Saving water doesn't have to come at the cost of a green, colorful lawn. WaterOptimizer Inc. is starting the New Year with a push of its Smart irrigation system that goes beyond just watering.
WaterOptimizer Smart irrigation systems
Saving water doesn’t have to come at the cost of a green, colorful lawn. WaterOptimizer Inc. is starting the New Year with a push of its Smart irrigation system that goes beyond just watering. Its combination of precision soil moisture sensors and wireless mesh network technology has already created new exemptions to watering restrictions in many localities.
How it works
Sensor nodes are placed in the ground, designed to measure the amount of water in the soil. Sprinklers only turn on when the ground is dry, and then only long enough to reach the desired moisture level.
The entire WaterOptimizer system is controlled remotely, using an Internet connection, by the homeowner, a homeowners association, or even a utility. The wireless mesh network relays information back to a user, giving instant data and immediate control.
Where it works
Recent case studies show that up to 70 percent of water typically used for irrigation can be saved with WaterOptimizer without sacrificing grass and plants.
The irrigation system in the Heathrow subdivision in Longwood, Fla., would run on average 73 hours per month in the spring. Once WaterOptimizer was installed the next year, sprinklers ran just a little over 15 hours per month for the season.
Five homes were tracked at Tierra Vista Communities at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo. On runtime mode settings, irrigation there averaged 70 hours per month. Once WaterOptimizer was installed, those homes averaged just 26 hours of watering each through the hot summer months.
Results were even better in Los Angeles. Two Air Force Base homes were tracked averaging a little more than 43 hours per month of sprinkler runtime. With the WaterOptimizer, those homes finished the summer running an average of just under 10 hours.
WaterOptimizer works for commercial projects as well. Highwoods Preserve in Tampa, Fla., would run its sprinkler system for 17 hours each month. With the WaterOptimizer, Highwoods got through the Florida summer running the sprinklers just 9 hours per month, nearly cutting water bills there in half.
Because it works
Many municipalities and water districts offer rebate programs covering the cost of installing smart irrigation systems like WaterOptimizer.
In Florida, legislators wrote a new state law into the books exempting properties using a monitored soil moisture sensor system – like the WaterOptimizer – from being subject to most watering restrictions. The statewide law means any Florida homeowner who wants to irrigate when they need to only need to install a WaterOptimizer.
Officials in Cooper City, Fla., rewarded its top water conservationists with a free WaterOptimizer, further reducing the amount of water each homeowner uses.