Kenneth Bargers, REALTOR®
a proud member of Pilkerton Realtors
(615) 512-9836, cellular
(615) 371-2474, office
C H A L L E N G E :: S T R A T E G Y :: S O L U T I O N :: S U C C E S S
Greater Nashville Area Live! Work! Play!
Use Less Water More Effectively
Sprinkler and drip irrigation systems can be depended upon to regularly send water to various spots in landscapes and gardens. In addition, today’s systems can be designed to be convenient for homeowners and water-efficient, too. For instance, the drip irrigation system uses aboveground tubing and can easily be installed as a DIY project.
To get the most out of any irrigation system, it is better to plan a landscape design before installation. Knowing where lawn areas, shrubs, trees, flower beds and gardens will be planted will assure the best design for the sprinkler system.
Planning ahead allows for “hydrozoning,” the process of grouping plants with similar watering needs together. For example, planting shrubs (which need less water) near perennials (which typically need more water) can actually hamper the shrub’s growth, or at least result in water waste.
To operate sprinklers most efficiently, not only do similar plant types need to be grouped, additionally the same sprinkler heads be grouped on the same valve. Different sprinkler head types put out vastly different amounts of water in the same time period. Mixed heads in the same zone will again result in over-watering of some plants and under-watering others.
While there are many varieties of sprinkler heads, the three general categories are: spray, rotor, and drip heads. Spray heads either pop-up out of the ground or have a stationary head. They are most commonly used on small areas such as turf, shrubs or flower beds. Spray heads put out a lot of water in a short amount of time.
Rotor heads are useful in covering large areas, and typically apply water more uniformly than spray heads. The slower output of a rotor head allows them to be used on all soil types with less cycling.
Drip systems have become popular for irrigating flowers and gardens. A drip system usually consists of a special tube or hose with holes (emitters) along it. These emitters may cover uniformly, or be set up to randomly water only certain plants. Drip irrigation can save time and money when installed properly because it applies water directly to the soil, eliminating over-spray.
To save the most water, sprinkler systems must be adjusted to the season. Landscapes need much less water during the spring and fall than during the summer. Watering should be done between 6 and 10 p.m. Not watering during the hot daytime hours will reduce the amount of water lost to evaporation.
A common problem with sprinkler systems is water pressure. Without correct pressure, sprinklers will not perform effectively. Pressures that are too high can damage nozzles and heads, sometimes even causing them to break off. If pressure is too high, pressure-reducing valves and heads can be installed or retrofitted. Manufacturer’s instructions and specifications will contain the information necessary to ensure proper water pressure.
Nashville Home Inspection
Conserving Water and Reducing your Water Bill
The average American family uses 400 gallons of water per day. Efficient water use can not only help the environment but save money as well.
Check your home for leaks
Check every faucet in your home for leaks. Even a minor leak can waste more than 20 gallons of water a day. That is over 7,000 gallons per year!
Use your water meter to detect unseen leaks. Begin by turning off all faucets and water using appliances such as an ice maker. Open your meter box to access your water meter. If the dial on your water meter moves at all, you may have a leak.
Don’t let water run
Running tap water to cool it off for drinking is wasteful. Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator. This will also allow any chlorine taste to dissipate overnight. Keep in mind that tap water is a healthful drink that costs less than a penny a gallon.
Turn the water off while brushing your teeth.
Don’t shower too long or fill the tub too full.
Outdoors is the best opportunity for water conservation in the home. Some experts estimate that more than 50% of commercial and residential irrigation water use goes to waste due to evaporation, run off or over-watering.
- Water lawns and gardens early in the morning to reduce evaporation.
- Mulch your plants to reduce water loss.
- Plant native and/or drought tolerant plants.
- Capture rainwater for garden use.
- Sweep your driveway rather than hosing it off.
- Use a hose with a cutoff nozzle when washing your car.
These and the many other conservation measures will not only help reduce your water bill but also benefit the environment.
Links to more conservation tips:
Communications/Public Relations Director
Metro Water Services