The Wet Wonders of High-Efficiency Sprinkler Nozzles
As water conservation becomes an increasingly important consideration, eyes have turned to more efficient means of watering residential and commercial landscapes. Traditionally, the only available option has been pop-up heads with spray nozzles. These nozzles depend on trajectory, or arc, of droplets to determine the distance for placement; this distance is typically 8 – 15 feet.
However, the more distance there is, the more misting occurs. Heavy misting can cause up to 25% water loss! Traditional sprinkler heads atomize water for more even distribution. It’s not just arc that causes problems, though. Higher pressure, high winds and overspray also factor into misting-related water loss.
The ideal high-efficiency sprinkler system for water conservation:
- Sends out streams of water, not sprays or mist. Water becomes lighter the more it’s atomized; the lighter it becomes, the easier it is for wind to cause drift and evaporation which keeps the water from being absorbed where you need it.
- Uses lower water pressure. Higher pressure systems create more misting. You can check the pressure of your system by removing one sprinkler head, replacing it with a riser and water pressure gauge. Run the water in that zone and look at the pressure; ideally, it should be 30 psi.
- Won’t run during high periods of high wind. You can either manually shut off the system or add a “smart” controller that does it for you when winds reach a certain speed. NOTE: Windy periods can occur at night as commonly as they do during the day.
- Keeps output low to the ground. This is more of a design issue; placing the heads about 10 feet apart instead of 15 feet works.
High efficiency systems deliver larger droplets. They weigh more which helps stop drift caused by higher winds, as well as evaporation. Old nozzles deliver roughly 50% or less water on windy days, whereas high efficiency nozzles deliver approximately 85%. The benefits of the high efficiency nozzles are staggering.
- Pop-up spray heads with high efficiency nozzles save about 6,600 gallons of water per nozzle every 5 years.
- Water application is more even which reduces run-off.
- The savings in water directly translates to cost savings for both residential and commercial systems.
If you’re interested in upgrading your system to take advantage of these great benefits, please contact your nearest Hydro-Scape location; we’re always glad to help! You should also visit: