Irrigation Scheduling- GMP's

Waterlogged

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Texas
Wanted to share this developing document with everyone. It is authored by DeVille Hubbard. So far a few irrigation groups are supporting it, as it develops. It is certainly needed, so we can all have the same starting point.

It's long, but here is the doc. I know some of you don't like to read alot, but I can't find any pictures :laugh::

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Good Management Practices ( GMP's) for Scheduling Landscape Irrigation

The objective of the GMP's is to clarify an agreed upon process that compliments or gives a foundation to other generally accepted scheduling methods. Scheduling irrigation has regional and site specific attributes and precedes the final step of programming controllers.

1. Inspect -Thoroughly inspect and evaluate each zone of the landscape irrigation system and make all needed repairs to insure proper head alignment, matched equipment in each zone, correct water pressure and optimum performance.

2. Measurements - Perform a Catch Can Audit by Irrigation Association or Texas A&M guidelines and calculate the Precipitation rate (Pr) and Distribution Uniformity (UD) in each zone. Make additional repairs or adjustments to improve the Distribution Uniformity (minor equipment changes if necessary).

3. Determine Calculation Factors - Determine the proper factors to be used in the calculations such as; soil structure, crop types (Kc) , acceptable stress levels, along with other pertinent factors.

4. Historical ET References - Determine the historical ET and rainfall amounts as needed for the geographic location of the controller. Historical data is helpful for seasonal adjustments.

5. Calculate - Calculate the irrigation schedule based on plant needs and historical ET/rainfall amounts with your calculations or software options, and develop the weekly irrigation schedule for the year for each zone of the system and program controller in a manner to reduce water runoff.

6. Inspect - Inspect and correct the clocks: time, date, am/pm, back up battery, and zip code as needed. Insure weather sensors are in good working order and exposed to the elements.

7. Program - Program the calculated run time schedule (calculated from above methods) into the controller in a manner to reduce water runoff. Use cycle soak times or features if possible. Before entering the start days and times desired, inquire with the City for any requirements or restrictions. Schedules may be programmed weekly, monthly or yearly depending on the controller and schedule method.

8. Monitor - Monitor the landscape plants and real time ETo and make adjustments as needed. Check soil moisture with probe or sensor whenever possible. Monitor performance data if the controller provides such information.

9. Adjust - If the irrigation controller is responsive to weather conditions then adjust schedule as needed to accommodate the technology, insuring equipment is functioning properly.

10. Secure-Conserve - Set to controller auto position; close the door to the controller and lock if possible to prevent unintentional changes to the program.
There is no substitute for a properly designed and installed irrigation system. Water scheduling based on Evapo-Transporation and the inspection of system performance is critical to achieve water conservation.
 
Know Deville. Good guy. His boss is an old HS friend of mine.

To me it not so much the "what to do" its the "how to do it efficiently and what tools do I need?". Lets take a 11gallon/zone 12 zone system with 6 zones of spray and 6 zones of rotors. How long would it take to perform all that? Depends on how extensive the repairs and upgrades are but at a minimum 500.00 is my guess. In putting together these bmps I never see a cost analysis done.
 

Mike Leary

LawnSite Fanatic
I never see a cost analysis done.
That's because there is none.Warranty rears it's ugly head in "band-aid" re-dos.("We have a leak on zone four"). I tried to help folks for years only to realize they had a fu*cked-up system from the git, and my "repairs" worked fine but did not solve the entire problem entirely. In spite of the tears and the whining and moaning, I learned to convince the client to start over, informing them that the ENTIRE system was then under warranty, and we would hold their hands,forever.:clapping:
 

Kiril

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
District 9 CA
Wanted to share this developing document with everyone. It is authored by DeVille Hubbard. So far a few irrigation groups are supporting it, as it develops. It is certainly needed, so we can all have the same starting point.
Don't really know why this is needed. Pretty sure the IA and several other "associations" already have something like this in place (typically called BMP's). IMO, what is outlined here should already be SOP for any and every irrigator who is involved in managing irrigation systems.
 

