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Technology to Enhance Smart Irrigation

Each year, the Irrigation Association hosts Smart Irrigation Month in July to educate professionals and consumers about the benefits of efficient irrigation technologies, products and services.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as much as 50 percent of the water used for outdoor irrigation is wasted due to inefficient watering methods and systems. Statistics like these, along with stricter local watering regulations and increased demands on water supply, reiterate the importance of understanding your irrigation options.

High-efficiency spray heads

Updated spray head offerings typically include high-efficiency features such as pressure regulators, flow-restriction devices and check valves.

  • Pressure regulators are helpful on sites with high water pressure or those on a downward slope. These components typically reduce water pressure to 30 psi, which can result in as much as a 30-percent water savings.
  • Found inside high-efficiency spray heads, flow-restriction devices reduce the flow rate to the riser or completely shut off the water if a nozzle is broken or missing. Some flow-restriction devices even have the ability to generate a tall indicator stream if a nozzle is compromised, increasing the chance of a timely repair and reducing the amount of water leaked.
  • Similar to pressure regulators, check valves are useful on sloped sites or those prone to draining out. In areas of elevation change, these devices keep water flowing the way the system design intended. Depending on the degree of slope, check valves can produce as much as 20 gallons of water savings per minute.

Smart controllers

Smart, app-based irrigation controllers can be added to new irrigation systems or used to upgrade existing systems — offering customers even more control and up to 30% savings on water usage. Smart controllers also help take the guesswork out of irrigation by automatically adjusting schedules to accommodate factors such as weather changes or specific plant needs, which helps save time and labor. 

When discussing the option of adding smart controllers to a new installation or upgrading existing equipment, there are several key topics to address with customers:

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  • Long-term savings. While adding these irrigation controllers comes with an initial cost investment for the homeowner, they are an investment in the future. Do the math: area x cost per gallon x number of gallons reduced = potential savings. Also, fewer callbacks results in reduced labor needs, meaning additional time and cost savings.
  • Homeowners gain more control. With smart controllers, users no longer need to worry about the system unnecessarily running when rainfall occurs. And because they can be managed from a phone, these systems offer users much more convenience and flexibility.
  • Sustainability. Irrigation businesses are challenged with meeting evolving state and national water usage restrictions. Local and state agencies are also increasingly mandating the use of water-saving products. For example, all sprinkler spray bodies sold or manufactured in Vermont, California, Colorado, Hawaii or Maine must be WaterSense certified. WaterSense products are designed to encourage water efficiency.

Article provided by SiteOne Landscape Supply. SiteOne offers products, services and partnership that can help you grow your irrigation business. SiteOne has essential resources and experts on standby, including irrigation courses through SiteOne University, skilled irrigation experts at your local branch, technical support from manufacturers, and extensive product inventory at SiteOne.com/controllers.