Water Usage

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Mikeyboy, Oct 26, 2007.

  1. Mikeyboy

    Mikeyboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    This is my 1st posting to this site. I was recommended by a user from a different forum.

    I just recently had an irrigation company come out and install a new irrigation system on my 10,000 sq ft lawn at the beginning of this month. They used all Hunter products. They installed 35 PGP stainless steel rotary heads. They set it up for 7 zones with 5 heads per zone.

    I have been watering my lawn for 30 min/zone. So, that is equivalent to 3 1/2 hours per cycle. Drives me NUTS to take so long!!! I am starting at 3:30am and it completes by 7am right before someone uses the shower in our house. I have stuck a water gauge in my lawn and for 30 minutes it fills about a 1/4 inch of water. So, if I water 4 times a week, I get approx 1 inch of water on my lawn. Am I thinking correctly?

    The reason why I am writing is because I have used 3 times the amount of water this past month than we usually use in a quarter billing before the system was installed. I could only imagine how much water I would use in the middle of the summer. We recently had Lawn Doctor powerseed our property and they advised us to keep the lawn wet.

    The person who recommended this site to me said that I am using too much water and to post this message here because there are plenty of irrigation companies who look at these postings and can advise me if my system is setup OK and make wonderful recommendations. Is there anything wrong with what I have? Am I watering too much? With the rotary heads I have, is it correct to have 1/4 for 30 minutes?

    What changes on watering tips can someone recommend so my wife does not kill me when we get the water bill? Thank you!
  2. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,690

    You can try watering more often for a shorter period of time. You dont need to penetrate the soil too deep if youve got a newly seeded lawn.

    10000 sq ft lawn will definetly take some water. 3 times your normal amount seems reasonable without knowing what your usage was. Example for me:

    My city assumes 1 person per household uses 2500 gallons per month inside the home only. They do this to determine sewer usage independent of landscape use, which obviously doesnt go into the sewer. So its just me and the wife, 5000 gallons per month. I have 12 zones outside, 8 lawn and 4 drip. My summer usage was about 30000 gallons per month, on average. Thats 6 times what we use inside. So again, I dont think 3 times is too much more. My lawn is about 4000 sq. ft. Lots of plants and trees too!

    Starting a lawn is usually the hardest part, water usage wise...
  3. jimmyburg

    jimmyburg LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 701

    1. are you on well or city water? size meter? what kind of backflow?
    2. what is the static pressure of the house or flow test #?
    3. what type of soil?
    4. is there any run off when watering?
    5. do you know what #nozzels were used in the PGPs or I-20s
    6. do you have a seperate meter for the irrigation system.
    your house water bill will go up, when watering.

    What kind of grass do you have?
  4. Mikeyboy

    Mikeyboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    1) City
    2) Dont know
    3) Dont know
    4) No
    5) All I know is that they are stainless steel PGP rotating heads
    6) No, the meter I am using is the one located in my basement where the water line comes in. It was already there before the system was put in.

    Another question I have is if 30 minutes per zone with 5 rotating PGP stainless steel heads per zone only producing about 1/4 inch of water is normal? I just want to make sure there is nothing wrong with the system or heads.
  5. jimmyburg

    jimmyburg LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 701

    Did the "irrigation company" give you a as built copy of your system?
    I would call them up and ask?
    Did they pull a permit?
  6. Mikeyboy

    Mikeyboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    They did not give me an as built copy of my system. The estimator came out out, priced it out and the installer actually installed more heads than what the estimator said. I guess that was better for me.

    Yes, they did pull a permit for plumbing and electrical and the town will be inspecting it this week.
  7. regularguy

    regularguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 152

    Let's assume that your lawn is about 1/4 acre (really it is slightly less) and let's also assume that your lawn needs 1 inch of moisture per week (Kentucky Blue Grass does) so that should figure out to about 27,000 gallons of water per month if my math is correct. Of course this assumes that you receive no moisture from Mother Nature for the entire month. Someone please correct me if my math is incorrect.
  8. londonrain

    londonrain LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,129

    First off if they are Hunters and stainless then they are I-20's ....

    Need more info as in meter size , and psi, and flow rate but a close guess will be that the precip. rate on your system will probably be in the .3"-.4" in/hr depending on the head layout and nozzle size..... but this should be close

    To find the actual precip. rate the method I use is Total GPM used( while zone is running read meter for 1 min.) x 96.25 then divided by the total area the zone that is running is covering.
  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    It is critical you determine what your soil type is and what type of grass. This more than anything will determine how much/little water you can get away with.

    If your reasonably certain your sitting on top of parent material, you can use this site to find out, otherwise get your soil tested.


    Also, I'll make my customary plug, if water is a concern, perhaps consider getting rid of some of that turf.

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