Water is a precious resource—and even more so in the desert climate of Arizona, which has been under drought conditions for 17 years. More than 50 percent of outdoor water use often goes to waste. Here’s three ways to keep your yard looking great, without wasting water.
Drip irrigation can save 30 to 50 percent more water compared to spray heads by applying smaller amounts of water over a longer time. Drip irrigation gets water where it needs to go so there’s less overspray and waste. Converting your sprinkler heads to a drip irrigation system can be easy!
Landscape Products Retro Drip Adapter offers a quick and easy way to convert your sprinklers to drip irrigation. You can install dripline or tubing in place of sprinklers to save water and reduce overspray.
To use a retro drip adapter, screw the retro drip adapter into a ½ inch riser, and attach the hose swivel and drip tubing. If you have any unused sprinklers in the zone—ones you had a sprinkler on but are not putting an adapter on—you can close if off with a sprinkler shut-off cap.
If you are going to keep your spray heads, make your nozzles as efficient as possible. High-efficiency nozzles help reduce wasted water and can improve your system’s efficiency by 10 to 20 percent. High-efficiency nozzles reduce runoff because they evenly apply water at a slower rate than traditional spray heads, giving the water a chance to soak into the ground. Some also apply larger drops of water, reducing the chance that wind will carry the water away before it even hits the ground.
There are different models from various manufacturers, but they all offer more efficient watering than traditional sprinklers. Retrofitting your current spray heads to high-efficiency nozzles is as easy as unscrewing the old nozzle and filter screen and attaching the high-efficiency nozzle and filter screen. Depending on the nozzle you choose, adjust the arc, distance and/or spray pattern to what your landscape needs.
There are different types of smart irrigation controllers, which take the guesswork out of scheduling your irrigation system. These controllers use weather data and sensors to automatically adjust your irrigation schedule to environmental changes. They know when to water, how much water is needed, and when to stop watering. Controllers do this in one of two main ways: through an on-site sensor, and through offsite data.
If you don’t want to get a new controller, you may be able to convert your current irrigation controller to a smart controller with a sensor like Baseline’s WaterTec S100 soil moisture sensor.
With some controllers, you can download an app to your smartphone and access your system settings and schedule, and turn it on or off from your device if needed.
Don’t forget that if you need help, landscape professionals are available to help convert your whole yard to the most efficient irrigation system possible!
For more tips on creating a water-smart backyard, check out Ewing’s Backyard Rehab playlist on YouTube for everything you need to know about drip irrigation, efficient nozzles, soil moisture sensors and controllers.