Can you believe it’s July already? July marks Smart Irrigation Month, and as I have in years past, I’m going to focus on providing you some tips to reduce your water use, or at least help you not waste water this July. And, ideally, we’ll get some rain, which will help in reducing water use too!!
July is generally one of the hottest months of the year, which means, it’s one of the highest water use months of the year, which is why the Irrigation Association has designated this month as Smart Irrigation Month.
I’m going to focus on the two rebate programs that the City’s Water Conservation Program is offering for those of you with automatic irrigation (sprinkler) systems that are also direct water customers of the City. You can take advantage of both to help you get that sprinkler system into top notch working order this year!
The first is a brand-new pilot program (being offered until September or until funds run out) for having your system checked out by a licensed irrigation company or irrigator. This is essentially a “Spring Tune-Up” for your system (yes, even though it’s summer!). If you hire a licensed company to come do a complete check up of the system and fix anything that needs to be fixed–broken heads, heads pointed the wrong way or are clogged, check the controller settings and whatever else is needed to get the system in tip-top shape, then you would be eligible for the rebate. You can find the application and details for the Irrigation Check-Up program here.
Licensed companies can be found on the TCEQ’s website at this link. You can also just check that the company has an LI number on their business card or website, or advertisement. That LI stands for licensed irrigator, which by state law, a person must be to work on an irrigation system.
The second rebate program is the Irrigation Upgrade Rebate. This rebate has been offered for several years now, but has undergone some recent changes to take advantage of newer technologies. This program features rebates for the following type of changes, or upgrades, to your system:
- reducing the water pressure on a system with high pressure by either installing a main pressure reducing valve (prv), or adjusting pressure at the zone valves, or replacing heads or nozzles with pressure reducing technology;
- installing new technology in the form of weather sensors, such as rain, freeze, or soil moisture sensors;
- installing a new controller that is a WaterSense labeled controller (many new weather-based controllers qualify for this). Look for the WaterSense label when purchasing at a store or online;
- converting areas from traditional spray irrigation to drip irrigation;
- capping off or permanently disabling a zone or zones;
- converting traditional spray heads to more efficient multi-stream nozzles, or pressure reducing heads or nozzles; and
- installing check valves on the lowest heads of your system that always look like they are leaking after the system turns off. This is actually very normal and not a leak, it’s the low head drainage where the “extra” water in the pipe drains out after the system has turned off. It can be prevented with sprinkler heads that have built-in check valves or installing a check valve in the existing head.
Of course, see the applications for complete details. Neither of the programs are for the installation of a new system, only for the improvement of existing systems. You can find those applications here or at www.roundrocktexas.gov/conservation under the rebate section.
Happy July and keep those landscapes water smart!