Written by Scott Knowles
Wolf Creek Company
Sport field facilities use two key resources to irrigate turf- Time and Water. Both cost money. There are a variety of sport facilities using a variety of irrigation equipment. For many being efficient is not the prime concern; they struggle to just get the irrigation job done!
The most efficient irrigation method will be an in ground system with Smart Control. Given the sprinklers are installed with the right nozzles, at the right spacing, and operating at the right pressure, Distribution Uniformity (DU) will be good.
Having a system with good DU means less water is applied. Poor DU means irrigating more to cover the dry spots. If a facility is paying for water, as most do, good DU saves money. Always work towards achieving a high Distribution Uniformity number.
Smart Control means the irrigation controller will have access to site weather and/or soil moisture information so it can automatically determine when and how much to irrigate. While few have Smart Control now, the cost has fallen to be just a little more than older control systems.
Smart Control saves a lot of water. Coupled with a high DU system, water savings can be as high as 40%. Most operators experience savings around 25%. Besides saving money, the facility can honestly say they are practicing water conserving irrigation to safeguard a precious resource.