Presenting a good, positive image is important to any business, and an attractive, healthy landscape definitely helps how the public views a commercial property. However, maintaining a quality landscape is not cheap since sufficient water needs to be applied by the irrigation system to keep the grass, shrubs and flowers healthy and vibrant. That's why installing smart irrigation controllers can help. These devices provide a great way to reduce irrigation water use, simplify landscape maintenance, and keep a landscape looking great.
Smart controllers lessen water use by collecting and applying information about site conditions (like rain, wind, slope, soil, plant type, and more), and applying the proper amount of water based on those factors to maintain healthy growing conditions. During hot weather plants need more water than during cooler weather. Smart controllers adjust the amount of water used based on these changing conditions. If enough rainfall takes place, rain sensors adjust by lessening the volume of water as needed. If the soil is of a type that absorbs water slowly or the landscape has steep slopes, smart controllers will use that information and run less water, but more frequently, to lessen water run-off.
A vital point to keep in mind with these types of irrigation controllers is how these devices are programmed. All of the variables (e.g., soil type) affect the final amount of time water will run. Adjustments to the initial programming will have to be done to get it right, which is a matter of good management. In fact multiple tweaks are needed since this whole process is as much of an art as it is a science. Simply put this human factor is the most important variable in the programming process.
In order to get the most out of a smart irrigation controller:
Inspect the Irrigation System: Smart controllers work best when the entire irrigation system is working well. Such an inspection will check for leaks, proper water pressure, malfunctioning hardware, and other similar issues that might affect the effectiveness of the complete irrigation system. Repairing problems like these will ensure the controller is able to provide the expected water savings.
Work with a Professional: These controllers are generally only available through irrigation or landscape contractors instead of retail outlets. The Irrigation Association (the umbrella organization for irrigation manufacturers, contractors and suppliers) has compiled a list of professionals who are certified to install "smart" irrigation controllers. To locate an Irrigation Association certified professional, or to confirm the status of any irrigation contractor in your area, please consult this list of Certified Professionals.
With the right combination of hardware, programming and hands on management, these types of irrigation controllers will provide long term, ongoing water savings.
Irrigation Management Systems (IMS) has saved water and money for its clients since the late 1980s, long before green was fashionable. Using the right combination of technology and management practices, IMS has long worked on keeping that delicate balance of saving water while keeping shrubs, turf and flowers sufficiently watered.