Why Smart Irrigation Controllers are the Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

California’s drought is now more than a regional story: coverage of the emergency conditions – and our response to them – spans from international news outlets to this week’s TIME magazine. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), almost 9 billion gallons of water is used every day in the United States for residential outdoor water use, primarily for landscape irrigation. The agency estimates that 50 percent of that water is wasted due to overwatering.

Fortunately, there are relatively simple measures you can take to save water that are friendly to the earth, healthier for your plants, and easy on your wallet. One of the newest technologies available to smaller-scale landscaping systems is smart-controlled irrigation systems. 

What are smart irrigation control systems, and how do they work?

Though smart-controlled irrigation systems have been used for many years on larger scales – like sprawling, 18-hole golf courses – the technology has recently become available for smaller properties and homeowners.

There are two types of smart controllers, climate-based and sensor-based, and they utilize your area’s weather and site conditions to manage irrigation needs. Instead of relying on you, or a programmed timer, to regulate your landscape’s irrigation needs, smart controllers customize water flow and frequency based on data like weather changes, soil moisture, slope, wind, and plant type.

How effective are they?

The Irrigation Association, which conducts third-party testing of smart controller irrigation products, says that pilot programs have shown a 20-40 percent annual savings over properties that utilize standard sprinkler systems. And the EPA, whose Watersense labeling program monitors and certifies smart controllers for efficiency and effectiveness, says the water savings amount to 8,800 annual gallons per household. The agency puts a big-picture perspective on the issue: if each household in the United States using traditional irrigation made the switch, we’d look at a $435 million and 120 billion-gallon savings nationwide. 

It’s important to have your smart irrigation system installed and maintained by professionals, so contact us today to learn how you can get started.