Dallas Fort Worth homeowners are always asking, “What is the most efficient method for maintaining a lush, green lawn?” Efficient irrigation systems conserve water, protect the environment, and can drastically lower the cost of your monthly water bill. Find out how water conservation and a healthy, beautiful lawn can go hand-in-hand with these 5 Fundamentals of Efficient Irrigation:
5 Fundamentals of Efficient Irrigation in Dallas Fort Worth
Fundamental #1: Proper Irrigation System Installation
The first fundamental of efficient landscape watering in Dallas Fort Worth is a properly installed irrigation system. When choosing an irrigation company to install a sprinkler or drip system, look for positive online reviews and years of experience in irrigation design and installation (at least five years). Remember, whomever you choose to install an irrigation system should be a Licensed Irrigator in Texas. If your home already has an sprinkler or drip irrigation system, there are a few ways to customize irrigation design without starting from scratch.
Fundamental #2: Custom Irrigation Design
Even if your irrigation system is older than you, there are adjustments that can be made to maximize efficiency. One of the most important components of a sprinkler system, in terms of water savings, are pressure regulated heads.
Pressure Regulating Heads (PRS Heads) – Dallas Fort Worth Sprinkler Repair & Installation
If you live in a Dallas Fort Worth neighborhood with high water pressure, you’ve probably noticed that some sprinkler systems spray a fine mist, rather than large droplets of water. The cloud of fog looks cool against the glow of the rising sun, but when it comes to water conservation – the mist is “no bueno.” When a sprinkler system sprays a fine mist it wastes a tremendous amount of water and increases the likelihood of plant disease and fungus. It may not seem like a big deal to waste a little water, but when an entire neighborhood “mists” their yard three times a week, it adds up quickly.
Pressure-regulating spray heads include built-in regulators that maintain a more constant pressure for optimal nozzle performance. PRS heads can be used in areas with low, high, and fluctuating water pressure for consistent and efficient landscape irrigation. Have your local Dallas Fort Worth irrigation company inspect your sprinkler system to see if PRS heads can help your sprinkler system conserve water and save money.
Smart Irrigation Controllers – Dallas Fort Worth Irrigation Services
WiFi irrigation controllers take about 30 minutes to install and are compatible with existing sprinkler and drip irrigation systems. Smart irrigation technology relies on local weather data to schedule run times when needed. WiFi smart controllers are a quick fix for preventing water waste and can lower your monthly water bill by 60%.
Drip Irrigation – Custom Irrigation Solutions Dallas Fort Worth
Consider replacing traditional sprinkler heads with drip irrigation. Drip irrigation is THE MOST EFFICIENT method of landscape watering, hands down. In fact, drip irrigation installation can pay for itself within the first year. Generally speaking, there are two methods used when designing a drip irrigation system. One method involves laying drip line along the soil surface in a grid-like pattern. Once in place, this form of drip irrigation allows water to drip slowly to the roots of plants. Drip irrigation can be hidden beneath shrubs or flowers for more attractive irrigation design.The second method for drip irrigation involves installing drip line below the surface of the soil. Subsurface drip irrigation can also be installed along the perimeter of a home to balance soil moisture levels and protect the structure from foundation damage.
Drip Irrigation vs Traditional Sprinkler Heads – Drip Irrigation Installation Dallas Fort Worth
- Conserve Water: By applying water directly to plant roots, you can minimize water waste due to evaporation. In fact, about 30-40% of water emitted through a traditional sprinkler head is eliminated through evaporation. In Texas, the amount of water waste is typically higher during the scorching hot summer months, or on windy days. A properly installed drip system ensures that more than 90% of moisture applied is deposited directly into the soil, eliminating waste and lowering monthly water bills.
Erosion Prevention: Since drip irrigation is designed to slowly apply moisture directly to a plant’s root system, it reduces the likelihood of excess irrigation water runoff. Homeowners with drip systems avoid the erosion caused by sprinkler heads, keeping their mulch in place and reducing the overall cost of upkeep.
- Healthy, Beautiful Landscapes: Not only does a drip irrigation system ensure proper moisture levels in the soil, but it also lowers the risk for plant disease. Traditional sprinkler heads are designed to deposit water onto a plant’s leaves. Lingering moisture can create a breeding ground for mold, plant disease, or sunburn spots.
- Drip Irrigation for Foundations: As we discussed earlier, the second method for drip irrigation installation involves placing drip lines beneath the soil surface. This method is also used in custom foundation watering systems to balance seasonal moisture fluctuations. Since most homes in Dallas Fort Worth are constructed atop clay soil, watering your home’s foundation is especially important. Click here for more information on foundation watering systems in Dallas Fort Worth.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that approximately one-third of all U.S. residential water use is for irrigation, but more than 50% of irrigation water is wasted by inefficient use.
Fundamental #3: Irrigation System Repair & Maintenance
The third fundamental of efficient landscape irrigation system is proper year-round maintenance and repair. Here are a few things you can do to maximize the efficiency of a traditional irrigation sprinkler system:
- Make a habit of canvasing your yard for broken sprinkler heads and take action right away if you see damaged rotors or valves. If you are unable to fix the busted sprinkler head immediately, turn off the water supply to your irrigation system until repairs are made. Watch a video on How To Shut Off Water to Your Sprinkler System. This extra measure of precaution is necessary to prevent the system from accidentally turning on and flooding your entire yard.
- Regular maintenance. We recommend having a Licensed Irrigator perform seasonal maintenance checkups on your irrigation system. An irrigation tune-up typically involves replacing broken sprinkler heads, repairing broken sprinkler valves, adjusting rotor spray patterns, replacing any broken irrigation pipes, cleaning and repairing clogged nozzles, and troubleshooting faulty irrigation system wiring.
Fundamental #4: Efficient Irrigation Watering Technique
Even cutting edge sprinkler and drip irrigation systems require some participation from the homeowner. It’s important to understand how frequent, and for what length of time, to water your landscape. During the hot summer months in Dallas Fort Worth, we are typically limited by water restrictions. Visit your City Water Department for information on local water restrictions and schedule your irrigation controller accordingly.
When using a traditional irrigation controller, versus a wi-fi smart controller, you will need to manually adjust watering schedules when rain is in the forecast and to accommodate seasonal temperature fluctuations. If you have a wi-fi smart controller, scheduled run times will automatically adjust based on data such as wind speed, precipitation, and temperature. Also, with the wi-fi smart controller, you can customize each zone based on the landscape type and watering needs.
Another tip for optimal efficiency is to use the cycle and soak method for timing irrigation schedules. The goal of the cycle and soak method is to maximize the percentage of water that effectively absorbs into the soil each time your sprinkler system runs.
BONUS TIP: Every irrigation system in Texas is required to have a backflow prevention device to prevent water contamination. If your system is more than 15 years old, it may be time to have your backflow prevention device tested.