Launch Slideshow

Netafim. The Techline EZ 12-millimeter dripperline installs above ground using a simple looped system and is hidden under mulch or ground cover. Self-flushing drippers are spaced every 6, 12, or 18 inches for a variety of plant and soil configurations. The dripperline, which is made with recycled polyethylene, features pressure compensation to ensure delivery of equal amounts of water and anti-siphon emitters with root barriers. 888.638.2346. www.netafimusa.com.

Landscaping and Irrigation Products

Landscaping and Irrigation Products

  • Cyber-Rain. Using the Internet, the Cyber-Rain XCI controller adjusts irrigation times and schedules based on the weather, thereby providing for up to 40% savings on water bills, the company says. No day-to-day interaction or fees are required, and schedules can be updated via the Internet. In addition to PC control, XCI Cloud is now available, which allows the system to operate without an on-site computer and offers full feature access via the Internet as well as an iPhone app. 877.888.1452. www.cyber-rain.com.

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    Cyber-Rain. Using the Internet, the Cyber-Rain XCI controller adjusts irrigation times and schedules based on the weather, thereby providing for up to 40% savings on water bills, the company says. No day-to-day interaction or fees are required, and schedules can be updated via the Internet. In addition to PC control, XCI Cloud is now available, which allows the system to operate without an on-site computer and offers full feature access via the Internet as well as an iPhone app. 877.888.1452. www.cyber-rain.com.

    600

    Cyber-Rain.
    Using the Internet, the Cyber-Rain XCI controller adjusts irrigation times and schedules based on the weather, thereby providing for up to 40% savings on water bills, the company says. No day-to-day interaction or fees are required, and schedules can be updated via the Internet. In addition to PC control, XCI Cloud is now available, which allows the system to operate without an on-site computer and offers full feature access via the Internet as well as an iPhone app. 877.888.1452. www.cyber-rain.com.

  • HydroPoint Data Systems. Using data from NOAA satellites and other sources, the WeatherTrak ET Plus irrigation controller adjusts irrigation output as the weather changes, ensuring watering only takes place when needed and eliminating overwatering. The controller also can be set for specific plant types, soil, slope, and sprinkler type to help quickly optimize watering schedules. 800.362.8774. www.hydropoint.com.

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    HydroPoint Data Systems. Using data from NOAA satellites and other sources, the WeatherTrak ET Plus irrigation controller adjusts irrigation output as the weather changes, ensuring watering only takes place when needed and eliminating overwatering. The controller also can be set for specific plant types, soil, slope, and sprinkler type to help quickly optimize watering schedules. 800.362.8774. www.hydropoint.com.

    600

    HydroPoint Data Systems.
    Using data from NOAA satellites and other sources, the WeatherTrak ET Plus irrigation controller adjusts irrigation output as the weather changes, ensuring watering only takes place when needed and eliminating overwatering. The controller also can be set for specific plant types, soil, slope, and sprinkler type to help quickly optimize watering schedules. 800.362.8774. www.hydropoint.com.

  • Aquascape. The RainXchange system combines sub-surface rainwater collection with an above-ground recirculating water feature. Rainwater from the gutters collects in an underground rain filter and is then sent to a modular storage basin; water is pumped to either the irrigation hose or recirculates through the above-ground decorative water feature and biological filter and back into the storage basin. An overflow tank allows excess rainwater to infiltrate the soil and aquifer. www.rainxchange.com.

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    Aquascape. The RainXchange system combines sub-surface rainwater collection with an above-ground recirculating water feature. Rainwater from the gutters collects in an underground rain filter and is then sent to a modular storage basin; water is pumped to either the irrigation hose or recirculates through the above-ground decorative water feature and biological filter and back into the storage basin. An overflow tank allows excess rainwater to infiltrate the soil and aquifer. www.rainxchange.com.

    600

    Aquascape.
    The RainXchange system combines sub-surface rainwater collection with an above-ground recirculating water feature. Rainwater from the gutters collects in an underground rain filter and is then sent to a modular storage basin; water is pumped to either the irrigation hose or recirculates through the above-ground decorative water feature and biological filter and back into the storage basin. An overflow tank allows excess rainwater to infiltrate the soil and aquifer. www.rainxchange.com.

