It Will Never Rain Again

If you have lived in Southern California in the past 5 years, you are well aware of the drought and how it has been troubling our society. Local water sources are drying up, fines are being levied and people have no choice but to adapt with a water-wise mindset. California natives have to think about alternative solutions to their water demanding landscapes. In these times of drought, it’s easy to forget about the potential damage that even a little rain can cause to a property.
It will rain again. When it does, will you be prepared? Are there clogged drain lines that haven’t been used in years? When was the last time you fired up that sump pump in the basement? Has it weathered and aged due to lack of use? Aqua-Flo Supply stocks and sells a complete line of sump pumps, vaults, erosion control and drainage products that can help you take control during the next rain event and prevent potential costly damage. Don’t let the next storm catch you off guard. Plan your next drainage job early so you don’t have to work in the mud.
David Williams CDF, Aqua-Flo Supply

Wide Variety of Repair Products Available

Aqua-Flo Supply has been in business for almost 50 years. In that time, we have encountered countless, unique repair jobs that go well beyond your typical residential sprinkler system repairs. We stock everything you need to fix a broken line or get out of a jam. We have compression couplings, telescoping couplings, rubber couplings, circle clamps & metal bolted couplings for high pressure lines, no-stop repair couplings and even the glue-less PVC-Lock compression fittings.

We also stock replacement solenoids, diaphragms & rubber repair kits, float switches, lighting sockets, Slick-Wrap casting material, pond liner patch kits and inside connectors for that tough to reach PVC pipe that snapped off right at the concrete. If you have an issue with an irrigation controller, bring it to one of our 8 convenient locations and we will help you troubleshoot. We also sell diagnostic tools like volt meters, flow/pressure gauges and valve & wire locators to help you troubleshoot like a pro. Let Aqua-Flo Supply help you on your next fix-it job!

Dave Williams, Aqua-Flo Supply Ventura

Convert Spray Head Sprinklers to Drip – The Easy Way

Utilizing drip irrigation is one of the best ways to avoid water waste, and one of our most popular new products is the Agrifim Drip Conversion Kit. This kit enables you to convert your existing spray head sprinklers to drip in a matter of minutes.

This short YouTube video does a great job of explaining how easy it is to install the Agrifim Drip Conversion Kit.

Introducing PVC-Lock: A Game Changer!

 

Many years ago, Hydro-Rain raised the bar on pipe installation with the introduction of Blu-Lock pipe and fittings to the irrigation market.   In a world where seconds matter, they decided to solve another issue that contractors face: sitting around waiting for the glue to dry.

Aqua-Flo and Hydro-Rain proudly introduce a new product to our solution revolution: PVC-Lock!

The cost-effective, no-primer or glue fitting for PVC. That’s right, install in the rain, pressure test immediately, and do it all while retaining precious brain cells.

Put the wrong fitting in the wrong place? No worries! The handy removal tool allows you to save money by saving the fitting. Best of all, you can use it anywhere in your irrigation system; mainlines, header lines or lateral lines. PVC-Lock fittings are available in ½”, ¾” or 1″. Start saving time, money, fittings and brain cells by using PVC-Lock on your next installation.

Easy Water Saving Opportunity!

The City of Santa Barbara has come up with some great ways to save water.  Even if you don’t live in the Santa Barbara area, these tips still apply and can help you or your customers save water and money.  Be sure to check out the short video at the end of the paragraph below.

“About half of the water used in Santa Barbara County goes to outdoor irrigation and this area has the biggest potential for water savings. For comparison, an average 15 minute shower uses 30 gallons total, while watering an average lawn for 15 minutes uses 700 gallons! During this dry winter, please reduce your outside water use by making sure sprinkler systems are not overwatering or spraying onto the driveway or street. Then turn down your watering using the watering percent adjust at www.WaterWiseSB.org.   You can watch a video about how to use the watering percent adjust here.

Drought? Are You Saving Your Clients Water?

