6 Ways An ET Controller Lowers The Cost Of Irrigation Systems
August 7, 2014
Irrigation systems that account for changes in Evapotranspiration (ET) can save your customers money in ways you may not have considered.
In Part 9 of our Drought Solutions video series, we'll cover 6 ways an ET controller can lower the cost of irrigating and maintaining a property.
How ET Controllers Lessen Irrigation Costs - Video Transcript
Benefit #1: Reduced Water Cost
Some of the benefits of ET. We know for a fact that we can save that 20% in water cost just by going to ET.
We're not watering on that straight line. 15 minute, 15 minute, 15 minute, 15 minute. 10 minute, 10 minute, 10 minute. Whatever it is. We're watering on that daily need. Whatever that daily need is.
Benefit #2: Healthier Landscape & Greater Root Structure
You're going to get a healthier landscape because we're watering what we need. You're going to get greater root structure and the reason you're going to get root structure is because deep infrequent watering is better.
If you've got tree roots that are coming up into your turf plots, we've got a watering practice issue. That means we're watering every single day, small cycles and we're not getting good penetration into the soil.
If you get penetration into the soil, and we'll talk about this this afternoon, then your roots will go deeper. Deeper roots, searching for water, healthier roots. Healthier plant, more drought tolerant.
Benefit #3: Reduced Fertilizer Wash Through & Benefit #4: Reduced Storm and Hardscape Damage
You get a reduced fertilizer wash through. Reduced storm and hardscape damage. We don't have sidewalks pushing up because those roots are searching for water way up top. They're going down. You don't have trees falling over because the root structure is down there and got a good anchor.
Benefit #5: Reduced Electrical Cost (if pump equipped)
The number one cost to a landscape is electric usage if there's a pump installed. Do we have any pumps out there? Any pump stations?
If you've got a pump station installed, not only do you have increased pressure - so we got a lot of opportunities to knock down that pressure. Get that pump station set properly.
Pumps a lot of times are, "Oh man, I'm not going to mess with that."
Because your pump guy says, "No, don't mess with that."
No, your pump needs to be putting out what your system needs and that system need, you need to go out to your furthest system with the most heads and we need to do a test to see what is out there and then we need to adjust the pump to fit that parameter.
So if we've got 70 psi at the furthest station and we know we only need 45, we gotta go detune that pump. Your pump guy is gonna tell you, "No, you're not touching my pump. Put a pressure regulator on it."
Pumps should be tuned to match the needs of the irrigation system. Test the pressure at the furthest station and adjust the pump as needed.
No, no, no, no, no. Let's tune your pump. That's a whole other side of the business that gets a little sticky, but pumps have parameters. Let's go set the pump to meet the parameters of your system. It's almost never done.
And they'll start talking their pump curve. If you get too far to the left or to the right of my pump curve, it's gonna be inefficient. OK, so waste all my water and still run that pump at full throttle. Because they like to run their pumps at full tilt.
But that's why we have variable speed motors on our pumps. Variable frequency drives. That's what it's all for. Pump guys won't let you do that, but we can help you get through that.
But that's your number one cost if there's a pump.
Benefit #6: Reduced Pump Maintenance Costs
And then maintenance will be your number two cost. Because pump maintenance isn't cheap. If you gotta pull the pumps out of the hole if it's on a wet well system. Or if you gotta pull pumps, even if it's just on a city system. That's where your costs come in.