  • Rainwater Pillow. The Original Rainwater Pillow rainwater catchment system installs in a crawl space or under a porch or deck and features 3-inch pipes for collecting rain in heavy downpours with little waste. The unit features two overflow outlets and a leaf/debris filter. A 25-psi pump provides a 10- to 12-gpm pumping rate, the equivalent of most outdoor hoses, and the Rainwater Pillow can be connected to sprinkler and drip-irrigation systems. 770.853.9918. www.rainwaterpillow.com.

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    Rainwater Pillow. The Original Rainwater Pillow rainwater catchment system installs in a crawl space or under a porch or deck and features 3-inch pipes for collecting rain in heavy downpours with little waste. The unit features two overflow outlets and a leaf/debris filter. A 25-psi pump provides a 10- to 12-gpm pumping rate, the equivalent of most outdoor hoses, and the Rainwater Pillow can be connected to sprinkler and drip-irrigation systems. 770.853.9918. www.rainwaterpillow.com.

    600

    Rainwater Pillow.
    The Original Rainwater Pillow rainwater catchment system installs in a crawl space or under a porch or deck and features 3-inch pipes for collecting rain in heavy downpours with little waste. The unit features two overflow outlets and a leaf/debris filter. A 25-psi pump provides a 10- to 12-gpm pumping rate, the equivalent of most outdoor hoses, and the Rainwater Pillow can be connected to sprinkler and drip-irrigation systems. 770.853.9918. www.rainwaterpillow.com.

  • ITT Corp. The solar-powered RainPerfect pump for rain barrels provides pressure for a garden hose or low-pressure sprinklers without the need for an electrical hookup. The solar-rechargeable battery operates day or night and pumps up to 100 gallons on a single charge. The unit installs on or is adaptable to most styles of rain barrels. 914.641.2000. www.rainperfectpump.com.

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    ITT Corp. The solar-powered RainPerfect pump for rain barrels provides pressure for a garden hose or low-pressure sprinklers without the need for an electrical hookup. The solar-rechargeable battery operates day or night and pumps up to 100 gallons on a single charge. The unit installs on or is adaptable to most styles of rain barrels. 914.641.2000. www.rainperfectpump.com.

    600

    ITT Corp.
    The solar-powered RainPerfect pump for rain barrels provides pressure for a garden hose or low-pressure sprinklers without the need for an electrical hookup. The solar-rechargeable battery operates day or night and pumps up to 100 gallons on a single charge. The unit installs on or is adaptable to most styles of rain barrels. 914.641.2000. www.rainperfectpump.com.

  • Rain technologies. The site-assembled RainSpace sub-surface water storage chamber is shipped in pre-packaged kits that include a liner, protective geotextile, core element bundles, sealing kit, pump well, inlet well, overflow well, fire water extraction well, clamps, and fittings. According to the firm, the core structure of the vessels are designed for durability: They are tubular and porous to provide structure and void space; they feature curved surfaces with concentric grooves and circular passages to maximize hydraulic flow and add strength to surface and earth loads; surface and earth loads are supported by and spread over the vessels horizontal core bundles; and structural bundles and the interior lining stretch during an earthquake. The chamber can be designed to fit any size or shape, including curves and irregular or unlevel sites. 866.724.6356. www.raintechnologies.com.

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    Rain technologies. The site-assembled RainSpace sub-surface water storage chamber is shipped in pre-packaged kits that include a liner, protective geotextile, core element bundles, sealing kit, pump well, inlet well, overflow well, fire water extraction well, clamps, and fittings. According to the firm, the core structure of the vessels are designed for durability: They are tubular and porous to provide structure and void space; they feature curved surfaces with concentric grooves and circular passages to maximize hydraulic flow and add strength to surface and earth loads; surface and earth loads are supported by and spread over the vessels horizontal core bundles; and structural bundles and the interior lining stretch during an earthquake. The chamber can be designed to fit any size or shape, including curves and irregular or unlevel sites. 866.724.6356. www.raintechnologies.com.

    600

    Rain Technologies.
    The site-assembled RainSpace sub-surface water storage chamber is shipped in pre-packaged kits that include a liner, protective geotextile, core element bundles, sealing kit, pump well, inlet well, overflow well, fire water extraction well, clamps, and fittings. According to the firm, the core structure of the vessels are designed for durability: They are tubular and porous to provide structure and void space; they feature curved surfaces with concentric grooves and circular passages to maximize hydraulic flow and add strength to surface and earth loads; surface and earth loads are supported by and spread over the vessels horizontal core bundles; and structural bundles and the interior lining stretch during an earthquake. The chamber can be designed to fit any size or shape, including curves and irregular or unlevel sites. 866.724.6356. www.raintechnologies.com.