As we continue through this dry period, water agencies are preparing for reduced water usage.  Although local agencies have not yet enacted restrictive measures, if this dry spell continues, variations of water restrictions will come.  The EPA estimates that nearly 60% of residential water is used outside for landscaping.  This type of water usage is usually the first to be rationed.

Be proactive.  Water-saving products and solutions exist!  Get educated and use these water-saving products as a selling tool to your new and existing clients.  Use this opportunity to help people save water…and GROW your business!

If you are interested in learning more about this plethora of water-saving products, come into any Aqua-Flo or email us at sales@aquaflo.com to set up an appointment with one of our experts.  We’re here for you.  We’d love to help you help your clients save water and money!

Product Spotlight – Kichler Llenita Pathlight

15821BBRA simple yet clean design blends the newest LED technology with tough as nails construction.  The classic design of Kichler’s Llenita pathlight directs light where it needs to go with an even 10’ to 12’ spread of light, with no glare or drastic cutoffs.

Featuring an unparalleled 15-year residential warranty and a variety of finishes, this energy-saving LED is the perfect match for a wide variety of landscapes and residential settings.  The Llenita’s features include:

*3 Integrated High Output Nichia LED’s, tightly binned for color uniformity

*Uses only 4 Watts

*15 year residential warranty

*10 year commercial warranty

*Operates from 9V – 15V AC/DC

*Tested for 40,000 hour life

*Finishes include Textured Architectural Bronze, Bronzed Brass and Unfinished Copper

Save Water through a Rain Bird Sprinkler, Win a Trip to Texas in November

rain-bird-launchesHow does the idea of lessening water waste, lowering water bills, and winning a trip to Texas in November sound? If anyone is up for accomplishing all three of these, there is an opportunity for them to do so until October 4, 2013. Rain Bird, a leading manufacturer of irrigation products and services, is running a contest that will send three winners to the Lone Star State if they prove they have used the company’s pressure-regulating machines to save water.

The contest is part of the Project PRS Challenge, an initiative to educate irrigation professionals and homeowners about the benefits of using pressure-regulating irrigation systems and components. By using a pressure-regulating stem (PRS) found in various Rain Bird sprinkler systems, individuals can control the amount of water that is distributed on lawns and other large landscapes. This results in decreased water usage at these sites, which in turn leads to lower water costs for the property owners.

A number of established irrigation product distributors attest to the efficiency of Rain Bird sprinklers and components. In a project for the University of Texas-Austin, the manufacturer’s drip irrigation technology was used to water the university’s 125 acres of landscaping. Although the project cost the University a whopping $2 million, it resulted in savings of around $800,000 in utilities and more than 10 million gallons of water every year.

Contractors, distributors, landscape architects, and even homeowners can join the Project PRS Challenge contest. Participants only need to visit a dedicated website, where they should share data and photos about a site where they installed a Rain Bird PRS product. Every other week as the contest goes on, the company will choose a winner based on the amount of water savings earned from the product. The winner will receive $500 in credit that can be used at their local Rain Bird distributor.

After the contest concludes, Rain Bird will choose the top three winners with the most water savings. In a press release on the company website, Tom Kundrat, product manager for Rain Bird’s sprays, says that the company will fly the three winners to the Annual Irrigation Association Show in Austin, Texas on November 6 and 7, 2013. There, the company will announce the sole winner of a free trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

As of August, Project PRS has already recorded water savings of up to 57,530,846 gallons. Even after the contest ends, Rain Bird and other irrigation system professionals will continue advocating for the installation of systems that save on water and other utilities.

Rain Bird Drip Irrigation System May Help Farmers Ease Burden of Higher Water Quality Fees

farmers-no-fans-of-expected-rise-in-water-quality-feesFarmers who install a Rain Bird drip irrigation system may not be burdened as much by higher fees for getting water quality certification, unlike those who do not use the water-saving and environment-friendly irrigation method.

The Record reported in early August that several significant water quality regulations in the Central Valley “will be drafted within weeks and could become official by next Spring.” These standards are expected to double or triple the costs that farmers pay for water quality improvement.

