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The Future of Lawn Watering Is Here - Smart Sprinkler Controllers

watermeterHave you ever seen a sprinkler watering a lawn while it’s raining or right after a downpour and thought “what a waste of water”? This would not happen if the homeowner had installed a “smart” irrigation controller.

Unlike traditional irrigation controllers that operate on a preset programmed schedule and timers, “smart” irrigation controllers monitor weather, soil conditions, evaporation and plant water use to automatically adjust the watering schedule to actual conditions of the site. Using a WiFi connection, the smart controller accesses weather data from the internet to determine watering schedules. For example, if rain is forecast for the afternoon, the smart controller would automatically adjust your watering schedule.

Smart controllers replace the existing programmable timer on your sprinkler system to open and shut the water valves. Instead of following a set schedule, the sprinkler follows the weather forecast. Once these systems are installed and programmed correctly, they usually require little additional monitoring and will irrigate the landscape at peak efficiency at appropriate times. And, you can control the system from your phone. They are readily available, easy to install and cost between $100 and $300.

Scarsdale resident Seema Jaggi installed a smart controller last summer. "The smart sprinkler was easy to install and it's been easy to maintain. If I need to make any adjustments, I can use my phone instead of the irrigation panel in my basement. I also like that the system provides a watering history." Scarsdale resident David Fenigstein says he loves the fact that he’s using as little water as possible to maintain his lawn and shrubs, “It was easy to install the smart controller which automates much of the difficult part of setting up the watering schedule for each zone. I can oversee all the controls through an app on my phone making it convenient and simple to monitor usage. Then once it's programmed it operates on its own so I don't have to think about it.”

Smart irrigation controllers simplify lawn and garden care, and reduce water consumption and your water bill. For more information about smart controllers, please contact the Scarsdale Conservation Advisory Council.

There is a permit requirement for lawn irrigation connections to the Village’s water system and rain sensors are also required for lawn irrigation systems. For more information please click here.

By Adie Shore, Scarsdale Conservation Advisory Council Member

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