Will an automatic sprinkler system increase my water bill?

We get asked all of the time “How will a new sprinkling system affect my water bill?” The question is sometimes difficult to answer because there are many variables involved. However, if you are the type that watered manually before you had an automatic system installed, then the automatic system should be more efficient and save money in the long run.

Ultimately an automatic irrigation system that is properly designed and installed should be very efficient when watering but, there are always things to watch out for and certain components that can be installed to help to insure that it is always running at its optimum operating capacity. Here are a few things that will help the efficiency of you sprinkler system:

Rain Sensor
A rain sensor is a component of the irrigation system that will shut the system off temporarily when it rains. Rain sensors have improved greatly in the recent past and every good installer should at least offer one or discuss the pros and cons at the time of installation. Some are adjustable in the amount of water needed to deactivate the system, some are adjustable in the time it takes to dry out the sensor. The rain sensor may not be perfect but, it will help save water in the long run.

Deduct Water Meters
Many municipalities allow a deduct water meter to be installed on an irrigation supply line or any water line that would be used for outside watering only in areas that have separate sanitary and storm sewers. This meter would deduct the water that is used outside that goes into the storm sewer from the water that is used inside and goes down the sanitary sewer. The consumer still pays for the water consumed but, the sanitary sewer fees that are usually associated with a water bill are deducted thus saving money in the long run for the consumer. If a deduct meter is not offered, some cities or municipalities offer a standard deduction for a homes and businesses that have irrigation systems. Check with your local water purveyor to find out what is available in your area.

Monitoring Your Controller
Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate when we want her to and water schedules can vary from week to week sometimes. Be sure you are familiar with your controller and have it installed in an area that is easily accessible. Seasons and weather conditions change all the time. If you know how to make changes to the settings on the controller then you won’t need to rely on you service provider if frequent changes are needed.

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