  • Hunter Industries. With a multi-trajectory rotating system, the MP Rotator sprinkler delivers revolving streams of water more slowly and uniformly, the company says, which allows water to soak into the landscape rather than running off; water usage is reduced by up to one-third versus conventional sprays. The device also provides better wind resistance and less misting. The MP Rotator can be used for new installations or retrofit onto existing systems. Water arc and radius can be adjusted without changing the nozzle. 760.744.5240. www.hunterindustries.com.

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    Hunter Industries. With a multi-trajectory rotating system, the MP Rotator sprinkler delivers revolving streams of water more slowly and uniformly, the company says, which allows water to soak into the landscape rather than running off; water usage is reduced by up to one-third versus conventional sprays. The device also provides better wind resistance and less misting. The MP Rotator can be used for new installations or retrofit onto existing systems. Water arc and radius can be adjusted without changing the nozzle. 760.744.5240. www.hunterindustries.com.

    600

    Hunter Industries.
    With a multi-trajectory rotating system, the MP Rotator sprinkler delivers revolving streams of water more slowly and uniformly, the company says, which allows water to soak into the landscape rather than running off; water usage is reduced by up to one-third versus conventional sprays. The device also provides better wind resistance and less misting. The MP Rotator can be used for new installations or retrofit onto existing systems. Water arc and radius can be adjusted without changing the nozzle. 760.744.5240. www.hunterindustries.com.

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  • Rainwater Hog. These 51-gallon modular rainwater collection units can be used individually or ganged together in horizontal or vertical applications. The tanks narrow width permits installation on small walkways, against walls, or under a deck, while their modularity allows for gradual unit expansion and use in multiple locations. 888.700.1096. www.rainwaterhog.com.

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    Rainwater Hog. These 51-gallon modular rainwater collection units can be used individually or ganged together in horizontal or vertical applications. The tanks narrow width permits installation on small walkways, against walls, or under a deck, while their modularity allows for gradual unit expansion and use in multiple locations. 888.700.1096. www.rainwaterhog.com.

    600

    Rainwater Hog.
    These 51-gallon modular rainwater collection units can be used individually or ganged together in horizontal or vertical applications. The tanks narrow width permits installation on small walkways, against walls, or under a deck, while their modularity allows for gradual unit expansion and use in multiple locations. 888.700.1096. www.rainwaterhog.com.

  • Netafim. The Techline EZ 12-millimeter dripperline installs above ground using a simple looped system and is hidden under mulch or ground cover. Self-flushing drippers are spaced every 6, 12, or 18 inches for a variety of plant and soil configurations. The dripperline, which is made with recycled polyethylene, features pressure compensation to ensure delivery of equal amounts of water and anti-siphon emitters with root barriers. 888.638.2346. www.netafimusa.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmpE8B4%2Etmp_tcm131-783201.jpg

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    Netafim. The Techline EZ 12-millimeter dripperline installs above ground using a simple looped system and is hidden under mulch or ground cover. Self-flushing drippers are spaced every 6, 12, or 18 inches for a variety of plant and soil configurations. The dripperline, which is made with recycled polyethylene, features pressure compensation to ensure delivery of equal amounts of water and anti-siphon emitters with root barriers. 888.638.2346. www.netafimusa.com.

    600

    Netafim.
    The Techline EZ 12-millimeter dripperline installs above ground using a simple looped system and is hidden under mulch or ground cover. Self-flushing drippers are spaced every 6, 12, or 18 inches for a variety of plant and soil configurations. The dripperline, which is made with recycled polyethylene, features pressure compensation to ensure delivery of equal amounts of water and anti-siphon emitters with root barriers. 888.638.2346. www.netafimusa.com.

  • Rainbird. The company now offers its weather-sensing technology in a simple-to-set SST model, featuring a user-friendly interface. The device tailors zone-by-zone watering schedules to the landscape and adjusts watering for changing weather conditions. A sensor communicates temperature and rainfall amounts; the SST also makes adjustments all year long based on the homes geographic area. 800.724.6247. www.rainbird.com.

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    Rainbird. The company now offers its weather-sensing technology in a simple-to-set SST model, featuring a user-friendly interface. The device tailors zone-by-zone watering schedules to the landscape and adjusts watering for changing weather conditions. A sensor communicates temperature and rainfall amounts; the SST also makes adjustments all year long based on the homes geographic area. 800.724.6247. www.rainbird.com.

