Most people have not thought much about their irrigation systems this summer. Record rainfall in June and July and continued wetness into August has all but eliminated the need for supplemental irrigation in our area. Even with that record rainfall, we still have people watering their lawns… it’s absolutely incredible!
I was recently called to look at a potential landscape upgrade for a customer. The home was less than two years old and the builder had installed an irrigation system as a part of the construction. This was not a cheap home and was in a very nice development. The system was set up with a 1.5hp centrifugal pump, a 2″ well and had six zones. The zones were controlled by an inexpensive, very reliable technology from the 1950’s called an index valve and a mechanical type controller. If you live in Northwest Florida you are probably familiar with these or you may even have one yourself. This is like installing an old fashioned outhouse on a half million dollar home in the world of irrigation technology.
When speaking to the customer, I learned that they watered every day, every zone, for 45 minutes. My jaw dropped when he told me that. I asked if he made any adjustments for all the rain and he said that he didn’t. It had run that way, unchanged, for the better part of the time they had been in the house—almost two years.
We went through the system by turning the pump on and off to allow the index valve to cycle through each zone. That is the way an index valve system works, to water one area you have to water all areas. You have to do this every time. There is no choice.
Smart Controller For Your Irrigation System!
We are all busy. Homeowners have enough to do and worry about without adding weekly irrigation clock adjustments. There are options for those who want to take this off their list. “Smart” controllers have come down significantly in price and will soon become the industry standard for irrigation control. Depending on the model, a smart controller takes into account actual rainfall, evapotranspiration rates, and precipitation performance of the system to replenish soil moisture to optimal levels. Once set up, it does this with little input from the user. Not only is this environmentally friendly, it can save serious money on systems using metered water. An added benefit, it prevents you from overwatering, which is the number one issue affecting plant health in managed landscapes.
Call HSG, Inc. today to inquire about your index valve conversion and Smart Controller options.