The 3 Best Products to Upgrade Your Irrigation System

Michael Hatcher

Aug 27, 2015 5:00:00 AM

Irrigation system upgrades

Water shortages. Depleted aquifers. Water rights disputes. Thank goodness we live in Memphis, where we don’t have to deal with those kinds of issues, right?

Think again.

Many people aren’t aware of it, but the Mississippi River is not our municipal water source here in Memphis.

Instead, the city pumps its water from the Memphis Sands Aquifer, a large underground reserve of what has been called the “sweetest water in the world.”

Our Backyard Water Crisis

The Memphis Aquifer contains trillions of gallons of water. Until recently, no one believed there could ever be a water shortage here.

But since it was first tapped in 1887, the Aquifer has descended 125 feet.

So how do we reduce the amount of groundwater we use?

At the top of the list is upgrading your irrigation system.

Irrigation System Upgrades: Our Top Recommended Water Saving Solutions

MH-ARK_Lodge-205.jpgIf your irrigation system is 10 years old or older, you could be pumping a lot more water out of the ground than your lawn and landscape actually need.

Not only is that hard on our Aquifer, but it is literally leaking away money in the form of high water bills.

In recent years, the irrigation industry has introduced major advances in water-efficient technology. Upgrading your system can save you many gallons - and many dollars - each month.

Here are the top 3 products we recommend to improve your water use profile:

  • Smart Irrigation WiFi Timer. Homeowners with a limited budget are encouraged to install a Rain Bird ST8 Smart Irrigation WiFi Timer. This piece of equipment takes the control of your irrigation system and places it in the palm of your hand. Through your phone or tablet create individual watering schedules for every aspect of your green space and share these capabilities with your landscaper, family and friends.

Overwatering is one of the worst things you can do to your lawn. The last thing your lawn, or any particular part of your landscape, needs after a 3” downpour is for your sprinkler system to turn on. Installing a WiFi Timer protects your lawn and landscape from being overwatered and will likely pay for itself in reduced water bills within the first season.

  • Smart controller or weather based controller. This is the next step up from a rain sensor. If you can afford more than a basic water saving device, installing one of these sophisticated, highly water-efficient pieces of equipment is the way to go. Depending on the model, they use either a radio signal or an on-site weather station to monitor the weather on your property, including air temperature, humidity and soil moisture.

Your unit will use this information to deliver the precise amount of water needed by your landscape, so you don’t use a drop more or less water than necessary.  You can expect to save 20-40% on your water bill, in turn, paying for themselves many times over.

  • Water efficient sprinkler heads. Nearly every irrigation manufacturer is now producing sprinkler heads that are 30-50% more efficient than those of 10 to 15 years ago. Just replacing the sprinkler heads on an older system can result in substantial savings. We also think highly of the new pressure regulating heads. These enable you to water more evenly even if you have slopes, because the water pressure can be individually adjusted at the point of use.

Want to Know More About How to Upgrade Your Irrigation System?

While the three products mentioned above are our top picks that we recommend for nearly every property owner, you may benefit from other water saving technologies and practices as well.

If you have a large commercial property, there’s a lot you can do with specialized timer, flow monitors, and similar equipment to reduce your water bills even further.

And for commercial and residential properties alike, plant selection and landscape design can play a huge role in water savings.

Whether your goal is to do your part to help preserve Memphis’ exquisite water supply, or simply to reduce your monthly irrigation water bills, we can help you to upgrade your irrigation system and achieve your goals.

Contact us online or call us at 901-755-3207. One of our qualified Memphis irrigation professionals will be in touch with you soon!

Download your water savings guide

Image Credit: Irrigation Trees
Michael Hatcher

Written by Michael Hatcher

Michael Hatcher is president of Michael Hatcher & Associates.