Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Drop on Drip: a UCU Retrofit Success Story

The UCU recently visited a Homeowners Association (HOA) participating in the Retrofit program and ready for its second assessment to verify proper equipment installation and improvements to irrigation.  As part of the program HOAs can get reimbursed up to $2,850 for improving their irrigation system to reduce outdoor water use.  We have never seen an HOA take the program and run with it quite like this one.

First, the weather-based "smart" irrigation control system was installed perfectly! This system includes a weather station that measures rainfall and temperature and then adjusts how long each area of the irrigation system is watered based on plant type and sprinkler type and other zone specific information.  You will not catch this property irrigating in the rain!

Second, DRIP!  In all of the landscaped areas with shrubs, the spray heads were replaced with drip irrigation. Drip (emitter shown below) is the most efficient way to irrigate shrubs and trees because it only applies water to the roots of the plants so water is not lost to the wind or evaporation.  Water only goes where the plant needs it - increasing water savings!  Some shrubs and trees can get diseases (such as leaf spot disease) from sprays and rotors because the leaves stay wet for long periods of time.  Drip irrigation saves water and is healthier for plants.


Small spaces at the HOA (less than a foot wide) had spray irrigation on our initial visit and now have a single drip line (pictured below). No more watering the pavement!

The ficus hedge below has two rows of drip line so the roots on both sides of the plant grow evenly and keep the large hedge from becoming unstable.

So what are you waiting for? Drip irrigation can help save water and create a healthier landscape atyour HOA or at your house! Sign up for the irrigation retrofit program today by clicking the links below!


Mary McCready
305-248-3311 ext. 230
mlshedd@ufl.edu

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