Which Comes First?
Managing high volumes of water on a large landscaped site is no easy task. It takes diligent effort and frequent monitoring to deliver just the right amount of water plants and trees need. Considering new technology, aging irrigation systems and municipal rebate availablity, choices get confusing real fast for property managers and landscape committees. That confusion costs money on every months water bill.
Smart irrigation controllers vary widely in their options. Basically they have some level of capability to modify the irrigation schedule based on site weather and moisture conditions. They are invaluable tools to help site supervisors manage water consumption. This technology is a must have to save water and time.
There are models available which rely on sensors at the controller location to monitor rain, solar radiation, wind and other weather factors. Others are connected via wi-fi or ethernet cable to the internet to get real time weather data from local weather stations. Some can be managed directly from your smart phone or computer. Some have flow sensors, which shut off the system in the event of a leak or break. Some have soil moisture sensors in the soil to detect when watering is needed. So many options!
But is a smart controller really used to its full potential when it operates a dated, inefficient, unmaintained water delivery system? Using a smart controller with a dumb irrigation system is like putting a brand new paint job on your car that does not run. The two go hand in hand. A smart controller will not fix an inefficient irrigation system.
Your irrigation delivery system needs to be frequently monitored and adjusted. Overspray, leaks, clogged heads, weeping valves, low head drainage, poor coverage, high volume spray heads and mixed nozzles will still do all of the above under the operation of a smart controller. Fix the delivery system first to get the most out of your smart controller.
Here in Southern California our municipal rebate programs are extremely helpful on your budget to get irrigation upgrades and retrofits completed. Nozzle replacement, flow sensors and drip retrofitting qualify here in San Diego. So first do that, then the smart controller. Oh, and there’s a rebate for that too!
Contact us for more information on how to get your irrigation system running smart and efficient!