Drought, temperature shifts, and unpredictable rainfall, have made it increasingly challenging to accurately predict the amount of irrigation needed for turf. To stay on top of these erratic weather shifts, irrigation systems either need to be manually reprogrammed or adaptive. Thankfully, advances in technology have resulted in irrigation products that can do so much more then get water down to the roots.
The Value of Adaptive Irrigation Systems
With climate change and increasing energy costs, companies should be looking at investing in adaptive irrigation systems. At Earth Elements, we believe that education and research are the two tools that will ensure that maintaining flourishing, green lawns can be done sustainably. This begins with the right irrigation equipment. When we evaluate irrigation equipment, we are actively looking for the equipment and technology that will respond to the evolving needs of the environment and our customer.
As part as our continued move to increasingly sustainable solutions, Earth Elements recently expanded the irrigation line up to include a variety of smart systems including wi-fi based controllers that pair irrigation to a smart phone application. The integration of this type of system allows us to make changes remotely, easily adjusting the watering schedule to accommodate for temperature and weather variations.
Responding to Drought
Drought has continued to create a problem for turf with months with little to no rain. This extreme dryness has also resulted in municipal water restrictions, making it seem also impossible to keep a lawn green and thriving. Thankfully, smart irrigation technology has helped pave the way to water efficiency. These systems ensure the turf gets the water it needs, bringing it right to the roots, while remaining within water restrictions. While, features like weather based scheduling can accurately predict the amount of water needed through the data provided by its own weather station. In fact, the integration of these systems can reduce the amount of water used by 30-70 percent, increasing efficiencies and reducing costs.
One system that we are really excited about is the Rain Bird® ESP-SMTe smart control system. Using an unique onsite weather sensor, this controller can provide irrigation for up to 22 unique zones. All that is required is a few simple inputs including postal code, permitted watering days (if water restrictions are in place), plant, sun exposure, degree of landscape slope and soil type. The system then uses this information to accurately determine the amount of water needed for each zone. On rainy days, the ESP-SMTe system automatically stops the irrigation system. But that’s not all, once the rain has stopped, the system measures instantaneous rainfall, determines the amount of water is usable and adjusts the amount of water required. This helps the system both adjust the watering schedule to prevent over and under-watering. This advanced system is ideal for large properties with varied terrain and vegetation to irrigate, helping meet sustainability goals while saving money and energy. At the same time, it eliminates the needs of manually adjusting controllers to adjust for weather conditions.
Reducing Water With Drip Irrigation
For those consumers looking for a simpler solution, drip irrigation can help reduce water waste. Currently popular in drought prone areas, like California, these systems are installed prior to the sod or seeding is done. Drip irrigation is extremely efficient, minimizing water waste by adding it directly to the root zone. One of the new in-ground drip line that we’ve added to Earth Elements product offerings uses copper at each emitter. The advantage of the copper emitter is that it prevents root intrusion ensuring that the water gets exactly where it is needed.
Earth Elements landscape irrigation systems are designed and built for the rugged Muskoka & Northern Ontario terrain. We design all our systems with water conservation in mind, using smart controllers, including weather based scheduling, drip irrigation installation, rain sensors and the newest sprinkler technologies from irrigation industry leaders including Rain Bird, Toro and Hunter.