Water Conservation Tip No. 4

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Old sprinkler timers did little more than set the days and times your sprinkler system would run and how long each station would operate. At the time we were pretty cocky about all that technology.

However, with water being Texas’ most valuable natural resource, there has been an evolution toward "smarter" controllers. Some cities are requiring them on all of their new sprinkler system installations.

There have been rain sensors and soil moisture meters over the years, but more recent developments have brought miniaturized weather stations into our gardens’ lives. They are mounted inconspicuously onto our houses. A highly trained technician will carefully program each station for environmental variables such as soil types, slopes, plant types and sun or shade (or somewhere in between).

You and the technician determine how much water your plants will need per week. The weather station then monitors temperatures and relative humidities regularly and determines how long each station will need to function to deliver the predetermined amount of water to each plant.

Unless you’re smarter than the average electrical engineer you need to hire a licensed turf irrigation contractor to do this installation for you. Many cities, in fact, will require that. Ask to see the person’s license and ask what brand of equipment he’ll be installing. Be sure it’s a good one. Some will even qualify for rebates. Ask as you select.

The good news is, these systems are easy to operate once they’re installed and the conservation of water will begin immediately.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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