Monday, May 2, 2011

The Audit


Wow, what an ominous sound….”audit” why the very word strikes fear into our hearts..Especially if one has ever been through an IRS audit. Well no fear here, this audit is to help you and save you dollar bills, while helping your plants grow.

Basically the audit is a thorough inspection of your irrigation system. The irrigator conducting the audit, will examine the system zone by zone looking for leaks, broken spray heads, miss-aligned heads, overspray onto hard surfaces or into the street. Broken heads spraying into the street…well that will surely get you thrown into irrigation jail!! (just kidding… but some cities will fine the property owner for some of these repeated violations).

Once the irrigator is satisfied that the system is operational, then the audit begins. Most auditors have special catch basins they use to collect samples of the water distributed in a particular zone …but it can be done with a normal tuna can (a clean empty one works best). Once the samples are collected measured, weighed, color analyzed, and documented…well maybe not that intense..just collected and measured. At this point the auditor can calculate the DU or Distribution Uniformity and the precipitation rate for that area.

Yeah I know, way too much information, by doing these calculations he will be able to set your timer for the most efficient run times based on your yard, plant material, slope and time of year. So what does that mean to you?

This is the part where you save money, the cities are happier, and your plants will look better (cause they have water). In the world of irrigation more is definitely not better, in many systems a run time of more than 10 minutes sends water down the street and away from your yard. And you still pay for it all month long…..bummer….So now with a better run time allocation, you water just enough not to induce run off, actually you may run several cycles just shorter in length.

Do you really need a full audit, well if you are a large commercial property, an irrigation audit and the resulting correct settings for your timer can save you thousands of dollars. The normal residential homeowner can dramatically benefit from a system check up twice a year… will save you money…I promise…fix those broken and miss-aligned will feel better about yourself (well I cannot promise that)

Enjoy the life!

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