What is a rain sensor? A rain sensor will shut your sprinkler system off when it rains. In other words, saving money and water by not irrigating unnecessarily. There's nothing worse than driving down the street in the middle of a rainstorm and seeing someone's irrigation system running! A good rain sensor will prevent this.
The most popular sensors that we use now are wireless. They are made of two components: transmitter and receiver. The wireless technology allows for better placement of the transmitter, which is placed outside where it will be exposed to all the current weather conditions.
They have developed in ways that make them adjustable in the time they dry out or soak up water, more accessible for maintenance purposes, more durable so they last longer and come with longer factory warranties, and more predictable and trustworthy. They are well worth the investment.
Other advantages of a rain sensor:
- Reduces wear on the irrigation system because the system runs only when necessary.
- Reduces disease damage by eliminating unnecessary irrigation events.
- Helps protect surface and groundwater by reducing the runoff and deep percolation that carries pollutants, such as fertilizers, into storm drains and groundwater.
How much water can we save? The amount of water that you can save using rain sensors varies, but in a year with average rainfall, savings are usually substantial.
Factors involved in determining how much a sensor can reduce water usage:
- How often it rains
- Whether or not the controller is left on for automatic operation
- The amount of water applied by the system per cycle.
If the water costs and the amount of water applied per watering cycle by the whole system are known, it is easy to calculate how much money is being saved each time the sensor interrupts the watering cycle because of rainfall.
As an example, if a system irrigates 1/2 acre of turf and is set to run each zone so that 1/2 inch of water is applied per cycle, one can calculate that 13,576 gallons are being applied over the 1/2 acre of turf per cycle. Assuming water costs $2.00/thousand gallons, the savings will be $27.15 every time the sensor eliminates an irrigation event.
What is even more important, 13,576 gallons that would be lost to deep percolation or runoff will be saved. If this amount is multiplied by the number of substantial rainfalls that occur in the area over one growing season, a significant amount of money and water can be saved.
Don't worry, if you don't have a rain sensor or if you would like to upgrade your current sensor it can be done! Call us anytime at (440)935-1182 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation.