Smart irrigation consists of a set of tools and practices that reduce water consumption through advanced technology and methods. Clear Water PSI is a leader in the smart irrigation field, its President having received the 2010 EPA WaterSense Partner of the Year award. We have pioneered the use of technologies such as soil moisture sensors and weather based controllers with local governments, companies, and residents. We are a proven innovator in many smart irrigation techniques, and have taught classes on the subject to homeowners and irrigation professionals for nearly a decade.
This is our smart irrigation blog, where we post news and information on smart irrigation subjects, look into new technology, and post tips & tricks on saving water (and money!).
During the last decade, sprinkler timers and irrigation controllers have evolved into SMART controls for ease of managing outdoor water use. The market has exploded with a diverse amount of equipment and technology that provide the user with a true return on their investment.
“Unnoticeable” Water Efficiency
As we continue efforts to spread the word about “unnoticeable” water efficiency (meaning painless changes – things that are not missed but bring HUGE results) I am always surprised by the true water conservation efforts by Central Floridians.
Congratulations to Judy and Keith Ramker of Leesburg for receiving Florida Yards & Neighborhoods’ recognition as a Florida Friendly Yard – the first in Lake County! This rigorous program consists of 9 Florida Friendly principles incorporated into the creation and maintenance of a property.Practice of the principles are verified by an interview and inspection conducted at the location.
The Ramker’s actively researched and selected a palate of over 25 different trees, plants, shrubs and grasses creating an inviting environment, including those with fluttering wings of brilliant colors.
Clear Water PSI was pleased to be a part of the Ramker’s transformation, contracted to design and implement the irrigation system’s renovation. The combination of Florida Friendly Landscape™ and efficient irrigation produced a whopping 65% reduction in outdoor water use! The Ramker’s efforts have resulted with a beautiful example of today’s Florida Friendly Yard.
The International Builders Show arrives every January in Orlando, this year we brought our smart irrigation knowledge to the table and joined the ranks of builders and trade contractors who utilized ingenuity and skills to construct the homes included in the tour. We chose to participate on The Vision House 2011 project, sponsored by Green Builder Magazine, located within the community of College Park of Orlando, Florida. This unique urban farmhouse design was created on an infill site abutting a cobblestone street lined by mature residences.
The intent to achieve Florida Water Star’s Silver certification is a priority for the project. The landscape palate includes Empire Zoysia turf carpeting the front yard with a blend of Florida friendly plants incorporating raised beds, trellis’ and containers of edible landscaping.
The parcel immediately presents the challenge of a mature camphor tree in the southeastern quadrant of the front yard and heavily compacted soil throughout the site. The native soil contains reasonable organic content in a base of sand. The water source is an irrigation meter supplying potable water which underlines the requirement to conserve. We identify micro climates and collect samples of soil and water for testing of properties that will sustain the landscape.
Superior Water Conditioners non-chemical water treatment unit was installed to prevent hard water scale build up and extend the life of the low flow irrigation components. Mineral deposits clog emitters physically reducing water availability to the landscape and consistent applications of calcium and magnesium reduce the soil’s permeability. Superior Water offers a cost-effective, eco-friendly option to prevent such occurrences. Conditioned water accelerates the transportation of nutrients in the soil and transfers minerals to the root system faster than unconditioned water, enhancing water efficiency.
Low volume irrigation throughout the landscape is required to meet Florida Water Star’s program prerequisites. RainBird’s XF dripline is chosen for the landscape beds and designed in a 12″ grid for maximum root zone coverage for enhanced plant development during the grow-in phase, increasing health and sustainability.
Subsurface dripline is determined as the most efficient method of irrigation. RainBird’s award-winning XFS-SDI is selected to sustain the Zoysia turf. This method is estimated to reduce zone water consumption by 20%, emits water at the roots and virtually eliminates waste due to evaporation and system runoff. The turf area is the most challenging portion of the project as it incorporates underground utilities, a down-gradient slope towards the street, a mature tree’s expansive root system bordered by a narrow strip of turf. Installing a 12″ grid of subsurface dripline is an undeniable challenge for the field staff but the longterm benefits outweigh any obstacles.
Water management is crucial to insure efficient consumption. Water Optimizer’s soil moisture sensor based control system is installed with sensors located in each of the 7 zone and provides internet-accessed management and review of system operation and water schedule. Our clients have effectively enhanced landscape appearance while reducing water consumption and landscape maintenance costs with the Water Optimizer system.
This residence was awarded Florida Water Star’s Gold certification largely due to the 100% low volume irrigation design and water management system. To find out more about our innovative irrigation designs and renovations, products or field services call 407/302-4455 or use our customer contact form.