One of the proposed modifications is that the groundwater beneath crops must be monitored, along with nearby rivers and streams. Farmers would also be required to attend educational meetings and to observe practices that protect water quality. Furthermore, they would need to draft plans that elaborate the measures they take to protect it, including how they use fertilizers and manage soil erosion.

The fees associated with the new standards have made the farmers dissident. While they currently pay $2.75 an acre for water quality approval, the costs associated with new paperwork are expected to increase. “We all want clean water and air. This just goes too far,” Lockeford farmer Larry Miller told The Record. However, the local government seems resolute in pursuing the new regulations, with environmental scientists explaining that the water quality standards are necessary to keep groundwater safe.

While it is seemingly inevitable that many farmers will pay more to improve water quality, it does not look as if those who already practice drip irrigation will be troubled as much. Drip irrigation is a method of irrigation by which water is directly delivered to the roots of plants. This is done by connecting the water source to the soil surface or root zone through a network of pipes, tubing, and emitters.

By watering the base of plants directly instead of letting water flow throughout an entire farm, farmers can save a lot of resources and energy as well as minimize soil erosion. There are also drip irrigation products, like those patented by Rain Bird irrigation technology, that are made especially for low-volume irrigation systems and enable targeted watering with greater efficiency. These products can be easily bought in various locations around the country through suppliers like Aqua-Flo Supply.

It may take much effort for some farmers to adopt this environmentally friendly and highly intricate irrigation system. But the cost-efficient farming that drip technology enables could be worth the trials. With the help of this system, they may eventually comply with the new water quality standards without feeling shortchanged.

Live Earth Soil Amendments

Live Earth soil amendments give you carbon balanced fertilization from the purest source on Earth.  While chemical fertilizers have no positive effects on the soil, Live Earth’s humic acid products can improve the soil while adding nutrients and can actually increase the fertilizer and water holding capacity of the soil.  

Granular Products From Live Earth

Live Earth Humate Soil Conditioner
Sulfur(S) 1.50%, Iron(Fe) 2.25%, Humic Acid 45%

Is a premium all-natural granular product, which is certified organic and OMRI listed. It is the foundation of all of our humic acid products. It’s essential humic acids naturally promote enhanced soil activity, for healthier roots and plants. The unusually high carbon content guarantees balanced carbon-to-nitrogen ratios necessary for maintaining healthy soil.
Product Label
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Bio-Basics 0-5-0
Calcium(Ca) 7%, Sulfur(S) 2%, Iron(Fe) 1.7%

Bio-Basics is a restorative formula that can reduce the build-up of salts in all types of soil, simply by releasing and buffering the sodium. This product has 7% of natural Calcium. Its all-natural, concentrated blend of humates, soft rock phosphate and complexed calcium also provides essential humic acids that can enhance soil conditions, for healthier roots and plants. Bio-Basics is used as a base in a majority of Live Earth’s quality granular Humic/fertilizer blended products.
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Iron 10 5-0-0
Calcium (Ca) 1%, Sulfur(S) 5%, Iron(Fe) 10%

IRON 10, while designed for use on all turfs and ornamentals, is particularly good for applications on fairways, roughs, and other large areas. The unique blend of nitrogen, iron, and humates has been formulated to surpass traditional fertilizers in producing both rapid green-up and long-lasting color, with out a rapid growth surge. Its essential humic acids have been shown to yield more soil activity, resulting in the ongoing benefit of healthier roots and plants.
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First Green5-3-1
Calcium(Ca) 4%, Sulfur(S) 5%, Iron(Fe) 1%

First Green provides all the benefits of our Iron-10 plus the addition of phosphate, potassium and calcium. It is especially effective in new plantings, overseeding, and pre-plant for sod and hydroseeding. The blend of organic nutrients and natural bio-stimulants provide a quick long lasting green growth without excessive mowing.
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Triple-88-8-8
Calcium(Ca) 1.8%, Sulfur(S) 3.5%, Iron(Fe) 4%

