Imagine every time you wanted something to drink you filled up two glasses but poured one straight into the sink. Does it feel wrong or wasteful? It’s actually similar to what we’re doing in most of our yards, parks and landscapes.
It’s estimated that about half of the water used outdoors doesn’t get used by the very plants its meant for. Instead it over-saturates the soil, flows onto the pavement, goes down the drain or evaporates. But it doesn’t have to be this way!
Lush landscapes and sprinklers don’t have to be symbols of water waste. Instead, smart irrigation products and practices like smart controllers, water-efficient sprinkler nozzles and drip irrigation are allowing us to water with more precision and accuracy than ever before, while maintaining healthy landscapes.
See how you can replace inefficient irrigation methods with these new and proven smart irrigation products to save water like never before!
1. Smart controllers and accessories
Modern smart controllers use your local weather and other data to automatically ensure you’re only watering when you should. EPA WaterSense approved devices, like the ones below, can reduce an average home’s irrigation water use by 15 percent or 7,600 gallons of water annually.
Hunter’s newest smart controller is a modular 4- to 16-station controller with Predictive Watering™ which adjusts irrigation schedules based on local, real-time temperature, rain probability, wind and humidity.
Why it’s different: The Pro-C Hydrawise has a touch screen for on-site programming and control, plus web-based control from a phone, tablet or computer. It also has a built-in milliamp sensor for easy detection of wiring issues, and a water adjustment feature to quickly give a zone more or less water.
Best for: Managed watering services. The Hydrawise contractor dashboard allows water managers to control all their client’s Hydrawise devices easily from one screen.
Add-ons: With the HC Flow Meter the Hydrawise will automatically detect leaking pipes or broken sprinklers.
Works with: Amazon Alexa for convenient voice control to start, stop or suspend irrigation.
The LNK isn’t a controller itself but easily attaches to existing Rain Bird controllers (ESP-Me and ESP-TM2) to enable mobile app-based control.
Why it’s different: The LNK Wi-Fi module allows easy access and control of a Rain Bird irrigation system from any location, with real-time alerts and advanced water management tools via their smart phone or tablet. The Rain Bird app gives landscape professionals simple multi-site management and diagnostics.
Best for: Clients who already have a Rain Bird controller.
Add ons: Compatible rain sensors for rain shut off.
Works with: Amazon Alexa
Rachio’s newest controllers comes in an 8- or 16-zone model. The Rachio 3 has improved on previous models with easier installation, on-controller button control and light bar for Wi-Fi, controller and zone statuses.
Why it’s different: Rachio’s Premium Weather Intelligence™ Plus pinpoints the forecast in your exact location, within a 36-foot radius, and adjusts watering accordingly. Using comprehensive weather data, Rachio makes sure you’ll never be watering in the rain, wind or snow.
Best for: Tech savvy DIYers.
Add-ons: Rachio wireless flow meter for leak detection alerts.
Works with: Alexa, Google Home Assistant, NEST and Samsung SmartThings
2. Water-efficient nozzles
Water-efficient rotary nozzles help reduce water use by up to 35 percent over traditional spray nozzles.
Rain Bird’s R-VAN line of adjustable rotary nozzles offers variable arc, full circle and strip models, now ranging from 8- to 24-feet, all with a matched precipitation rate of 0.6 inches per hour.
Why it’s different: The R-VAN nozzles save water at a lower cost than similar products. R-VANs offer hand-adjustable arc and radius, they cut through the wind to deliver water where you want it and include a built-in flush feature for any debris inside the nozzle.
Best for: Residential and light commercial use.
The newest addition to Hunter’s MP800 Series offers 0.8 in. per hour matched precipitation rate and an expanded radius range of 8- to 16-feet in an adjustable 90°-210° or full-circle nozzle. (An adjustable 210°-270° nozzle is also coming soon.)
Why it’s different: The MP800 Series provides the benefits of the MP Rotator’s patented design: strong, wind-resistant streams, high distribution uniformity and reliability.
Best for: Medium-grade soils, gentle slopes, and small spaces.
3. Drip innovations
Drip irrigation is highly-efficient, with 90 percent of the water getting to plant roots with proper placement and application.
The Retro Drip Adapter can convert a single spray zone to drip zone, easily and quickly.
Why it’s different: It has built in 30 PSI pressure regulator, 150 mesh filter and easily connects to inline emitter drip tubing or 710 poly tubing for point source emitters.
Best for: Turf removal projects or planting bed from sprinklers to drip irrigation.
Rain Bird’s newest dripline handles slopes with ease. It’s heavy duty check valves prevent over-watering and puddling at the low-point in the zone, and copper chips prevent root intrusion at each emitter.
Why it’s different: The 4.3 PSI check valves offer 10 feet of hold-back, the best available.
Best for: On-surface or sub-surface sloped applications.
Pressure Compensating emitters which means they are designed to give consistent emitter flow rates over a range of pressures on undulating ground, over long distances. It’s 2 PSI “no drain” check valves protect the dripline from back siphoning.
Why it’s different: Color-coded striping for easy identification of flow rate, and emitters designed to prevent root intrusion and clogs.
Best for: On-surface and sub-surface landscape applications.
Get smart, save water
July is when outdoor water use is at its highest in the U.S. That’s why July is also Smart Irrigation Month—a great time to save water and prevent water waste by installing or teaching people about smart irrigation solutions.
Contact your local Ewing store for all your smart irrigation questions and to find smart irrigation products like these.