Why should you consider an automatic irrigation system???
1. Puts water where it is needed.
The design of an irrigation system is based on science, engineering and experience. Properly designed irrigation systems avoid watering roads and sidewalks and place water uniformly over the turf.
2. Provides balanced and uniform watering for landscapes.
There should be no “skips,” lightly watered areas or excessively wet areas. Hose-end watering systems generally add excessive water near the sprinkler and progressively lighter amounts of water at the perimeter of spray. Therefore. hose-end watering systems irrigate for the perimeter areas - generally over-watering the areas close to the sprinkler and wasting water.
3. Waters when you need it, every time.
Automatic watering systems are programmed to apply water on a schedule that is developed for the particular plant materials, soil type and site location. These systems do not call in sick, take vacations or get diverted to other more important tasks.
4. Uses water efficiently.
Automatic watering systems are programmed to irrigate during the most effective time to water: 3:30 - 5:30 a.m. This avoids excessive evaporation when watering takes place during the day, and avoids the windy periods that can disperse irrigation water off site during the day, onto roads and windshields.
5. Provides regular supplemental irrigation.
Waters independent of the schedule of the person in charge of manual hose end watering. A rain sensor suspends irrigation during rainy periods - thereby avoiding irrigating in the rain.
6. Uses only water and a small amount of electricity.
They do require winterization and startup commissioning. Total cost for winterization and commissioning is approximately $225-$250 (depending on system size and location).
Estimated cost for manually watering a municipal park:
a) Manual hose-end watering:
Assume labor and benefits at $12.50 per hour
Assume that it will take 2 hours to position, turn on and move sprinklers for one irrigation cycle = $25.00 per day.
Assume 3 days per week in May and June, 4 days per week in July, 6 days per
week in August and 3 days per week in Sept. Total days = 76,
Assume 2 hours per day = 152 hours required for one season = $1900 per year.
Cost of 3-4 garden hoses is $50, 2 hose-end sprinklers are $50 = $100 in supplies, not counting replacement due to damage or loss.
Total cost for 1 year of manually watering the park = $2000.00.
b) Automatic sprinkler system:
Assume $250 yearly commissioning and decommissioning starting the second
year (with guarantees); first year winterization is free.
Assume installation cost to be $1620.00
Total cost for year #1 = $1620.00
Total cost for year #2 = $250.00
Result: An automatic irrigation system has a one-year payback for the initial investment! After year #2, the cost is less than that the cost was for one year of manual watering - and more dependable! Expected life of an underground irrigation system - in excess of 20 years with only upgrades and occasional repairs..