For a wide range of applications, Triple-8 Plus is the answer. This premium granular blend of Humic Acid, natural conditioners, essential nutrients, and bio-stimulants is especially effective for not only on turf, but also on trees, shrubs, and flowers as well. The nitrogen is specially formulated with a long slow release time for an extended green. This product is designed to bring the C/N ratio into perfect balance. Triple-8 Plus is an absolute must for rapid fill in and high stress areas like the area in front of soccer goals
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Bio-Grow2-5-6
Calcium(Ca) 4%, Sulfur(S) 4%, Iron(Fe) 2%

Bio-Grow is a quality granular product designed for superior results on golf course greens, ornamentals, and other high-maintenance turfs. It consists of a unique blend of organic nutrients and natural bio-stimulants. The Bio-Grow formula combines Humic Acid, Norwegian Sea Kelp, and dextrose with soy meal, yielding a superb food source that stimulates the highest microbial activity. In addition, soft rock phosphate provide ready sources of calcium and phosphorous. Bio-Grow is extremely effective in digesting thatch.
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Liquid Products From Live Earth

Crop Thruster1-0-0
Magnesium(Mg) 1.42%, Boron(B) .012%, Sulfur(S) 2%, Copper(Cu) .10%, Iron(Fe).12%, Manganese(Mn) 1.06%, Zinc(Zn) .41%.

Is a liquid blend of chelated secondary nutrients, amino acids, and growth hormones designed for immediate absorption by the plants. It provides a quick resolution to plant nutrient deficiencies. If your plants need a quick fix for an upcoming event, this product will provide your desired results.
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Great 81-0-0
with 8% Humic Acid

Is an unsurpassed liquid product is blend of Humic Acid and Norwegian Sea Kelp Extract. This all natural, all purpose, and highly concentrated liquid is ideal for use on all soils and plants under all conditions. Norwegian Sea Kelp adds Plant growth regulators to promote plant cell division and rapid plant growth.
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Emerald Green8-4-8
Iron(Fe) .12%, Zinc(Zn) .11%

Is a significant breakthrough in liquid fertilizer technology. As a complete fertilizer, it uses both chelated and complexed nutrients for unprecedented nutrient availability to the plant.
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Liquid 6
with 6% Humic Acid

Our premier liquid Humic Acid designed specifically for use on golf course greens and other highly maintained turf and ornamentals. It is especially effective in soils with low organic matter or high salt content. Because it is in liquid it gets the carbon humate deep into the soil. It is compatible with most products and easy to incorporate into your existing liquid program. Easy application with a hose end sprayer, drip irrigation and conventional spray systems.
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Harmony6-2-6
Iron(Fe) .10%, Zinc(Zn) .08%

Premium quality plant nutrients are combined with humic acid for a complete liquid fertilizer made specifically for turf applications, but it is suitable for all plants. Harmony is exceptionally effective in turf fertigation systems; hose end sprayers and conventional spray systems. It contains 3 forms of nitrogen, and 3 forms of phosphate to meet a full range of nutrient needs throughout the growing season.
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Tree and Shrub5-10-10
Calcium(Ca) 1.2%

A complete liquid fertilizer specially formulated for trees & shrubs for controlled, healthy growth. Can be used as a foliar application, drench application, or deep root application. It improves the soil as it feeds the trees.
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LED Lighting Courses: Zoning, Dimming, Spanish & More!

Let There Be (LED) Light!

Lighting Season is here.  Come learn what’s new in the landscape lighting world.  (Hint, there’s a lot of cool, new stuff!)  Food provided at all seminars!

