Watering tips and trends

 

Save water with a weather station attached to your sprinkler clock

Save water and time with high-tech gadgets that really work

Weather Stations

Quick facts about weather stations

Rain sensors

Moisture sensors

High-tech water scheduling

Save water with a weather station attached to your sprinkler clock

Colorado's constant weather fluctuations mean you need to constantly adjust your sprinkler system. When the weather changes, how much you need to water changes and the setting on the sprinker timer should also change. But what if you forget, are gone or just don't have time to change the timer? Your lawn could fry or drown depending on what's going on with our unpredictable and ever-changing weather.

Sprinkler technology gives great solutions to this familiar dilemma with high-tech self-adjusting "smart" and "ET" sprinkler system controllers. A recent innovation in this new technology is a weather station.

Save water and time with high-tech gadgets that really work

It's a fact that hose draggers are the most conscientious water conserving group out there. They drag the hose across the yard, set the sprinkler just so, turn on the water, set the timer and come back in 20 minutes to start the process all over. They go to a lot of effort but interestingly they also waste the least amount of water.

The reality is that most of us can't find the time or aren't inclined to drag the hose and sprinkler around the yard. And this day and age, why should we when there's great technology to get the job done efficiently and save water?

Weather Stations

We've seen rain sensors and moisture sensors in the past. They are very useful because they over-ride the sprinkler system based on ground moisture or the amount of new rainfall in your yard. But a weather station does more. Like the name implies, it takes into account more than rainfall or soil moisture. It also monitors current temperature and wind speed. These are also important variables when watering the lawn because heat and wind impact evaporation - the water that never makes it to the ground or just doesn't get absorbed.

With a weather station in place your sprinkler system self-adjusts to real-time conditions in your yard - whether you are around or not. When it's hot and the soil is dry, the sprinklers run. When it rains and is cool and there's no need for water, it doesn't run.

Quick facts about weather stations

These devices can be installed on existing sprinkler timers. In other words, you don't have to buy a whole new control system to take advantage of this technology.

Some municipalities-like Castle Rock-have approved these devices for rebates when homeowners install them because they are water conserving.

Many homeowners' associations (town home and condo properties) are seeing the potential for substantial water savings and installing weather stations to cut water costs.These devices can be installed on existing sprinkler timers. In other words, you don't have to buy a whole new control system to take advantage of this technology.

Rain sensors

These devices have actually been around for a long time. They keep your sprinklers from running when it's raining-what everyone hates to see.

The new models are wireless-which makes for easier/cheaper installation.

These are among the most cost effective technologies because they are inexpensive, can be retrofitted to an existing sprinkler system and they do save water.

Moisture sensors

These devices tell your sprinkler system when to come on and when to stay off based on the actual moisture that's in the soil. They are real-time, real-world because they literally monitor what's going on right in your own back yard.

There are various types of moisture sensors. Some sensor systems allow you to put one sensor in the lawn, another one in your roses and another one in the shrubs-or one on the sunny side of the house and one on the shady side. This type of set-up allows you water the plants that need it and skip the ones that don't. That's very water wise.

High-tech water scheduling

• There are increasingly sophisticated sprinkler system controllers that can be programmed by you or another party to control when plants are watered based on varied criteria.

 

• Some controllers can be programmed by an off-site water specialist via the internet to set your watering times. The water specialist will adjust schedules based on current weather conditions and other relevant data.

 

• "ET Controllers" receive current information from the internet or satellite on the daily evapotranspiration(ET) rate and adjust run-times for your sprinkler system accordingly.

Technology solutions don't do all the work, because you or someone you designate will still have to be involved to manage them. But they do make the watering process easier and they can save a lot of water which is much better than dragging a hose all summer long!

 
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