3 Minute Read
Irrigation is essential for any Houston commercial property to thrive. However, it can also be the largest ongoing expense. Irrigation systems that are not properly functioning don’t only impact your bottom line. Wasting water, one of our finite resources, has an enormous impact on our environment as well.
Let’s look at three commercial irrigation tips to help protect your landscape and conserve water.
When a commercial irrigation contractor begins services at your property, the first item accomplished should be a thorough inspection of your entire irrigation system. This initial inspection should be a deep dive, revealing any urgent necessary repairs, suggested improvements, and potential long-term cost and water-saving upgrades. Repairs and solutions recommended from the initial inspection can ultimately save thousands in plant replacements and water waste.
After your commercial irrigation contractor inspects the system, a three-tiered solution should be enacted. A first-tier inspection identifies any urgent repairs requiring immediate attention such as leaks, valves not functioning or broken drip lines, spray heads, or rotors. These issues interfere with system functionality and can cause excessive water loss. A second-tier inspection identifies areas that could use improvement. For example, correcting gaps in coverage, or issues from a poor installation that may turn into larger problems over time. A third-tier inspection identifies potential capital improvement projects such as upgrades to irrigation infrastructure to improve efficiency and implementation of smart water technology.
While this first step may seem obvious, many commercial irrigation companies do not conduct an initial inspection. This can lead to overwatering or underwatering of your turf and plant materials. Both over and under watering grass and plants can lead to plant death.
If your commercial property does not currently have smart water management, we typically recommend conversion to this system. Smart water management systems save time, money, and resources. Smart water management can tailor watering schedules and run times specific to your property’s needs, as they don’t just start watering at a scheduled time of day. They monitor the sun, temperature, soil moisture, and weather to reduce water waste, saving resources and money. EPA research affirms SMART controllers lower water use by 20-40% with onsite weather-based data by adjusting programming daily.
Since smart water management systems connect to the cloud, the system can make check-ups from your commercial irrigation contractor much more convenient and save on service calls to remedy a system running in or during rain events. Smart water management runs your irrigation system frequently enough to keep your plant material and turf thriving without overwatering.
While there is an initial cost when installing smart water management, it helps save water and a significant amount of money over time. At Monarch, we manage the major platforms such as RainBird, Hunter, and Weathermatic. We have partnered with Weathermatic, which enables us to offer their Smart Link Weather Based Control as a subscription service solution, eliminating upfront costs. Many items are warrantied as long as the subscription is in place.
After the initial inspection and smart water management installation, monthly irrigation system inspections are essential. These inspections quickly provide recommendations for improvements and assist in addressing some potential problems before they occur. Identifying these potential problems is key to avoiding major water loss and plant loss.
Monthly inspections include visual inspections of each zone to ensure proper coverage and to look for broken heads or nozzles. Then adjustments to nozzles and heads are made throughout the entire property. Some heads may be clogged, broken, or leaking without you even noticing, resulting in water loss and ineffective coverage. Finally, adjustments to run times for each season are made if needed. During an inspection, potential issues that need repairs may be found and can be scheduled for completion.
Your irrigation system is working hard to keep up with the Texas heat, and monthly inspections help make certain that water is not being wasted and your plants and turf are getting exactly what they need.
If you are frustrated with your irrigation system costing you a significant amount of money month after month, it is time to look into hiring a commercial irrigation contractor. Remember that irrigation systems today are quite complex, so it is wise to select a provider that hires licensed irrigators, technicians, and backflow inspectors.
You want your landscape to improve over time and to impress those that visit your property. Effective water management is key to obtaining those goals. Taking a proactive, instead of a reactive approach, will not only save you money but will protect the environment as well.
Are you ready to partner with a commercial landscape management company that offers sustainable, long-term irrigation solutions and recommendations? Get started by filling out our consultation form. We’ll meet to learn more about your property and work together to protect your investment.
Written By: Monarch Landscape Management