Questions?  Want to RSVP or have us send you a reminder?  Email us:  sales@aquaflo.com

 

  • Tuesday, September 10th – Aqua-Flo Ventura, 5:00 – 6:30
  • What’s New with LED Lighting by Kichler
  • Wednesday, September 11th – Aqua-Flo Moorpark, 5:00 – 8:00
  • Lighting Basics in Spanish by Vista Lighting
  • Thursday, September 12th – Aqua-Flo West LA, 5:00 – 8:00
  • Lighting Basics in Spanish by Vista Lighting
  • Tuesday, September 17th – Aqua-Flo Santa Clarita, 5:00 – 6:30
  • What’s New with LED Lighting by Kichler
  • Wednesday, September 18th – Aqua-Flo Goleta, 5:00 – 6:30
  • What’s New with LED Lighting by Kichler
  • Tuesday, September 24th – Aqua-Flo West LA, 5:00 – 6:30
  • What’s New with LED Lighting by Kichler
  • Tuesday, October 1st – Aqua-Flo Goleta, 5:30 – 7:00
  • Zoning & Dimming LED’s & More by FX Luminaire
  • Thursday, October 3rd – Aqua-Flo Torrance, 5:00 – 8:00
  • Lighting Basics in Spanish by Vista Lighting
  • Tuesday, October 8th – Aqua-Flo West LA, 5:30 – 7:00
  • Zoning & Dimming LED’s & More by FX Luminaire
  • Wednesday, October 9th – Aqua-Flo Torrance, 5:30 – 7:00
  • Zoning & Dimming LED’s & More by FX Luminaire
  • Tuesday, October 22nd – Aqua-Flo Ojai, 5:30 – 7:00
  • Zoning & Dimming LED’s & More by FX Luminaire

Helpful Products & Tools Make Irrigation Service Productive & Profitable

Add-A-Zone PackageRoutine maintenance is part of keeping an automobile in good working order. Changing the oil, wiper blades and brake pads ensures top performance and prolongs the useful life of the vehicle.

Irrigation systems also have components that wear out over time. With the large number of irrigation systems installed in the last 25 years, the irrigation maintenance, repair and overhaul business is expected to grow at twice the rate of installations in the next 5 years.

Smart contractors are increasing focus on the fast-growing service end of the business. These companies can benefit by learning more about the unique products, tools and technology available that can equip an efficient, effective field service team.

Aqua-Flo offers a number of handy and affordable products from The Source, Inc. that are particularly helpful in the diagnosis, maintenance and repair of older irrigation systems.

Universal” Replacement Solenoids Many original manufacturer valve solenoids will have a useful life of less than 7 years, while the overall system is expected to last for over 30 years. Therefore, solenoids are commonly replaced several times over the life of the system.

With a wide variety of brands, types and styles of valves already in the ground, it’s almost impossible for a contractor to carry an exact fit for every situation. The Source, Inc. offers a universal solenoid kit that adapts to many older brands of valves. Every service truck should carry with one of these kits so technicians can complete repairs to oddball valves without needing to special order parts.

Electric Valve Repair / Rebuild Kits Internal operating parts within irrigation valves wear out with regular on/off operation. With larger-size plastic or brass valves, it always makes sense to rebuild or repair the existing valve rather than replacing it entirely. With a rebuild, there’s less disruption to the system and less chance for damage to or contamination of other components. For over 30 years, The Source, Inc. has packaged the well-accepted R Co. comprehensive repair kits that enable the technician to replace all wear-related parts during a rebuild (diaphragm, spring, o-rings). These handy kits are clearly labeled by brand and size so there’s no guessing on which parts to buy or replace.

Electrical Diagnostic Tools Many companies are adding new technicians to keep up with customer demand for irrigation service. New technicians appreciate the convenience of jobsite diagnostic tools that point them directly to the problem component. The Source, Inc. offers handy devices especially for irrigation troubleshooting that make it simple to check system components (controller, valve, wiring) with simple pass/fail indicators. These products include the Checkmate III and Checker Jr. In addition, the handy Chatterbox is the most economical tool available to locate unmarked/buried valves.

Electrical Repair Problem Solvers A common problem found on many older irrigation systems is failures of electrical splices and cables. Improper splices or nicks in the wire jacket eventually corrode, leading to open circuits. Valves fail to operate and the landscape dies.

