Drip Irrigation Part 3

Drip Irrigation - Water Saving Tips, Garden irrigation, Sprinkler system, LEED WE

Drip Irrigation - Water Saving Tips

Drip Irrigation - Water Saving Tips | Garden Irrigation, Sprinkler System and LEED WE systems discussed

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In the US 340 billion gallons of fresh water is withdrawn from our rivers, lakes and reservoirs. Almost 65% of this water is returned to the same bodies of water and in some cases it is now treated water.

In some parts of the US the aquifers have been recorded to have dropped over 100 feet. The water deficit in the US stands at about 3,700 billion gallons of water on an annual basis with self-supplied domestic withdrawals re estimated at 3,590 million gallons a day!

LEED WE Water Efficiency Measures that are implemented in a LEED for Homes home can account for a savings of approximately 30,000 gallons of water per year, which amounts to a savings of over $100.00 per year.

Water Saving Tip 1: Set your irrigation controller to adjust for seasonal changes. Most controllers will have a percent key that makes this adjustment very easy. Check out the Weathermatic SL 1600 controller. It's the one that Green Living Made Easy purchased, and the one I recommend to all my clients. The feature-rich programming that is available for this unit makes it the best on the market.

Water Saving Tip 2:Install a rain sensor. This will shut the controller off when enough rain is received to sustain the plants. The Weathermatic SL 1600 comes with a rain sensor in the box. We are also quite impressed with the Rainbird which has similar features .

Water Saving Tip 3: Run your irrigation system in the morning. There is less wind and the evaporation rates are down in the early morning hours. If you have zones with over-head spray zones, program these zones first and follow-up with drip irrigation, which is not nearly as wind sensitive.

Water Saving Tip 4: Check that all sprinklers are operating properly and not blocked by dirt, grass, etc. Also, make sure that you put end plugs on the end of each zone. This is important for draining zones for winterizing purposes and for flushing-out the zone to rid it of any contaminates.

Water Saving Tip 5: Fix any leaking valves immediately. First, check inside your valve boxes. There should be no moisture present as all poly pipe to fittings should be tight. If you do have leaking, check out these possible fixes:

    If you have leaking at the poly pipe to fitting joint, check the hose clamp tightness. If it still leaks, put another stainless steel hose clamp adjacent to the first one, but make sure you are still over the fitting barb. (Look for slight swelling in the poly pipe where the fitting was forced onto the pipe).
    If you have a split in the poly pipe, you will have to take a piece of poly pipe out and install a barbed union, with two hose clamps on each side of the joint.
    Leaks outside the valve box can usually be spotted by soggy areas each time the zone runs. You may also notice water coming out of the ground
Have Your Irrigation Lines Winterized

Have Your Drip Irrigation Lines Winterized

Water Saving Tip 6: Winterize your system if you live in a cold state. This will keep pipe and fittings from cracking or bursting during periods of freezing. Hire a company to blow out your lines with an air compressor in the fall.

It is well worth the minor expense for this winterizing project. Even if your system is designed to gravity drain, there can still be low spots that develop over time and will cause problems.

Made sure you have end/drain plugs installed at the end of your zone lines, preferably at the low point of the system.

Water Saving Tip 7: Do you have an alternate water system available to you, such as a creek, pond, or gray water system? You can do some research on this to find out if your local municipality allows this. Using water from one of these alternate sources means you don't need to use your main source of water for irrigation.

Water Saving Tip 8: Consider a flow detector and auto shutoff system in the event of a burst in the line. Although these devices do not save water for a system that is operating properly, they can save a lot of water by shutting down the system in the event of a burst pipe or fitting.

Water Saving Tip 9: Mow grass to higher levels in the warm months. This will give the grass more shade which means less water is needed to keep grass looking good.

Water Saving Tip 10: Add mulch to landscape beds. This holds moisture in the planting beds for a much longer time and allows you to irrigate less often.

Water Saving Tip 11: Consider drought-tolerant plants and lawn areas. Once established, drought-tolerant plants need little additional irrigation other than natural rainfall. You can often establish a bed within one year with a portable irrigation system and a localized water control valve. After the year has passed the planting bed will require little, if any, additional irrigation.

Water Saving Tip 12: Reduce the size of your lawn areas. Manicured lawn areas require more irrigation than any other type of landscape material..

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