When visitors come to your space, they come to play and have a good time — to hike well-tended trails, to sit among the soft grasses and blooming flowers, to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature. But do your grounds invite people in, or turn them away? Now while there are many things that factor into to making your destination a desirable one, the importance of proper irrigation should never be discounted. An irrigation system can be an ally in helping you achieve your desired look and while helping you conquer your destination’s unique irrigation challenges. Today, we’re going to discuss some ways to overcome those challenges, and help you lay a beautiful foundation that guests and visitors will enjoy for years to come.
Focusing on High-Traffic Areas
Think about all the attractions that make your space great. These are the reasons why people flock to your destination, and where you should focus the majority of your watering, landscaping and maintenance efforts. It is likely that these areas receive more traffic, which also means they should receive more love. Should a drought force you to reduce your overall water consumption, these areas should continue take priority.
Using Drought Resistant Plants and Grasses
When your plants and grasses demand less, you can actually save more – more water, more time and more resources. This keeps your grounds looking their best, which gives you a good foundation to work with for years to come. So give your park or open space a great start with native plants and grasses — they’re made to live and grow right here – in the sunshine state.
Updating or Replacing Outdated Systems
Many of the parks and recreation areas in Florida have been around for decades. Unfortunately, so have their irrigation systems. Bringing your outdated system into the 21st century can be expensive, but that one time investment definitely pays off in the long run. Parks and recreation areas that make the switch could reduce their overall water consumption by 16-59% — and there are other savings to be had as well.
When you update your system, there aren’t just less leaks and repairs, more advanced systems enable you and your staff to the control your irrigation system all from a central location. That means no more going out to individual sprinklers and irrigation zones to make adjustments. Plus, many systems include sophisticated sensors that measure current conditions and weather centers that can predict future rainfall events. These sensors feed information to a central control center that adjusts watering times accordingly. Many of today’s systems also come with apps and mobile-friendly websites that enable staff to receive alerts and make manual changes remotely.
Switching Over to Alternative Water Sources
Reclaimed or recycled water is one way parks and recreation areas can help conserve water and save money. Reclaimed water is essentially waste water that has been treated so it can be used for irrigation and a number of other uses. And because this water isn’t pulled from the potable water supply, it can be used without restriction. That means you can water as much as you need to — even in drought-like conditions.
Maximizing Watering Times
Smart irrigation is getting your plants the water they need, when they need it. That means watering at the right time, and watering more in less time. How do you do this? It’s really a magical combination of a few things — setting your watering times to the pre-dawn hours, arranging your sprinkler heads for maximum coverage (don’t be afraid to let those streams cross), choosing the sprinkler heads, and running a consistent program.
How Irrigation Specialists Can Help
Parks and recreational areas can cover thousands of acres of land — and this can be daunting, if your sprinkler system needs to be upgraded or installed. Luckily, there are licensed professionals throughout the area, who can help make the process a whole lot easier. Irrigation specialists typically start with a site evaluation and irrigation system efficiency audit. They can also help you uncover leaks in the system and recommended repairs, upgrades or maintenance. Once your ideal solution is in place, they will also provide ongoing support and training to your staff.
Are you ready to bring your irrigation system up to speed? Call us at 727-772-3810 – we’ve been keeping Tampa Bay’s parks and recreational areas well-watered and beautiful for over 20 years.
Former U.S. Coast Guard and Tampa-native Joseph Swett is the owner of Sunrise Irrigation, a Palm Harbor-based company that has been providing sprinkler and irrigation services in the Tampa Bay Area, Florida, for more than 20 years. A RainBird-trained landscape specialist, Mr. Swett is dedicated to helping Florida homes and businesses implement effective irrigation technologies and transition towards smart water conservation. In his spare time, Joe sponsors and plays in two men’s softball leagues, but also enjoys surfing and going fishing with his family.