Often the cost of trenching in new cable to replace runs that have gone bad is prohibitive. Tracing and repairing bad wiring can take days and involves a lot of digging and trial-and-error. The alternative, installing replacement cables, may require significant landscape or hardscape disruption.

A widely accepted way to solve these “broken wire” issues is to work around them. The market leading solution is Add-A-Zone from The Source, Inc. which enables the contractor to implement individual timed control of two different valve solenoids with only one good pair of electrical wires. Unlike traditional “doubling” devices, the Add-A-Zone’s patented design is easier to install and requires no work-arounds in programming or operating the timer.

For systems with multiple bad cables, devices like the Switch Hitter or Splitter can help a contractor control even more valves with a single good pair of wires. These devices make electrical repairs faster, easier and less disruptive, allowing the technician to deliver a higher level of customer satisfaction.

Tap into the growing market in profitable irrigation service with smart solutions that help technicians be more productive and successful in diagnosing and completing repairs. Learn more about the helpful products and tools available at www.thesource-online.com

Smart Irrigation Month – Part III

Smart Irrigation Systems – A Greener Idea

If you’re a typical homeowner, you probably put your automatic sprinkler system into the same category as your home’s heating and cooling system. You expect it to work reliably and efficiently with minimum fuss. The latest technology offers just that — and more.

Automated irrigation systems offer convenience while protecting your landscape investment. A well-maintained system keeps your lawn and landscape beautiful and healthy, while minimizing water waste.

To raise awareness of the benefits of efficient watering practices, the Irrigation Association has named July Smart Irrigation Month. Make time this summer to be sure you’re getting the most out of your irrigation system, while keeping utility bills low and helping to protect the environment.

Sprinklers Get Smart

The new generation of “smart” irrigation systems monitor weather, soil conditions, evaporation and plant water use and automatically adjust your watering schedule.

The secret to smart systems is the controller. Smart controllers use weather and/or site data to determine when and how long to water. Then, sprinklers apply just enough water at exactly the right time in each zone of your yard.

Smart controllers:

  • Save water. Smart systems automatically suspend watering during rain, freezing or high wind conditions. Careful scheduling minimizes evaporation and encourages water to soak in, reducing the total amount of water needed. Preventing overwatering actually keeps plants healthier by encouraging stronger roots and discouraging weeds, disease and fungus growth.
  • Save money. Smart systems can reduce your annual water bill by as much as 30 percent by preventing water waste. Plus, many local water providers offer rebates for purchasing specific smart controllers.
  • Save time. Once an irrigation installer has programmed your site data into the smart system, the controller adjusts the watering schedule based upon weather conditions and soil moisture without manual intervention.
  • Add convenience. Smart controllers adapt to seasonal weather changes without requiring reprogramming. And their “set and forget” technology is perfect for complying with any local watering restrictions, as well as for frequent travelers and vacation or second homes.

You may be able to upgrade your current irrigation system with a smart controller. Some new components are designed as easy add-ons to existing systems.

Smart Irrigation Month Ideas – Part II

Don’t Send Money Down the Drain – Water Smart & Save Money This Summer

Most homeowners overwater their yard, unintentionally wasting money every time they take out the hose or turn on the sprinklers. To raise awareness of the benefits of efficient watering practices, the Irrigation Association has named July Smart Irrigation Month.

Using an automated irrigation system is one of the best ways to keep your lawn and landscape beautiful and healthy, while minimizing water waste. Make time this summer to be sure you’re getting the most out of your irrigation system, while keeping utility bills low and helping to protect the environment.

Smart Start

Creating an efficient irrigation system requires specialized knowledge and understanding of irrigation design principles and local environmental conditions — something most weekend gardeners don’t have. Complying with local installation codes is another consideration.

Even the best irrigation design won’t perform well if installed incorrectly or using inferior components. Something as simple as selecting the correct type of pipe can mean the difference between a system that lasts and one that requires ongoing repairs.

Hiring a certified or licensed irrigation professional and insisting on high-quality components is the smart way to make sure your system will operate at peak efficiency for years to come. Always get multiple bids, check references and confirm your preferred vendor is properly insured.

Smart Planning & Planting

Guarantee long-term satisfaction with your irrigation system with up-front planning.

  •  Work with a certified irrigation designer or contractor who has experience in your local area.
  • Consider local climate conditions, as well as your lot’s exact features. Choose appropriate turf and plant species that have low water requirements.
  • Group plants with similar water needs close together and separate lawn areas from planting beds.
  • Plan your irrigation zones carefully. Be sure that your system will have enough capacity, now and in the future. The more irrigation zones you plan, the more you can tailor watering even if you modify landscaping.
  • Consult with your local water provider to see if rebates are available for water-efficient products.
  • Check the on-site water pressure and select appropriate sprinklers. Low or high water pressure can seriously affect sprinkler performance.
  • Include “smart” controls that automatically adjust watering based on rain, soil moisture, evaporation and plant water use.
  • Use quality components to minimize future maintenance needs and total lifetime cost of your system.

Smart Installation

Use components that provide the greatest flexibility. Different plants have different watering needs, and these needs may change over time. Your system should allow you to apply the right amount of water for each type of plant by the most effective method.

  • Always install excess irrigation zone capacity. Irrigation zones are areas that are watered by the same irrigation valve and plumbing. Installing extra connections now makes it easier and less expensive to expand your irrigation system later.
  • Include the right backflow prevention device as required by the plumbing codes for all irrigation systems. Backflow prevention devices prevent irrigation system water from contaminating the water supply.
  • Install lines deep enough to protect them from damage from aeration and other lawn maintenance.

Smart Scheduling & Watering

Today’s irrigation controllers allow you to easily adjust your system’s watering schedule to fit different watering needs.

  • Schedule each individual zone in your irrigation system to account for sun, shade and wind exposure.
  • Consider soil type, which affects the how quickly water can be applied and absorbed without runoff.
  • Make sure you’re not sending water down the drain. Set sprinklers to water plants, not your driveway, sidewalk, patio or buildings.
  • Water at the right time of day. Watering when the sun is low, winds are calm and temperatures are cooler minimizes evaporation by as much as 30 percent. The best time to water is during early morning hours.
  • Thoroughly soak the root zone (generally within the top six inches of soil for lawns), then let the soil dry. Watering too frequently results in shallow roots and encourages weed growth, disease and fungus.
  • Reduce runoff by watering each zone more often for shorter periods. For example, setting your system to run for three, 5-minute intervals with some soak time lets water infiltrate the soil better than watering for 15 minutes at one time.
  • Adjust your watering schedule regularly to account for seasonal weather conditions, plant size and other factors. Monthly (or even weekly) adjustments keep plants healthy without overwatering.

Smart Maintenance & Upgrades

Irrigation systems need regular maintenance to keep them working efficiently year after year. Damage from lawn equipment or improper winterization can cause leaks and other serious problems.

  • Inspect the system for leaks, broken or clogged sprinkler heads or other damaged components.
  • Check that sprinkler heads are high enough to clear plants that may have grown taller since the system was installed.
  • Adjust spray patterns and positions to make sure they aren’t watering “hardscapes” like sidewalks and buildings.
  • Evaluate pressure and adjust as needed so sprinklers work optimally to distribute the water.
  • Retrofit the system with a rain or soil moisture sensor to prevent overwatering. Rain sensors stop the system from operating when it rains; soil moisture sensors use long metal probes to measure moisture at the root zone and turn off the system when no additional water is needed. Weather-based controllers automatically adjust the irrigation schedule as weather conditions change.
  • Before upgrading your system, check to see if your local water provider offers rebates on any products you are considering.

Smart Irrigation Month is an initiative of the Irrigation Association, a non-profit industry organization dedicated to promoting efficient irrigation. Learn more at www.smartirrigationmonth.org.

To find an IA-certified professional to design, install, maintain or audit your irrigation system, visit www.irrigation.org/hirecertified.