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Posts Tagged ‘Water Conservation’

A Letter to Our Customers

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Dear Customers,

We have to change the way we are watering our landscaping. Most systems need to be updated with new controllers.  Here are some facts concerning most sprinkler systems today.

  • Nationwide, residential outdoor water use exceeds seven billion gallons of water each day, most of which is used for watering our landscaping.
  • Experts estimate that half of this water goes to waste due to evaporation, wind and improperly scheduled run times.
  • There is currently an estimated 13.5 million irrigation systems installed in residential lawns across the United States and an additional three hundred thousand new systems are installed every year.
  • It is estimated that less than ten percent of these units already use water conserving controllers.  This means many systems are wasting water!

The problem

Currently the most common method used to schedule irrigation is a manually programmed clock timer that irrigates a specified amount on a preset schedule program by the user.  Clock timer controllers can be significant source of wasted water, because irrigation schedules are often set to water during the height of the growing season and are not adjusted to actual watering needs. Plant requirements decrease in the fall, many homeowners forget to reset their irrigation schedules, over watering their lawns.

The solution

An alternative to clock timers is weather based controllers.  Weather based controllers can make adjustments to watering times every day. Watering is tailored to the weather conditions and apply water only when the landscaping needs it. This creates a healthier, better looking landscape and saves water and money!

We have seen 25%-40% reduction in water usage after a weather based controller is installed. These devices cost $300-$800 for most systems. On most systems they can save 50,000 to 80,000 gallons of water a year.

It is our goal to get all our customers converted to one of these smart controllers. If all the systems in America had weather based controllers, billions of gallons of water and millions of dollars could be saved.  If you would like more information give us a call at 952-929-1232 or contact us here.

New 2011 Twin Cities Metro Area Public Utility Water Rates.

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Is your water bill higher? Think your lawn sprinkler system has sprung a leak? Chances are your bill is higher because of a bill the Minnesota state legislature passed last year. Minnesota statute 103G.291 has become active as of January 1, 2010.  It states that all cities in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area must adopt a utility rate structure that encourages conservation.  However, the exact implementation of these laws has been left to the individual municipalities.  This means that every city will have different rates and rate increases for over-usage.  We have compiled a list of residential water rates for various cities around the area and this is what we have come up with.  Just click on your city to see your new water rates.

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

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

Hunter Solar Sync; A New Product To Conserve Water And Money

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Solar Sync Technology

For our customers who own a Hunter Pro-C or ICC controller Hunter has come out with a new product you have to see. The new Solar Sync easily attaches to your current controller and converts it to a smart controller. Now your controller settings will adjust with the weather everyday taking the guesswork out of watering.  It cuts out unnecessary and excessive watering by using just the right admit of water when your landscape needs it.  This device will help you fight high water rates.

How It Works

The Solar Sync sensor continually gathers on the site rainfall, solar and temperature data. It uses this information in the calculation of evapotranspiration of ET and determines watering requirements, Evapotranspiration or ET, put simply, is how fast ground water evaporates.

The Solar Sync module automatically calculates the water requirements for your landscape and makes adjustments to your Hunter controller. On warm dry days, the Solar Sync will seasonally adjust run times up. On colder wet days the Solar Sync will seasonally adjust your controller times down. This process is completely automatic, saving you money without ever worrying about it.

Simple to Program

With the Solar Sync you do not need to do anything differently, you set your controller as you would for normal, summer conditions and Solar Sync does the rest.

What to Expect

Hunter expects savings of 25%  to 30% on your lawn sprinkler water usage (this does depend on your former irrigation water practices).  An average yard can have annual water cost of $700 to $800,With the Solar Sync you can save $195 to $240. If you have an average or large yard your first year water savings may cover the cost of installation.

Check out the video below for additional details regarding the Solar Sync

Save Water and Money While Going Green

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Every January I (Rob Cooper) attend the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association Convention held in Minneapolis. This year’s presentation by Doug Bennett, the conservation manager for the Southern Nevada Water Authority, stunned me.

First, Doug’s graphs revealed the stark increase in water prices in only a decade. Las Vegas now has five different graduated water prices ranging from $2.00/1000 gallons to $5.00/1000 gallons. The increase ranged from 200% to 500%. As water becomes more precious, many cities will increase their pricing to encourage conservation.

Secondly, based on a survey taken in Las Vegas, most people believe their showers consume the largest amount of water. For people in Las Vegas, sprinkler usage was 80%, whereas the shower only used 5% of the water. Research on water usage was done in 12 cities across the USA.  Here’s what they found: Without exception the largest household usage of water is the lawn sprinkler system!

These statistics, caused me to consider the following questions:

  1. Do our customers know their sprinkler system is the largest user of water in their household?
  2. Have we encouraged our customers enough to begin saving water now?
  3. Because sprinklers use the most water, how much money could our customers save with some of the new products available for irrigation systems?

I decided to check my own family’s water usage:

% water used by $cost for
Year sprinkler system water bill
2007 67% $725.00
2008 60% $525.00

I saved $200.00! – a 27% decrease in my water bill!
I had decreased our sprinkler water usage by 7%.
The two summers had similar weather patterns and, my lawn looked better than ever!

What had I done differently?
In 2007 I had a traditional time based controller run my system. I adjusted the controller three times that year; once for spring, once for summer and again for the fall. In 2008 I installed a smart controller that adjusts with the weather every day. This single change made the difference!

To learn more about Smart Controllers contact us now.