System Watering Effectively and Economically Program (S.W.E.E.P. Program)
Would you like to reduce your water bill, save water and still maintain a healthy lawn and garden? With JB Irrigation’s S.W.E.E.P. program, we’ll help you do just that. JB Irrigation offers the most diverse, durable and water-efficient components in the industry and has years of experience tuning irrigation systems to their peak performance. By adjusting your system or switching out a few key components, you can easily reduce your water bill, save water and maintain a great looking lawn and garden.
The S.W.E.E.P. program (System Watering Effectively and Economically Program) evaluates existing irrigation systems and makes recommendations for improvement to the performance of the system to eliminate unnecessary waste. Whether your motivation be the Earth, your wallet, or both; implementing our S.W.E.E.P. recommendations will save you both water and money.
Statistics indicate that up to 80% of peak water use can be contributed to outdoor irrigation. Up to 50% of this water is wasted. Audits of irrigation systems from California to Florida indicate that many, if not most irrigation systems operate at an average efficiency of 45% or less. Our S.W.E.E.P assessment will ensure that your irrigation system is not wasting water or money.
What Part Of Your Sprinkler System Do We Check?
Install pressure regulating (pressure reducing) heads to eliminate “fogging” of the water
Converting to these type heads can easily reduce water waste by up to 30%. When a head receives too much water pressure it “mists” out fine droplets that are not heavy enough to fall to the ground immediately. The fine droplets quickly evaporate never reaching the ground. Up to 30% of the water coming out of an over pressurized head can be “fogged” and wasted.
Install SMART controller and weather sensing technology
This type controller will automatically develop a daily program, run only as needed, and knows your specific site water needs and up-to-the minute on site weather conditions. Even our most particular, environmentally conscious, pro water conserving customers do not change their irrigation system settings on a daily basis. This is Houston Texas – The weather can change several times in a day. Features automatic daily scheduling and re-scheduling of your system with 30 years of historical weather information in the software PLUS our own on-site mini weather station that measures temperature and rainfall on your site, not the Airport. This technology can reduce water use up to 40%.
Consider installing a basic rain sensor
At least keep your system from running in the rain. Also it may keep your system off for number of days, depending on amount of rain and other weather conditions. Wireless models available for easy installation.
Re-zone areas- Bed areas and Grass areas should be on separate circuits (hydrozoning)
Your grass has different water needs than your flowers and shrubbery. These areas combined on the same zone or station results in water waste. When the grass needs water the plants may not. When the shrubs are thirsty, the grass may be fine. Your plants may not be able to take the amount of water your St. Augustine grass can. You undoubtedly over water one area to get enough to the other.
Re-zone areas- Shade areas should be separate of Sunny areas (microclimatology)
The area that is coolly shaded under the tree all day needs much less water that the one that bakes in the sun all day. Another common example is the shaded narrow area between the side of the house and the fence. It doesn’t need to run for the same time the hot sunny middle area does. A shaded area should be on a separate zone than the full sun area allowing those areas to be separately controlled by the number of minutes it is to run. You overwater the shady area to get enough to the full sun area.
Change heads or nozzles to the same precipitation rate (balance coverage)
The application of water is not balanced. Rotor heads and Fan-spray heads should not be on the same zone. Sprinklers of mixed manufacturers should not be on the same zone. The differing application rates of the sprinklers cause uneven coverage. You are forced to over water some areas (waste) to get just enough water for another area.
Consider bringing your system up to code
Texas State Law requires all Sprinkler systems to have an approved Backflow Preventer installed. ANYTHING that is in or on your lawn can be “sucked” back through your sprinkler system into your drinking water supply. Pet waste, fertilizers, pesticides, just to name a few. It’s for your health, safety, and the protection of the public drinking water supply.
Raise heads too low in the grass
The grass blades are obstructing the spray patterns. We recommend changing out your 2”, 3”, or 4” heads with 6” pop-up heads. As grass grows it builds its own elevation upward. Dead grass blades, runners and root system all make up your lawn’s thatch. As thatch builds up so does the level of your lawn. Your lawn slowly inches upward leaving your irrigation heads too low. If the head can not spray out like it should, the result is that all the water pools immediately around the head (waste, runoff), while the rest of the areas receive no water. Your heads may only spray correctly if the grass is freshly cut.
