Spend $150 now and SAVE $27 each year... ROI = 18%
Many small business office buildings have lawns and landscape beds, and overwatering these areas is a leading cause of office water waste in the summer. Check for leaks in sprinkler lines by looking for puddling. If you have an older irrigation system, over 50% and even more than 75% of the water can be lost to leaks. Watch the weather; don’t water if it’s going to rain.
The latest water control technology systems are self-operating and use data from a mini-weather station in your yard, or take information from satellites and meteorology stations. These systems are known as ET-based, for evapotranspiration - a crop science term that describes evaporation (out of soil, droplets or puddles) and water loss from plants (transpiration). This technology can add up, so for a small office you may just want to remember to turn off automatic sprinkler systems when the fall rains start. To avoid additional overwatering, plant new trees, sod, and featured plants in the fall or spring. Besides wasting water, overwatering promotes lawn disease and leaches nutrients from the soil.
Lawns don’t need more than one inch of water per week during July and August. Use less in late spring or early fall, and let the weather be your guide. Grass does better when the root zone partially dries out between waterings because it forces the roots to dig deeper rather than just draw moisture near the surface. Water slowly, or start and stop, so the water permeates the soil rather than running off. Water early or late in the day to minimize evaporation loss. Overall, landscapes may be overwatered by as much as 300% due mostly to the fact that so many systems have leaks and run automatically even just after it has rained.
A small office building may need 1,000 gallons a week over 12 weeks of the summer, but it may use at least twice as much due to waste. You could save 12,000 gallons or more over the summer and another 6,000 over the combined spring and early fall. The cost of water is only about $1.50 per 1,000 gallons, so the savings is only $27 each year. This is more about responsible eco-stewardship than financial savings, but in arid and southern climates that require almost year-round landscape irrigation, the drought tolerant plants and grasses are key to reducing water demand before the waste factors in.
The ROI Calculation is based on a little bit of time from you or your employee to turn off the automated sprinklers before, during, or just after a rain and an allowance of $150 for the review and repair of leaks if necessary.
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