Water is expensive and only getting more so. School property usually includes significant space allocated to playgrounds and sports fields; therefore, these properties tend to use far more water than a commercial space of the same size. As much as 70% of the water on a school’s water bill is often used for landscape.
Schools are seemingly forever in a budget crunch, making the high cost of water especially problematic. Reducing the amount of water used and the resources required to manage irrigation can lower costs and improve efficiency. Most importantly, any monies saved can be redirected to the classroom.
Smart Irrigation Controllers Offer Fast Payback
The ROI for a smart irrigation solution is usually around two years, making it a project with one of the fastest payback periods a school or school district can undertake. Depending on how much water is currently being used, it can take even less time to achieve payback. Grant money is often available from the district and local water agencies regularly offer extensive rebates to offset some or all of the cost of adopting smart irrigation. On top of the direct savings from lower water costs, there is also a host of indirect savings, from labor savings to less money spent replacing plants, longer life for hardscape and paved surfaces, eligibility for water rebates and even less fertilizer to purchase.
The Cost of Overwatering
Most landscape is overwatered. By reducing overwatering, you’ll do more than lower water bills. You’ll:
Older and less sophisticated irrigation controllers are basically timers. They run sprinklers on a clock, rain or shine. Changing the schedule means sending someone to the location of each controller and manually modifying it. Many modern controllers, through a variety of methods, determine the amount of water based on plant needs and local weather conditions and automatically schedule watering as appropriate. Some offer central management capabilities, allowing for control from a web browser, reducing the number of site visits required and dramatically speeding up time spent on maintenance. Since grounds and facilities professionals tend not to sit at a desk, mobile device applications provide a way to manage alerts and notifications, change scheduling and even shut off water in an emergency to avoid catastrophic damage and water loss, all from a smartphone.
What to Look For in Smart Irrigation
As you look into smarter water management, be sure to specify an irrigation system that includes:
HydroPoint is the leader is smart water management. We make water – both indoors and out – simpler to manage through visibility and automation. Nearly 200 municipalities and school districts across the US have adopted HydroPoint. How can we help you cut your water bill, reduce waste and improve efficiency?