Sprinkler audits are a method of measuring and inspecting the efficiency of sprinkler heads, which must work in unison to apply water to each sprinkler zone. The results of these measurements are then used: to improve the efficiency of your sprinkler system; save you money; improve your lawn; and help conserve water.
A sprinkler audit should be performed by a knowledgeable professional that has the experience and equipment to collect and compile the necessary data. Audits should be performed on a regular basis as the weather and your landscape change. Using the correct equipment at the correct location, installing the system properly, performing maintenance consistently, and managing the system are the four components of an efficient sprinkler system. The results of a properly performed sprinkler system audit can result in less water usage, more consistent distribution of water, a reduced need for fertilizers and chemicals, and reduced water runoff.
Site and System Evaluation
The first step in the audit process is an evaluation of the site and system. When evaluating the system, it’s important to make notes about the system itself, backflow, the water source, the meter, and controller settings. Each zone is visually inspected for any issues that may be present. The flow of water is measured with a water meter during the audit and the auditor determines optimal sprinkler head placement and spacing.
Taking notes about the landscape is another important part of this first step. It’s important to take note of the soil type, the types of plants present, the microclimate (i.e., full sun exposure, full shade cover, number of hours of sun per day, etc.), and the slope of the landscape.
Irrigation System Tune-Up
An irrigation system tune-up is the next step in the audit process. The irrigation system tune-up consists of correcting any issues with the sprinkler heads’ delivery of water. It is important to inspect your sprinkler system regularly and perform tune-ups, even when there are no plans to perform a sprinkler audit. The tune-up is a simple procedure that involves turning on each zone individually, inspecting all of the heads, and ensuring they are spraying correctly and that there is no leakage. If any of the heads need adjustment, make the required adjustments according to the sprinkler head manufacturer’s user manual.
Irrigation System Testing
Next, the irrigation system is tested.. The technician conducting the audit will bring all of the necessary equipment to conduct system testing, such as catch cans and water pressure testers. The technician will arrange water catch cans in a specific way to evaluate the “health” of the sprinkler system. The technician then runs the sprinkler system for a set amount of time in each zone and the amount of water caught in each can is recorded. The location of the sprinkler heads, the spacing of the sprinkler heads, pressure readings, and test run time are also recorded..
System Performance Calculation
The final step in the sprinkler system audit involves compiling all of the recorded data and calculating the system performance. There is quite a lot of math that goes into calculating the performance of a sprinkler system, but generally sprinkler auditing technicians are very familiar with these calculations The technician then generates and provides a one to two page report from these calculations.
Looking for assistance with a sprinkler audit? Bio Green capable certified irrigation technicians are experienced in performing sprinkler audits. Call our office in Sterling, Virginia at (703) 450-0034 or visit our website at www.biogreenva.com to request your sprinkler audit appointment.