TXirrigation

LawnSite Senior Member
Wanted to share this developing document with everyone. It is authored by DeVille Hubbard. So far a few irrigation groups are supporting it, as it develops. It is certainly needed, so we can all have the same starting point.

It's long, but here is the doc. I know some of you don't like to read alot, but I can't find any pictures :laugh::

---

Good Management Practices ( GMP's) for Scheduling Landscape Irrigation

The objective of the GMP's is to clarify an agreed upon process that compliments or gives a foundation to other generally accepted scheduling methods. Scheduling irrigation has regional and site specific attributes and precedes the final step of programming controllers.

1. Inspect -Thoroughly inspect and evaluate each zone of the landscape irrigation system and make all needed repairs to insure proper head alignment, matched equipment in each zone, correct water pressure and optimum performance.

2. Measurements - Perform a Catch Can Audit by Irrigation Association or Texas A&M guidelines and calculate the Precipitation rate (Pr) and Distribution Uniformity (UD) in each zone. Make additional repairs or adjustments to improve the Distribution Uniformity (minor equipment changes if necessary).

3. Determine Calculation Factors - Determine the proper factors to be used in the calculations such as; soil structure, crop types (Kc) , acceptable stress levels, along with other pertinent factors.

4. Historical ET References - Determine the historical ET and rainfall amounts as needed for the geographic location of the controller. Historical data is helpful for seasonal adjustments.

5. Calculate - Calculate the irrigation schedule based on plant needs and historical ET/rainfall amounts with your calculations or software options, and develop the weekly irrigation schedule for the year for each zone of the system and program controller in a manner to reduce water runoff.

6. Inspect - Inspect and correct the clocks: time, date, am/pm, back up battery, and zip code as needed. Insure weather sensors are in good working order and exposed to the elements.

7. Program - Program the calculated run time schedule (calculated from above methods) into the controller in a manner to reduce water runoff. Use cycle soak times or features if possible. Before entering the start days and times desired, inquire with the City for any requirements or restrictions. Schedules may be programmed weekly, monthly or yearly depending on the controller and schedule method.

8. Monitor - Monitor the landscape plants and real time ETo and make adjustments as needed. Check soil moisture with probe or sensor whenever possible. Monitor performance data if the controller provides such information.

9. Adjust - If the irrigation controller is responsive to weather conditions then adjust schedule as needed to accommodate the technology, insuring equipment is functioning properly.

10. Secure-Conserve - Set to controller auto position; close the door to the controller and lock if possible to prevent unintentional changes to the program.
There is no substitute for a properly designed and installed irrigation system. Water scheduling based on Evapo-Transporation and the inspection of system performance is critical to achieve water conservation.
We all just need to wear "WWMHD" bracelets. (What Would Mike Holmes Do)

Better yet "WWKD" bracelets... first one to figure it out gets a cookie.

Honestly, educate the home owner and tell them why they need to fix everything. THEN tell them the price. I just walk away from most repairs because I refuse to do a hack job, and let things slip.

The only way to stop hack systems is to have inspectors that know about irrigation, and not Joe... the retired plumber.

Also I firmly believe each city should require a permit for all repairs. Then the inspector would have to come out and make sure the WHOLE system is up to code. -Off soap box-
 

Wet_Boots

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
metro NYC
..........Also I firmly believe each city should require a permit for all repairs. Then the inspector would have to come out and make sure the WHOLE system is up to code. -Off soap box-
You would simply kill the service market and drive the homeowners to the big-box stores. The result would be worse systems with mandatory inspections of each repair job.
 

TXirrigation

LawnSite Senior Member
You would simply kill the service market and drive the homeowners to the big-box stores. The result would be worse systems with mandatory inspections of each repair job.
It's already in practice in WD17. In order to do a repair of any kind you must not only pull a permit, but you have to replace a DCVA with an RPZ if it hasnt already been done. The reason a permit must be pulled is any time your changing backflow you have to have a permit.

Most home owners have no clue how to fix an irrigation pipe. Yes they would figure out how to fix a spray head, but eventually they will have to call a LI to fix something.
 

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