Raise heads that have become too low in bed areas
Change these heads to a 12-inch pop-up. When the system was originally installed, it probably reached and covered as it should. You need now to account for your plant’s growth. Now that the plants have grown the sprinkler spray has become blocked. The plant adjacent to the head receives all the water (way too much,=waste) where it should be broadcast over the entire area. The Plants that aren’t right next to a head do not get any water.
Install freeze protection components on system
During the winters of 2010 and 2011 a hard freeze in the Houston area damaged tens of thousands of sprinkler systems. Average freeze repair bill was about $400. Also is the potential to waste 1000’s of gallons of water if the burst is not detected immediately.
Consider rotator nozzles that will help reduce runoff or puddling in low areas
Rotator nozzles apply water more slowly and uniformly than conventional sprinklers. They use 30% less water and greatly reduce runoff. This is one of the newest, but proven ways to save. Justin, owner of JB Irrigation converted his system to rotators and enjoys all the above mentioned features. Probably is one of the best latest developments for water conservation and water bill savings.
Consider installing bubbler heads to efficiently deeply water in new plants & trees
Bubblers will keep you from over watering your established turf & plants. It is critical to have water penetrate into the root zone of new trees and shrubs. Experts say this is critical for the first several years after planting or transplanting. Bubblers provide point-source watering to the root zone area without wasting the water on the other established turf and plants. You don’t have to make a bog out of your yard to get the new trees and shrubs watered in anymore.
Consider micro-drip emitters for your container plants
Get rid of the bucket and the hose. Please don’t allow your yard and flower bed sprinklers to overspray up on to the patio and porch to water the potted plants! Micro-drip can get those pots watered without all the waste.
Consider more water efficient drip irrigation for bed areas
Subsurface drip irrigation applies water slowly and precisely for consistently even distribution. Water is applied to the surface with an application rate that lets it soak in over a period of time. Drip eliminates conventional sprinkler issues like runoff, pattern distortion from wind, and water wasted on hardscape. It’s also a plus for the windows siding and fences. No water spray means no more water spotted windows to clean, and no ugly hard water deposits on walls and fences. Uses 30-50% less water that sprinkler irrigation.
Consider Check valve heads to avoid low head drainage
The check valve seals off the head when the system finishes watering. Ever notice after the heads turn off a lot of water continues to run out? Especially the ones at the end of the line down by the street. You can eliminate erosion, runoff, and save this water!
Consider replacing “stick ups”
The heads that remain in the extended position after the cycle. These are sure to get run over by a car or chopped by the mower resulting in a geyser of wasted water.
Repair the zones that have low pressure by separating it into 2 zones each
A common installation shortcut we see is the connection of too many heads to one zone. A.K.A. too many heads on one valve. A slight drop in water pressure and the heads won’t spray or may not pop up. The heads don’t “reach out” as far as they could and should. The water just “gurgles” out and run off waste results; instead of reaching the intended plants or turf.
Consider changing the layout of the heads to a TRUE head-to-head arrangement
Your current layout of heads doesn’t have the recommended amount of overlap. Even water distribution is not achieved without head-to-head placement. By correcting the layout you will eliminate dry or brown “hot spots” and avoid over watering areas at the same time.
Lower the risers that the spray is too high
The water is getting carried off by breeze / wind. Water gets blown onto your home’s windows, siding and brick and causes hard water stains and spots. The water that does not fall in place is waste!
Install emergency shutoff or sprinkler system isolation valve on system
“Just in case” If your system malfunctions or springs a leak at night or over the weekend, and the water continues to run even after you’ve shut off the Controls. The isolation valve will allow you to stop the water from running out of the system while water service to the home will remain.
Have JB Irrigation Inspect Your Houston Sprinkler System To Ensure That You Are Not Wasting Water Or Money
To have an expert sprinkler repair technician fine tune your sprinkler system, call us at 281-744-6909, or send us an email today.