Irrigation systems are one of the largest expenses involved in commercial landscape management. Most property managers we know agree it’s well worth the expense to achieve a lush, beautiful landscape so their property makes a great first impression and looks its best at all times. However, there is no sense in spending more than necessary on your irrigation system.
If your irrigation water bills have been higher than you think they ought to be, and/or you are not getting the results you think you should, there is probably a good reason—or perhaps multiple reasons—for it. Some may be unavoidable for your site and expectations, but most likely we can find ways to help you spend less without compromising the appearance of your landscape. Here are some of the most common causes of high commercial irrigation water bills, along with solutions to save you money and improve your landscape.
Troubleshooting Your Commercial Irrigation System For Efficiency
If your water bill is too high, the most likely reason is that your irrigation system is not efficient. This can be due to a number of reasons, including:
1. Your Irrigation System Is Poorly Designed.
Designing an irrigation system for optimal efficiency requires a considerable amount of knowledge and skill. Improper zoning, poor component selection, and a host of other errors can easily result in water waste.
2. You Are Using The Wrong Heads.
Proper irrigation head selection depends on a number of factors, including site dimensions, water pressure, and the type of planting to be watered. Using the wrong heads for your purposes may result in water waste. So can using poorly designed or older, inefficient heads.
3. Your Controller Needs Upgrading.
Irrigation technology has come a long way in just a few short years. If you have an older irrigation system, you are probably spending a lot more on water than you need to. Switching to a modern, smart irrigation system can help you reduce your irrigation costs significantly.
4. You Are Watering The Pavement.
Irrigation heads can easily shift or get displaced, sending water where it is not needed and resulting in overly wet or dry spots in the landscape. This is one reason it is so important to inspect your irrigation system at least monthly— a service we provide our customers.
5. Your Irrigation System Has Leaks.
The landscape is dynamic and constantly changing. Unfortunately, this can sometimes result in damage to irrigation systems. For example, all it takes is for a couple of kids to run through and now you have a fountain instead of a spray head. Or someone might drive over your turf and crush an underground irrigation pipe. Rotors and other components are also prone to developing leaks as they age. Undetected leaks are very common in irrigation systems if no one is checking for them regularly. Leaks can start small and get bigger over time, causing your water bill to creep up gradually over time.
6. You Are Overwatering Your Landscape.
In Kentucky, we often see people watering turf and landscape beds the same amount. This is a big waste of water. Your landscape area doesn’t need as much water as turf. As a matter of fact, we often see even turf areas suffering from overwatering. Too much water in any area of the landscape can cause root rot and other problems, and sometimes even kill plants. This is a case of spending money to create problems for yourself.
Improving your Irrigation System
For some irrigation systems, a simple fix like switching to appropriate, water-efficient heads can make all the difference. Other systems need more extensive repair or redesign work. And for those who are serious about water efficiency and stewardship of the land, we could go much deeper into rain gardens, native plants, and other topics related to sustainability in the landscape. At the very least, all irrigation systems require regular inspection and maintenance to perform at peak efficiency.
Commercial Irrigation Maintenance Services in Kentucky
Over the years, our commercial landscape management program has proven to be highly successful at helping property managers maintain attractive, healthy landscapes while reducing cost and eliminating resource waste. If you are unhappy with the performance of your irrigation system, the best place to start is with an assessment of your system to identify any immediate issues needing correction, along with its overall ability to meet the goals you have for your property.