By Bob Dailey
Most of the landscapes in The Woodlands are irrigated by sprinkler systems. A significant amount of this water evaporates before it gets to the roots of the plants, or it stays on leaves, making them susceptible to fungal infections. Because of varying heights of landscape plants, the water from some sprinklers is blocked from reaching all the plants. Misdirected water often ends up running down the street. Sprinklers for landscape plants are inefficient, wasteful and costly to homeowners and businesses. During hot days, evaporation lost from irrigation sprinklers can be as much as 30% of the water used.
A much more cost-effective and efficient approach to watering landscape plants is drip irrigation. Once a highly complicated and arduous process, the industry has made significant advances toward making drip irrigation extremely affordable, easy to install, easy to use and easy to repair. Drip irrigation systems can be retrofitted to your existing sprinkler systems as well.
Since the water drips down into the soil and goes directly to the roots, the benefits are impressive:
- Plants grow and flower better.
- Plant diseases are significantly reduced.
- Soil moisture is kept at a more constant level.
- Increased irrigation efficiency and water conservation.
- Lower water bills.
- Easy design, installation and operation of the system.
- Low cost to purchase and install.
- The systems are esthetically pleasing.
Homeowners can either install the systems themselves or have an irrigation contractor do it. Plenty of “how-to” information is available from big box stores and irrigation supply companies. The Internet also provides hundreds of DIY articles and videos for designing and installing drip systems.
And, residents of The Woodlands in areas served by Woodlands Water can receive a rebate on their water bill for purchase and installation of a drip system. The rebate is for 50% of the cost, up to $150.