Was your water bill out of control this past summer? If so, smart irrigation can help. Plan for the next drought and get ahead of the curve by looking at converting over to a smart irrigation system now. The reality is that irrigation water can make up over 25% of your water use. When the area is in drought or you are considering ways to save water on your property, irrigation water reductions represent an opportunity for significant savings. Yet most property managers don’t know how much water they’re using, or if they are using the right amount. It’s not surprising that most commercial properties are using significantly more irrigation water than they need to.
Property managers often see the bills, but without at least a separately metered irrigation system, they have trouble pinpointing what areas of their property are using the most water. It could be irrigation, but it could be a slab leak or inefficient toilets. For many property managers, this lack of information creates a bit of a black hole. Through careful, intentional water management, most commercial properties can maintain their landscapes while reducing irrigation water use by 50-70%. For some properties, this easily adds up to millions of gallons of water and tens of thousands of dollars per year. Property managers who recognize and address their irrigation water use stand to increase net operating income, decrease operating expenses, and conserve water.
Smart irrigation systems are designed to water your plants only when they need it. First, they make sure that every part of your landscape is getting an equal amount of water. Second, they can sense when it hasn’t rained for a while and water accordingly. They can also sense the amount of moisture present in the soil and make adjustments to ensure that your lawn isn’t overwatered, such as after it has rained. As a result, you’ll use less water overall, which will save you money on your water bill.
Overwatering your lawn can damage your plants and make them more susceptible to disease. It can also lead to fungal growth, which can kill your plants. Smart irrigation systems help prevent these problems by only watering your plants when they need it. This can save you money in the long run as you won’t have to replace your plants or re-seed as often.
Regardless of which irrigation system you chose for your commercial property, there are ways that you can reduce your usage now:
- Stop watering in the rain! This one is a quick win. Add a rain sensor to an existing irrigation system for a relatively small investment or assign someone to turn off the system any day that rain is expected.
- Inspect your system for leaks. A broken sprinkler head or leaking mainline can waste a lot of water and make the rest of your system less effective. Think about it: If the system is losing water before that water reaches an irrigation zone, then the reduced pressure may cause coverage issues.
- A monthly walk-through on your property can help to catch leaks before they’ve wasted too much water. A leak detection system helps with this issue as well.
- Look for dry spots. Dry spots in your landscape could indicate greater issues such as leaks in the system.
- Talk to your landscaper. Landscapers are professionals who care about the health of your property and your satisfaction with their work. If you tell them that you’re concerned about water, use and are hoping to cut back, many will work with you and advise you on some areas where less water could be used. They may also help you to identify the information and tools that they need to help you decrease your water use.