain/Freeze Sensor is Working

Utilize Drip Irrigation

Perform Regular Maintenance

Turn Off Your Sprinklers!



Texas drought is rearing its ugly head again

May not be a popular opinion but I’m thinking we should expect this to be the new norm, not just a “season” of dry weather.  We need to start preparing to use less water.

“Ninety-four percent of Texas is now abnormally dry, 54 percent is stuck in severe drought and 25 percent is mired in the extreme category, up 10 percent from one week ago, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday.”

“The rainfall deficit for April through November in DFW is pushing 10 inches, Huckabee said. In portions of Denton County, the deficit is as much as 16 inches over the last six months.”

Drought by the numbers
94: Percent of Texas that is abnormally dry
55: Percent of Texas in severe drought
25: Percent of Texas in extreme drought
64: Percent of capacity for Texas water storage reservoirs:
79: Percent of capacity for Tarrant Regional Water District
75: Percent of Four Sixes Ranch cattle that remain out of state.
40 to 45: Percent of wheat crop rated as poor or very poor
53: Percent of pastures in poor condition
0.05 inch: November rainfall in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Read the full story at the Star Telegram

Smart Irrigation for Multifamily Communities

Apartment owners and managers are constantly looking for new opportunities to reduce operating costs while maintaining a great community.  With water costs increasing over 10% per year and apartments using millions of gallons for landscaping, now is the time to start considering smart irrigation technologies.

Many multifamily maintenance managers are focused more on “putting out fires” and have little time to proactively optimize the irrigation systems for maximum efficiency.   There is really no accountability for the landscape water usage and costs.

Our landscape water management service utilizes cutting-edge technology to ensure your apartment complex sprinkler system applies the precise amount of water for your plant type, soil type, temperature, slope and rainfall. We also remotely monitor, adjust and report the usage to the property manager.  We’ll now become accountable for the landscape water usage.  If you feel you are using too much water then you have someone to call.

Check out this great article from Chris Lee at the Property Manager Insider on Multifamily Communities are leveraging smart irrigation technologies to save water and money.


The Hydro-illogical Cycle

There’s the hydrological cycle, which describes how water moves across the earth, and then there’s the “hydro-illogical cycle,” which describes the painfully short memories of Americans after a drought.

“It’s where people go, ‘Oh look, we’re running out of water,’ and then it rains and everyone goes, ‘Oh, everything’s fine’ and go right back into the habits of what got us into a drought in the first place,” said Alyssa Burgin, executive director of the Texas Drought Project.

Read the rest of the story at the Fort Worth Weekly.