How Smart Irrigation Systems Keep Landscapes at Your Facility in the Green?
Every second, water waste slides through drains around the country. Whether it is a slow trickle or a steady stream, these billions of gallons cost businesses and homeowners money every year.
What is to blame for this? The answer is old technology.
When it comes to irrigation systems, many facilities use outdated controllers operating on simple timers. These do a decent job of providing reliable irrigation on a schedule for a set amount of time each day, but they come with a lot of problems:
- They do not address specific landscape needs or the ever-changing weather.
- There is no data tracking or other information generated in these systems. You have no visibility on what is happening on site.
- The controllers cannot detect leaks or measure water applications – leaving detection up to already busy maintenance teams.
Millions of these outdated controllers are installed at facilities around the nation because the shortcomings are hard to see.
Is there another option for facilities to explore when it comes to an irrigation system?
How do you keep facilities lush and green without dedicating too many resources to upkeep and maintenance?
There are other routes to explore when it comes to installing an irrigation system and ways to keep facilities lush and beautiful.
The Solution: SMART Irrigation
New technologies like SMART irrigation systems are intelligent and cost-effective irrigation solutions for all types of businesses and facilities. These SMART irrigation systems come with:
- Two-way communication control
- The ability to utilize real-time weather information
Most include user-friendly apps, allowing users to control systems from mobile devices.
What is SMART Irrigation System?
SMART irrigation was first developed to address water scarcity – especially in locations hit with seasonal droughts where conserving water is necessary to reduce environmental impact. Today, SMART irrigation is used by people around the world for its range of benefits.
Overwatering can create structural damage and cause compliance violations with excessive runoff. The newer types of systems allow users to address the effects of drought and take part in water conservation while also ensuring overwatering does not occur. These SMART systems consider the following factors:
- Soil conditions
- Plant Water Use
New SMART irrigation systems use two-way communication to facilitate communication between central operations and multiple sensors and stations. Flow sensors located around the grounds transmit real-time data to central controllers, so issues like system breaks, leaks, water theft, and setting errors can be addressed. The flow of information creates an intelligent solution and fills the gaps left by the older system types.
This technology exists as a few different types of systems, including drip irrigation systems for micro-irrigation. Most come with varying features and capabilities so that the system choice can reflect the needs of the facility.
What Are the Benefits?
For maintenance workers, these SMART irrigation systems create an easier system to manage multiple sites of various sizes and address concerns as they occur. Some systems are installed with features allowing for remote testing and problem verification – ensuring maintenance teams visit the site with the right irrigation supplies and understanding of the issue on hand.
Automated scheduling options make schedules site-specific and rules-based, allowing maintenance personnel to customize irrigation schedules to the facility and various areas. SMART systems can utilize weather data to adjust irrigation schedules automatically and stay ahead of weather-related concerns. Overall, this technology helps groundskeepers to monitor and facilitate water management tasks.
While some facilities may be small and manageable, some are quite large, such as golf courses around the United States that withdraw “approximately 408 billion gallons of water per day,” according to the United States Golf Association. Commanding those systems from a central location is a significant benefit to these maintenance teams.
In short, benefits of this irrigation system include:
- Lower Maintenance Costs and Water Bills
- Water Conservation
- Reduced Irrigation Costs
- Effective Use of Planet’s Resources
Remote Control Capabilities
Another way SMART irrigation systems keep your facilities green is through cloud computing. Cloud-based systems are easy to manage from remote locations via websites or smartphone apps. These cloud-based technologies record data like stations, flow sensors, and weather feeds to provide valuable insights and reports. This information can be used for budget savings and date management.
How Do I Implement This System?
If the benefits of a SMART irrigation system are calling to you, the next step is to implement this system and see the savings and changes coming to life. Some tips for installing this type of irrigation system include:
Find a Two-Way Wireless System
Not all systems are made equally, but a system with SMART features like the Internet of Things and RFID will be vital for automating the management process.
Automate Activation and Data Sharing
These systems make automation accessible to schedule and monitor. The next step is to automate data sharing, so managers can access real-time data and activate systems remotely.
Consider Natural Irrigation
Some SMART systems are built to recognize and consider additional sources of irrigation, like rainfall. Test these features out during implementation before completing the full setup.
Other Factors to Consider
- Cloud-Based Features: As mentioned earlier, cloud-based features are beneficial to maintenance. One step to implementing this system will be exploring and understanding cloud features to streamline reporting.
- Monthly Maintenance: While these systems are designed to ease the process for maintenance teams, routing monthly checks are still essential. This is a time to tweak and refine the maintenance schedule.
- Cold Temperature Difference: When automatic scheduling watering, time it for colder periods of the day. This limits evaporation – the enemy of SMART systems.
Fortunately, you do not have to navigate this implementation process alone.
Ready to Try SMART Irrigation?
Contact us to get set up with your SMART irrigation system for your facility. The expertise and customer focus at Environmental Designers Irrigation sets us apart when it comes to introducing smart irrigation technology to various facilities. As experts in this industry, our team will help you learn about this system and installing it to your benefit.
Our team will support you at every step, from installation to regular maintenance, we can help keep your facility green.
If you’re ready to try SMART irrigation for your facility, call or complete the online form to learn more!