Water Conserving Tips for Large Commercial Properties and HOAs
The challenge of watering Homeowners Associations (HOAs) and other large commercial properties during changing weather conditions can be greatly reduced by using proven maintenance practices irrigation monitoring and integrating smart irrigation technology designed to water more efficiently.
Following are practical tips provided to help property managers and landscape experts to help keep landscapes healthy while using less water.
Tip #1: Determine the best irrigation watering plan
To do this an Irrigation Audit is suggested, the precipitation rate of your sprinkler system is needed, to determine the best watering plan for your sprinkler system(s). Without an irrigation audit one can only guess at the precipitation rate of your sprinkler system. Once the systems precipitation rate has been determined a site inventory of turf, landscape and site conditions is performed and your landscape irrigation needs have been determined, your irrigation watering plan can be determined.
Tip #2: Perform proper irrigation maintenance
Maintaining and improving irrigation system efficiency is one of the best ways to save water and money not only in a drought year, but every year. At system start-up and throughout the watering season, the system should be monitored regularly and checked for leaks and broken heads and repaired promptly. Heads should be straight and not obstructed by tall grasses or plants. Spray heads that mist or fog are indicators that the water pressure is too high and wasting water. Installing pressure-regulating devices will save water and help apply water directly to the plants. Replacing mismatched nozzles and installing higher efficiency nozzles also save water. Drip irrigation is recommended for watering trees, shrubs and flower gardens. Drip irrigation systems are water efficient because they are not as susceptible to water loss due to evaporation, wind or surface runoff.
Tip #3: Incorporate water-saving Smart Irrigation Technology
Smart controllers, also known as evapotranspiration (ET) controllers, measure soil type and characteristics, precipitation rates, plant water requirements and weather to deliver only the amount of water needed. Controller types, features and costs vary and some brands allow the entire system to be maintained remotely via the Internet. Another important technology is a rain sensor, which prevents the irrigation system from watering during a rainstorm. Flow sensors can shut down your system in the event of a leak.
Tip #4: Monitor your Sprinkler system
Inspect the operation of your system regularly for broken heads, leaks and excessive dry areas. Controller adjustments are made as needed. Commercial and Multi-family irrigation systems can waste large amounts of water when not monitored. Proper irrigation monitoring is key to conserving water while protecting your landscape.