My water usage and associated bill is about to go up. It happens every year. In the next several months, my water bill will more than double, costing me an extra $40 or $50 each month. I want to continue my Smart Home exploration of options, but not necessarily limit my options if I come across something even easier than smart home solutions. For instance, the vast majority of my extra water usage is based on maintaining the plants and grass around my home. I will focus on this aspect of water saving for now, but I also realize there might be some options to further reduce my water usage inside my home. Although we have already used low flush toilets, low flow shower heads and better dishwasher usage. Thankfully there is good information to leverage through programs like Water Sense, an EPA program that certifies products which save water, from 20% to 50%. The technology portion of Water Sense narrows down the discussion to the areas that are of most interest to me, the sprinkler related savings opportunities. Again, I need a criteria to go about selecting what options I want to explore. I will use the same criteria as I am using to curtail electricity usage:
- Easy to understand and install myself
- Proven benefit for my environmental impact
- Financial benefit of reduced monthly bills (at least during the summer)
Given those criteria, there are two options that seem most appropriate to explore. Rotary Spray Heads (Nozzle), and Smart Spinkler Controllers. The Rotary spay heads deliver water in a stream instead of a mist and therefore reduce lost water due to evaporation and wind blowing the water where it isn’t needed. Smart Sprinkler Controllers use better information about your landscaping and external factors (like weather forecasts) to make better watering decisions. Rotary Spray heads are valuable, but not nearly as interesting to explore here as Smart Sprinkler Controllers, so that is what I will focus on here.
by Rob Rutledge