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No matter where you live, chances are there is some type of lawn and landscape water regulation or mandate. Your irrigation system can be the most valuable tool when it comes to making sure you comply with local laws and regulations. One of the best ways to deal with these rules is to let irrigation technologies do the work for you. Here are a few tips that can save you time and money too.
1. Rain Sensor Upgrades
Many states require each irrigation system to be outfitted with a rain sensor. Newer sensors do so much more than just shut down the system when it rains. New product advancements monitor temperatures as well as rainfall communicating more detailed information to your timer, helping you to water only when needed. Rain threshold amounts can be adjusted to shut the system off with lower or higher amounts of rain, and the product can also stop sprinklers in the event of freezing temperatures. Wired and wireless sensors are easy to install and more accurate than older models too.
2. Versatile Timers
We all rely on our timers to help us water on the correct days. But chances are your irrigation timer, or controller, can do so much more. “Many homeowners have a ‘set it and forget it’ approach to their controller,” says Alexis Deasy, senior marketing communications manager at Toro’s Irrigation & Lighting Business. “There are features you may not be using that can save water and keep you in compliance with local water use rules.”
One feature is called Seasonal Adjust. As temperatures fluctuate through the seasons, changing the run times of your sprinklers can be essential for water savings and the health of your yard and gardens. Many controllers, such as Toro’s Lawn Master™ II Landscape Timer, offer a seasonal adjust feature that allows you to change the run time of all the zones in your irrigation program with just the touch of a button. This feature makes it easy to decrease the water schedule during cooler months and increase during the heat of the summer without having to reprogram.
Your controller may also have the ability to have alternate schedules. “You’re not locked in to just one program,” adds Deasy. “Toro controllers offer three program settings, so you can customize your watering schedule and match local restrictions.” For example, use program A for the lawn zones scheduling odd or even day watering. Program B could be set to water vegetable garden spaces more often than the lawn and Program C could be set to water newly planted trees every day.
3. Specific Sprinklers
Many states are requiring specific sprinkler types for home irrigation systems. They’re turning to pressure regulating sprinklers to make sure water is being used in the most efficient way. As the name suggests, these types of sprinklers regulate the water pressure flowing from the sprinkler, keeping it consistent across the system. Sprinklers operating at the optimal pressure range save water by significantly reducing misting and fogging. Toro’s 570Z series spray bodies are a mandate-friendly sprinkler option. They are EPA WaterSense® certified and feature a built-in pressure regulator that meets all installation and retrofit requirements.
Not sure if you’re getting the most out of your irrigation system? Visit Toro.com or contact your local irrigation professional today.