Smart Watering Tips For The Month of July
The irrigation association named July Smart Irrigation Month to provide tips about smart irrigation practices and new technology. Learn what you can do in July- and throughout the year- to operate your irrigation system at peak efficiency.
Adopting water savvy habits is essential to maintaining and extending your municipal water supply for Commercial Office, Retail and HOA Water Management and, especially during peak use. The key to efficient outdoor irrigation is applying just enough water and only when necessary. Water wise habits will result in healthier landscapes, in addition to conserving water. Plus, reducing your consumption will reduce your utility water bill.
Outdoor Watering Accounts for 30% of Water Consumption
Since 2006, Smart Irrigation Month has spoken of the positive impact of efficient irrigation and water uses. The month of July is designed to educate businesses, hoa landscaping, commercial rea estate management and other uses about efficient water use. Apartment and HOA landscaping, Retail Centers and Commercial buildings are not exempt.
This year, more than 25 states including California have been petitioned to proclaim July as Smart Irrigation Month.
Why July? That’s because July is typically the month demanding the most amount of water for outdoor use, which annually accounts for approximately 29 percent of consumption.
The Irrigation Association (IA) is a nonprofit agency educating businesses, consumers and end users on how to conserve water during peak and demand periods, as well as at any time during the year. Conserving water doesn’t have to require installing an expensive smart irrigation controller for the irrigation system, or pricy drip irrigation but can be as simple as applying IA’s suggested best irrigation practices:
Get in the Zone
Schedule each individual zone in your irrigation system to account for the type of sprinkler component, solar exposure, and type of soil in that zone. Different zones will usually require a different watering schedule. For example, a watering zone that is in full shade on a sloped surface will run for less watering time than a zone that has flat terrain and in full sun.
Type of Soil to be considered
Type of soil determines how fast water can infiltrate into the soil without runoff. Watering faster than the soil can absorb causes water to run off and be wasted.
Don’t Waste Water
Adjusting and setting the irrigation spray pattern to water the intended plant material, not parking lots, windows, driveways, signs or buildings.
Water Only When Needed
Saturate root zones and let the soil dry our between watering’s. Watering too often and too shallow results in poor root development, disease, pests and weed growth.
Irrigate in The Early Morning Hours
Watering during the heat of the day may cause losses of up to 25-40% percent due to evaporation from the heat. Reduce water use by watering when the sun is at a minimum, temperatures are low and winds are down — typically between the early morning and late evening.
Water More Frequently for Shorter Durations
For example, setting an irrigation system to run for three, 4-minute intervals lets soil absorb more water than watering for 12 minutes at one time, reducing the potential for wasting water . This is called the soak and cycle method for irrigating.
Use Smart Watering Technology to Save on Water Costs
Familiarize yourself with the adjustments on your irrigation controller and select the watering schedule based on local weather conditions. Or consider upgrading to state of the art smart controllers, these smart watering systems adjust watering run times automatically based on local daily weather conditions. Some Commercial Building owners and HOA properties are taking advantage of the smart watering technology available used for sustainanble landscape design to save money on water.
As commercial properties and communities across the state are facing challenges with watering restrictions and costs, it’s time to use water wisely and reduce its use. There’s no better time than now to start implementing smart irrigation practices to reduce your watering and lower utility costs.