    600

    SinarG5

    Rainbird.
    The company now offers its weather-sensing technology in a simple-to-set SST model, featuring a user-friendly interface. The device tailors zone-by-zone watering schedules to the landscape and adjusts watering for changing weather conditions. A sensor communicates temperature and rainfall amounts; the SST also makes adjustments all year long based on the homes geographic area. 800.724.6247. www.rainbird.com.

WATER WISELY

Irrigation systems should include separate zones to accommodate different watering requirements, drip irrigation for plant beds, and rotating sprinkler heads for turf areas that should be laid out to avoid duplicate coverage and watering paved areas and buildings. Surface runoff can be reduced by keeping the precipitation rate from sprinklers below the soil’s infiltration rate, and establishing different zones for the tops and toes of slopes.

Overwatering is a major problem, according to results of a new EPA water-use study. In fact, 62% of the homes in the national study exceeded the theoretical irrigation requirements (TIR) for their sites by as much as 187%—mostly due to owner error in setting and maintaining timer-based controllers.

The Irrigation Association’s (IA) Smart Water Application Technologies (SWAT) program, a partnership between water utilities and industry representatives, promotes the use of “smart” irrigation control technology that uses climate, site, horticultural, and/or soil moisture information to adjust irrigation to conditions on the site.

Case studies carried out by the IA suggest that systems that use smart controllers can reduce water use by 20% to 40% compared to timer-based systems. While the price of a sophisticated system will depend on the number of zones and specific features, it isn’t necessarily steep. “Products coming out now are very comparably priced to traditional [timer-based] controllers,” says Brent Mecham of the Irrigation Association. “And often you can add new technology on to an existing controller to make it smarter.”

The IA has developed a testing protocol for climate-based controllers, which schedule irrigation based on a range of site-specific weather data. More than 25 products have been tested, and performance summaries and technical reports on each of them are available from the IA (www.irrigation.org).

The association is also developing a protocol for soil moisture–based sensors, which schedule watering based only on soil moisture levels. Calibration reports are available for products tested during the first phase. Other protocols under development at the IA offer guidance on sprinklers, rain sensors that shut off timer-based systems when irrigation isn’t necessary, and add-on devices to update and refine the programming of existing systems. A WaterSense certification for weather-based controllers, which will verify performance as well as conservation, is in the works from the EPA.

On small sites, or on sites that have hardscaped areas that don’t require any water, micro-irrigation is an option. These are low-pressure systems that spray, mist, sprinkle, or drip water close to a plant’s root zone through plastic hose lines or small emitters. These systems lose little water to evaporation, wind, and runoff, and they also can be used within multi-zone designs.

Even with all of the available technical data and certification programs, it’s best to use an installer with knowledge of soil science, grading, and other factors that will help ensure a system is tailored to make a landscape thrive. The IA offers certification programs for irrigation designers, contractors, and auditors, and the WaterSense program includes irrigation partners.

LET IT RAIN

In areas where rainwater is available and local regulations allow, rainwater harvesting is gaining attention as an alternative source of irrigation water. These systems can be as simple as a rain barrel connected to a soaker hose or as sophisticated as a large underground cistern connected to a pressurized irrigation distribution system. The more complex systems require components that might be new to irrigation contractors, including debris excluders; first-flush diverters; quiescent inlets; floating inlets; and the controls, filters, and disinfection systems designed specifically for the catchment system volume. The amount of water that can be harvested is determined by calculating the size of the roof area and the typical amount of rainfall.

In some places, due to water rights issues and health and safety concerns, water harvesting is closely regulated, but already Georgia, Oregon, Texas, and Virginia have published code addenda addressing rainwater systems, and last year the ICC collaborated with the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association to provide rainwater systems language for the International Green Construction Code now under development.

And finally, harvesting, or simply redirecting water from downspouts to plants (along with utilizing porous materials for non-planted areas) keeps runoff out of the sewer system, easing stress on infrastructure while allowing more water to percolate back into the groundwater. Water from a small roof area can simply be sent to a lawn or planting bed; larger amounts can supply a specially designed rain garden that is graded to collect water, filled with well-drained soil, and planted with species that can tolerate inundation as well as drier periods in between storms. Some local governments offer design assistance or even grants to expand the use of rain gardens and other techniques that treat rainwater as a resource, not a waste product.

Linda McIntyre is a contributing editor for Landscape Architecture magazine.