by Charlene Burgi
I wonder what everyone did to recognize “Smart Irrigation Month” as we approach the end of July. This might be a good time to test your “Irrigation IQ.”
1. Based on the average evapo-transpiration (ET) rate in Marin, the total inches of water per square foot per year that my lawn requires is:
a. 3 inches
b. 10 inches
c. 24 inches
d. 36 inches
2. Typically, spray nozzles throw twice as much water as rotors.
3. Mixing drip emitters and spray heads on the same irrigation valve is ok as long as my plants remain green.
4. A smart irrigation controller:
a. Automatically adjusts the runtimes to weather conditions
b. Can prevent runoff on sloped areas
c. Can automatically turn off if it starts to rain
d. Requires programming garden conditions before using
e. All the above
5. Hydrozones are:
a. Groups of plants requiring the same type of soil
b. Groups of plants requiring the same amount of water
c. Groups of plants that repel insects
d. Hydrozones have nothing to do with plants
(See the end of the article for the answers)
Share your tips
MMWD water consumption is down. More people are talking about their water footprint. The news reports conservation efforts by many of our neighbors. And yet I wonder what each person is doing to improve their efforts. Let me know by clicking “Leave a Comment” below.
Mark your calendars
If you haven’t heard yet, we are getting ready to kick off our residential Bay-Friendly Gardening classes this fall. Mark your calendars for September 19th, 26th, and October 10th. These Bay-Friendly classes are only taught in the fall and spring, so don’t miss out. I will be getting more information to you as the time draws near.
Irrigation IQ answers
1. d. Your lawn would be underwater 3 feet if it didn’t soak up and evaporate.
2. a. A rotor sprays water at a very slow rate thereby soaking into the ground instead of running off. Rotors typically need to run twice as long as spray heads.
3. b. Drip systems emit water measured in gallons per hour. Spray heads release water in gallons per minute. Each drip emitter is putting 1 or 2 gallons of water down at the roots of a plant (depending on the size emitter you installed) in an hour opposed to each spray nozzle spraying out over 2 gallons of water in a minute. Based on those figures, if the irrigation is left on for one hour the one spray head would spray 120 gallons of water to get 1 or 2 gallons from your drip. Your plants could either drown or dry up. Either way, water is wasted and plants will be unhappy.
4. e. These are only a few factors that these controllers offer. If you don’t have a smart controller, take advantage of our new Smart Controller Rebate program that will pay you up to $400.00.
5. b. When installing an irrigation system or laying out a new garden, group your plants by their watering needs and irrigate them using the same type of irrigation on every valve. That means high water use plants are watered together, low water use plants are watered together, etc. Again, you are using just the right amount of water to keep your plants happy.
How did you score?
5 out of 5 = True blue
4 out of 5 = Cool blue
3 out of 5 = Clues of blue
2 out of 5 = Barely blue
1 out of 5 = A whiter shade of pale
0 out of 5 = Need help! If you are an MMWD customer, call 415-945-1523 and we will send a water conservation specialist out to see you with lots of gifts and gadgets to improve your water footprint.