Where inefficiency is king
One of many factors not considered in South Florida urban landscape irrigation design is the difference between turf and shrub water needs. As a result, during system assessments we often encounter irrigation zones with mixed landscaping - that is, sprinkler heads within the zone are watering both turf and shrubs at once, and usually overwatering the shrubs due to turf’s higher water requirement.
On the rare occasion when we do see zones separated by landscape type, inevitably the same high-volume sprinkler head selected to water the turf zone will be used to water the shrub zone.
Drip to the rescue
Last year, the UCU assessed a homeowner association (HOA) system in North Miami Beach that featured the very design flaw described above – high-volume heads on low-volume need zones. As usual, we recommended retrofitting to drip irrigation (our most common and most often ignored recommendation!).
Drip irrigation applies drops of water directly to the roots of the target landscaping – at once conserving water while also keeping plant foliage dry and healthy.
Several months later, when we returned to the HOA for the post-assessment, we were floored upon discovering that the property had actually removed dozens of spray heads from its shrub zones in favor of lines and lines of drip irrigation!
This HOA is where we set our scene. The English video features UCU team leader, Mary McCready. The Spanish video features UCU technician, Jesus Lomeli. Check them out!