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Early August 2010
Water conservation reminder; Always on Spotlight - Unclaimed property search; General Plan approved; Preservation Minute - Historical Downtown Buildings; Development Services Office now open; 5k for Clay and Recreation registration.
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  • Smart Irrigation Month, pt 3

    So we're still in July and still talking about automatic irrigation systems for Smart Irrigation Month.  It's seems this week summer has hit (again), maybe "for real" this time, so an efficient irrigation system is more important than ever.

    I'm going to continue the same topic as last time, which is upgrading your irrigation system when necessary.  We talked about sensors last week.  This week I'd like to focus on sprinkler heads and water pressure.  The type of sprinkler head being used determines several things, like how long to water, where to locate the heads, and also how much water is being emitted and, most importantly, how well that water is being used by your landscape.

    There are two main types of sprinkler heads-spray heads and rotor (or rotatory) heads.  Both are usually located unground and pop-up when it's their time to water. 

    The spray heads are the ones that water the same piece of grass, or landscaping, the entire time they are popped up.  Rotor heads rotate to the left and right when they pop-up and do not water the same place the entire time they are popped up.  See the pictures on the right for what each look like.

    Rotor heads are the more efficient of the two head types.  Tests have shown that the water is distributed more evenly by rotor heads than spray heads.  The same amount of water is being emitted close to the head as midway as at the furthest end of the water.  Usually people want to replace rotors with sprays, but I urge them not to.  Again, they are more efficient than traditional spray heads.  They emit, on average x gallons of water per minute.  Rotor heads are desirable to use in large areas-fewer heads are required to cover a large space since they spray water out a further distance than spray heads.

    Traditional spray heads are not quite as efficient, mainly due to variations in water pressure and head spacing (specifically heads placed too far apart).  Misting is pretty commonly seen with spray heads-this is lots of "clouding" coming off the heads.  This cloud, or misting, is water drops that are so small they are just floating away into the air, rather than going down onto the landscape.  (See the picture, all that stuff in the air above the plants is the water droplets from the irrigation system).  You are paying for this water and it's just floating away.  Not good.  This means you have to run the system for a longer time to get water down onto the ground, which will get expensive and is just wasteful.  This is caused by water pressure that is too high.

    An aside here, "good" or appropriate water pressure for irrigation systems is between 30-50 psi. 

    High pressure can be remedied in two main ways: installing a pressure reducing valve (PRV) on the irrigation system, or replacing the nozzles with ones that adjust or compensate for the high water pressure.  So...which is better?  That's a hard question to give a quick answer for.

    The PRV is a good fix if the entire irrigation system is running with high pressure.  It's one device that is installed near the backflow prevention device in your yard.  A licensed irrigator should be contacted to install this device.

    Replacing nozzles is a great way to fine-tune the irrigation system; here, you can just replace nozzles in the zones that have the high misting.  This is a little more time consuming because you need to find and purchase the correct nozzle types (full circle, half circle, etc) and then physically unscrew the old nozzles and screw on the new ones, but overall it's pretty inexpensive.  Of course, a licensed irrigator can be hired to do this work as well.  There are several brands of nozzles that have built-in pressure compensation and can be ordered online or found in local irrigation stores.

    Both of these types of pressure reducing efficiency qualify for the City's Efficient Irrigation Rebate program.  I highly encourage you to take advantage of it if you notice misting in your irrigation system!

  • July is Smart Irrigation Month, Pt 2

    The first thing I saw when I turned my computer on Friday morning was emails from co-workers and City residents voicing concern about the irrigation systems they saw running this morning-after receiving 3+ inches of rain! It's crazy, I know. I don't think anyone deliberately chooses to look silly... MORE»
  • Going up?

    Right now, our new library building exists in that ideal theoretical dimension in which all things are possible and nobody's dreamed-of architectural vision clashes with anyone else's (or with functionality, for that matter). Once the project takes shape in more concrete ways, decisions will... MORE»
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Library) by Linda Sappenfield on 07-18-2014 | with no comments
  • July is Smart Irrigation Month, pt. 1

    July has been deemed "Smart Irrigation Month" by the Irrigation Association since 2005, because that's typically when the hottest temperatures occur. With high and hot temperatures come higher water use, it's just a given. We still want our landscapes to look as good as they have the... MORE»
  • All I want is more

    Remember when "binge" was a word we didn't take lightly? Formerly, it applied to individuals straying into saloons or meeting with bad company and succumbing to more beverages than originally intended. Despite advice from embroidered samplers or wise elders, Moderation In All Things proved... MORE»
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Library) by Linda Sappenfield on 07-03-2014 | with no comments
  • Just wait 'til you hear

    We understand why library customers ask us The Question (how we feel about “libraries going away now that we have ebooks and the internet”). Earlier this week, one such inquirer stacked her pile of library books on the Reference desk while she entered the drawing for this week’s Reader’s Bonanza tote... MORE»
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Library) by Linda Sappenfield on 06-20-2014 | with no comments
  • Which came first: the fried chicken or...?

    “What was the weather like?” That’s the first question co-workers asked about New York last week (I attended Book Expo America ). Answer: “I wore my coat every day!” Ignoring the forecast for weeklong 70s, I packed light outerwear that made brisk walking in that unexpectedly cool, windy spell a pleasure... MORE»
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Library) by Linda Sappenfield on 06-06-2014 | with no comments
  • Toilet Rebate Program Returns!

    I wrote a blog back in November 2013 about the toilet rebate program ending and why it was ending. In case you missed it, it was due to the State Plumbing Code changes that as of January 1, 2014, mandated that all toilets sold in the State of Texas must use 1.28 gallons of water per flush (gpf) or less... MORE»
  • Sooo...What is Water Waste?

    Are you are aware of by now, the City has been in Stage 1 of our Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) since October 2013. We're still in them, still Stage 1. At the beginning of the month, we started increasing enforcement of the restrictions and water waste by putting some signage around town, leaving... MORE»
  • And the hints just keep on coming

    In the run-up to Book Expo America next week, I'm doing my exhibitor homework: assessing which autographed publications and advance reader copies would most interest Round Rock readers. Paula Daly , I note, has Keep Your Friends Close due out in September. Her suspenseful fiction debut, Just What... MORE»
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Library) by Linda Sappenfield on 05-23-2014 | with no comments
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