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Posts Tagged ‘minneapolis’

Winterization – Sprinkler System Blowout

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Every year we hear a story of someone moving to Minnesota from somewhere warm, Texas, Flordia, California.  Usually the person moves into their residence in the summer or fall and doesn’t realize their sprinkler system needs to be blown out before the Winter hits.  Inevitably they discover should have been winterized only after the pipes freeze and break.

Some things to remember if you are new to Minnesota:

1.)  Late September/October is the best time to get your system blown out or winterized.  Once November hits the chances of the temperature dropping below 32 degrees is very high.

2.)  Once your system is blown out do not turn your system back on if it warms up.

3.)  Your sprinkler system needs to be in working order before winterization.  Broken or cut lines can allow water to get back into the system and potentially damage the system.

4.)  Schedule your winterization in September even if you don’t want it blown out until late fall.  Trucks fill up quickly and it is less likely you will be able to get someone to Winterize your system if you wait too long.

How to Reduce Your Sprinkler System’s Water Usage

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

This past Summer a landscaper ask me to look at a sprinkler system at a Minneapolis residence. His customer was concerned about the environment and conserving water. Each time she looked at her water bill she was concerned at how much water her household was consuming.  Over the course of one Summer, the sprinkler system was using 170,000 gallons of water.  While that is a large amount of water it isn’t unusual for a sprinkler system.  My goal was to decrease her water consumption and maintain the same beautiful landscape.

Here are the water saving methods I recommended.

  1. Replace the sprinkler system controller.  In the last few years there have been some innovative new controllers coming to the market.  Old controllers should be replaced with these new weather based controllers.  The new Weathermatic and Hunter Solar Sync adjust sprinkler run times based on the weather.  The controllers take in a number of factors, warmth, precipitation, wind speed, time of year and type of sprinkler system.  This allows for a very tuned system that allows the sprinkler system to only put down as much water as is needed.
  2. Replace traditional spray head with Hunter MP Rotators.  This is a new product can be retrofitted in existing spray heads.  It can save 30% more water than traditional spray heads.  The MP Rotators, create multiple streams of water that rotate, this means larger water droplets, no more mist, less wind drift, less evaporation, and less runoff.  This is an easy retrofit and one I recommend.
  3. Replace flower and vegetable gardens spray heads to Hunter drip tubing.  Drip tubing have emitters ever 12″ to 18″ and slowly drip to saturate the ground at the root of the plant.  Water is put only where it is needed, eliminating evaporation and water waste.

Payoff:

This customer in this example saw water savings of 60% from the Summer of 2009 to 2010.  This saved 120,000 gallons of water, this saved a valuable resource and money for our customer. 120,000 gallons equaled a savings of $500 dollars for this Minneapolis residence.

The devices pay for themselves at different rates.  Your quickest payoff is from the controller which usually pays for itself in one to two years. Replacing spray nozzles with MP Rotators and drip tubing, usually sees a payback in four to five years.

Minneapolis Utility Water Rates (2011)

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Note:  Some cities use measurements such as units, cubic meters or cubic feet for some reason.  So, in addition to the city’s water pricing structure we have done the conversion to gallons for to give you a better frame of reference.

For ways to conserve water and lower your bill contact us and check out our previous blog post.

City of Minneapolis Water Rates (2011)

$3.20 per Unit

1 Unit = 100 cubic feet = ~748 gallons

*Minneapolis will not adopt a tiered water rate structure  until                January 1, 2013

Importance of As-built Blueprints

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Many people when they receive bids inquire about what regular maintenance costs are incurred. Once they receive a satisfactory answer, they drop the question.  A better question is “How do we, as a contractor, keep maintenance costs down?”  One of these answers is As-builts.   When we are done with either an irrigation install or landscape lighting install we give the homeowner a 24″ x 36″ copy of the actual installation.  Often contractors give the homeowner what is really just the design or initial schematic of their lighting/irrigation system.   While better than nothing, it is worth insisting on receiving an actual as-built of your system.  Knowing exactly how everything is fed and run can save hundreds of dollars on the service visits.

Below is an example of a regular as-built. Below it is a color coded as-built used by homeowners and gardeners to easily change watering times for different parts of the lawn.

Sample As-Built

Sample As-Built

samplecolorcode

Sample Color Code