Area homeowners can save money while helping to save the environment by keeping a close eye on their irrigation uses as the hot weather approaches
With weather patterns unpredictable – snow in October, a record warm winter, sparse rainfall this spring – local homeowners need to be extremely aware of the impact their landscapes have on the environment. One very simple and vital way to do this is through a water saving audit.
Water restrictions are now a fact of life in many local northern New Jersey towns during the summer months. Water companies increase rates annually, and with the lack of snowmelt this year we can’t expect this summer to be any different. Even the few homeowners who have private wells are not immune to watering restrictions; plus, it is in everyone’s best interest to protect ever last drop when things start to heat up. A water audit performed by an irrigation professional can help homeowners cope with summer drought and the increasing regulations that will soon be put into effect.
During a water saving audit – which is a lot less painful that an IRS audit – a few important steps are taken to ensure that an irrigation system is running as efficiently as possible.
- First, sprinklers will be evaluated to make certain that no water is being wasted. This is especially important for those properties with older systems that may be leaking and in need of repair.
- Sprinklers might be using outdated equipment to detect moisture levels, so new sensors that identify rain, soil moisture, and water flow can be installed to make sure that a system is responding acutely to changes in weather.
- In some cases, scaling back water use is as easy as replacing old hardware with more efficient nozzles and heads — a quick and inexpensive fix that could save a bundle on a water bill.
A little common sense can go a long way when trying to conserve water and an irrigation specialist will also help assess the different water needs of your lawn, plantings and flower beds. Homeowners might find that they are overwatering an area of your property without even knowing it, so taking this step is crucial in managing both water and costs.
If a homeowner is looking to make improvements on an existing system or is designing a new one, consider using Drip System technology, which will decrease the percentage of water that evaporates and distributes water directly to the roots.
By receiving a water saving audit and making these simple adjustments to a property’s sprinklers, homeowners could reduce the cost of operating their system anywhere from 5% to 30%. While some may be inclined to do-it-themsleves, it may be well worth leaving to the irrigation professionals if a water bill remains higher than it should be.
This article was written by by Kevin Malone, Irrigation Department Manager at Jacobsen Landscape Design and Construction.