Because the ET timer factors irrigation zone details into system run time calculations (including sprinkler head type/application rate), this year zone redesign played a more critical role in the retrofit process. Poor zone design (such as head-type mixing, see image below) makes timer programming difficult can result in excessive water-use and inaccurate data. To eliminate this, new sites often required additional visits for zone redesign work before data collection could begin.
Rotor v. spray: there can be only one
Over the next several weeks, research sites initiated since July will be detailed and, since new site initiation has concluded, this summer’s efforts will be summarized.
Out at the crack of dawn with the squirrels, we began this installation day at a homeowner property that has been a part of the irrigation study since last summer. Their soil water sensor system beset by all manner of malfunctions, the residents decided to continue with the study for an additional year only this time with an ET controller.
With the electric valves, backflow device, and water meters already in place from last summer, we were allowed to focus on installing the new timer and weather station.
We concluded the installation by removing all existing spray heads from the system. This permitted more accurate ET timer programming since all the remaining sprinkler heads (rotor or multi-stream spray) apply water at a more similar rate.
Much like the previous system, this one suffered from poor design: head-type mixing and excessive heads. Although we could not tackle the redesign work on this day, we made note of the changes required to improve the zones (eliminating heads and replacing all spray heads with multi-stream sprays) for subsequent visits.
Coral Gables, again
This day concluded with a homeowner property dying to work with us. A WUEP participant from the early days of the program, it was invited to participate in the research when its SWS burned out. So eager was the owner to take part in the research that she offered to have a power outlet installed so that the new ET timer could be accessible from outside the garage! It was an offer that could not be refused.
Beset by downpours and time constraints, our first day on the property was limited to installing the new ET-based timer.
Several weeks later we returned to advance on the work. We began by addressing the inefficient means of distribution and bid the indexing valve adieu.
We then installed a backflow device for potable line protection, electric valves for each of the two zones, a water meter on the mainline for data purposes, and mounted the on-site weather station.
Fed by a turn-valve sub-meter, the pressure in the irrigation system was so excessive that a few days following our retrofit it fractured the new PVC pipe-work in three places around the water meter!
On our third visit to the property we replaced all the fractured fittings and tackled the redesign work. Since the large zones featured predominantley rotors, our objective was two completely rotor/multi-stream zones.
See previous entires: