Did you know that only 3% of the world’s water is freshwater? That means the water needed for drinking, bathing, and everything else is quite a scarce resource.
As a commercial property manager, you need to know how to keep your property looking beautiful without wasting too much water. But, how is your irrigation system wasting water? How can you stop water waste from happening?
In this guide, we’ll explore your must-have tips to save water without sacrificing the beauty of your property.
Watering Times: How is My Irrigation System Wasting Water?
There are a lot of ways your water irrigation system could be wasting water. For example, you may water when it is unnecessary or even at the wrong time of day.
You should always avoid watering during the hottest parts of the day.
Never water between 10 AM and 4 PM. The optimal time for watering is early in the morning, between 4 AM and 8 AM. However, watering at night is also preferable to the heat of the day.
Running your sprinklers at night or during the early morning not only keeps guests from getting wet but is also a good water conservation practice.
The Changing Seasons
In addition, pay special attention to the time of year. Water use generally skyrockets in the summer. Then, some people may have their irrigation systems overloaded for the cooler months.
As the seasons change, make sure you’re also changing the settings on your irrigation systems. Overwatering is a huge source of water waste, as the bulk of the water evaporates in the sun or becomes runoff.
Investing in an automatic irrigation system can be easier to deal with and help you save water.
Designating the Proper Water Irrigation Zones
If you have an automatic irrigation system, it breaks down your lawn into separate smaller “zones.” This makes the job of watering easier and helps to conserve water when put in place correctly.
Most lawns will have a minimum of four separate zones. For commercial properties, these zones are likely separated by sidewalks and other structures.
For areas with turf or ornamental plants, you should have separate specialized zones. This is because these features have differing watering needs.
When setting up ornamental plants, try to group them together by water needs. For example, keep water-loving plants with other water-loving plants. Drought survivors such as succulents should have their own zones.
Proper irrigation zoning will ensure your plants get the water they need without wasting too much. This will ensure your commercial property stays looking beautiful.
Invest in an Automatic Shut-Off Device
If your irrigation systems waste water, installing an automatic shut-off device is a necessity. Irrigation shut-off devices are an essential part of any automatic sprinkler system.
Irrigation shut-off devices typically come in two varieties:
- Rain sensors
- Soil-moisture sensors
Rain sensors are the more popular of the two. They ensure that your water irrigation system doesn’t run after obtaining a certain amount of rainfall.
For new irrigation systems, shut-off devices are actually a legal requirement. However, it is up to you to ensure they are functioning properly. You should perform frequent inspections to test their function.
Even if you live in a drier climate, investing in a smart irrigation system is still incredibly important. They will maintain a proper moisture level for every patch of soil, no matter what the weather looks like.
Try Interval Watering
Many people will opt for long but infrequent watering. This can actually be a huge source of wasted water. Much of this water will turn into runoff rather than soaking into the roots of your plant life.
Instead, try watering for short periods of time more frequently.
A good interval is to water for a few short bursts spaced 15 minutes apart. This gives the soil enough time to fully absorb the water before receiving more.
Check Your Coverage
Improper sprinkler coverage can cause some areas of your lawn to become overwatered while others are left thirsty and dry.
How much water your plants will require will vary depending on multiple factors such as your location, types of plants, and time of year.
At the start of each watering season, you should check your coverage. This is also known as “calibrating your sprinklers.”
How to Calibrate Your Sprinklers
You can do this by placing small cups or cans around your grassed areas. Cleaned-out tuna cans work great for this purpose. Place the cans in one irrigation zone at a time.
Place the cans in random intervals around the watering zone. Then, turn on your sprinkler for 15 minutes.
After this interval, measure the water in each can. You can do this using a simple ruler. Using these measurements, find the average depth of water.
To find the average, add up all the measurements and divide by the number of cups. This is your average depth per 15 minutes. You can multiply this average by four to get your hourly rate.
Repeat these steps for each individual irrigation zone.
Don’t Cut Your Grass Too Short
It might be surprising, but longer grass actually helps to conserve water. You should keep your lawn mower deck set to the 3.5-inch setting.
These longer blades help to prevent water from evaporating rapidly, as they help shade the ground below. Longer grass is also more likely to trap water, preventing runoff.
In addition, longer grass looks healthier. With longer grass, stressed or patchy areas will have more coverage, making them less noticeable to your guests.
Save Water, Look Great
Commercial property managers have a responsibility to keep their property looking great. But, they also have a responsibility to ensure they stop their irrigation systems from wasting water. Luckily, with these tips, it’s easy to accomplish both!
If you have any questions about property management, contact us. Our team of experts is standing by to help you with all your commercial property management needs.
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