The combination of aging irrigation systems and decades-old traditional overhead spray nozzles can result in large and unsightly brown spots in grass areas. Up until recently, traditional spray nozzles were the only option to irrigate grass areas between 5’-15’.
What is a traditional spray nozzle, you ask? In a nutshell, it’s any nozzle that delivers small water droplets quickly and in a fan-shaped pattern. Due to the high flow of water coming out of traditional spray nozzles (almost 2 gallons per minute, 15’ half-circle), many aging sprinkler pipes get mineral buildup and can no longer provide the needed pressure to deliver water evenly between the originally designed head-to-head spacing. Most homeowners try to solve this issue by simply increasing run-times until the brown spots disappear. However, while this solution may improve the look of the site, it results in a tremendous increase in water consumption, with some areas getting a lot more water than needed, which is both costly and environmentally unfriendly.
Homeowners can take a cue from landscape professionals, who have learned to rely on multi-stream rotating sprinkler heads, such as the Hunter MP Rotator. The MP Rotator features a unique, multi-trajectory rotating stream delivery system that achieves water-conserving results. Rather than simply “spray” water onto landscapes, MP Rotators deliver multiple streams of water at a slow, steady rate. The reduction in flow will boost system pressure allowing the MP Rotator’s multi-stream “moving fingers” to achieve previously compromised head-to-head spacing.
This is what makes MP’s perfect for revitalizing older systems—the retrofit can solve both low pressure and poor coverage problems. The MP Rotator can be installed onto any conventional spray head body transforming them into high uniformity, low precipitation rate sprinklers. But be careful. Because the MP Rotator has a much lower flow rate (1/2 gallon per minute, 15’ half-circle) compared to a traditional spray nozzle, complete removal of ALL traditional spray nozzles on a single valve (station) must be done. By mixing MP Rotators & traditional spray nozzles on a single valve (station), an already inefficient system will only become worse.
Another added benefit is the MP Rotator’s compatibility with Arizona soil absorption rates. Most Arizona landscapes consist of clay soil profiles capable of absorbing only a ½” or less of water per hour. In Water – Use It Wisely’s 100+ Ways to Conserve, #18 states If water runs off your lawn easily, split your watering time into shorter periods to allow for better absorption. That’s because most traditional spray nozzles deliver water at flows 100-200% faster than what Arizona soils can absorb. Due to the MP Rotators “Slow-the-Flow” nature, it delivers water to your landscape at a much slower rate, therefore, minimizing or eliminating unnecessary run-off. This slower application rate allows water to gently soak into the soil and achieves an even distribution throughout the area being irrigated. This increased efficiency results in 30 percent less water use when compared to traditional sprays, and significantly reduces wasteful runoff.
MP Rotators are also a great choice for new systems, as they provide immense range, flexibility and provide better system efficiency.
From time to time, WUIW features guest bloggers who write about water conservation and education. Danny Motylewski from Hunter Industries is our guest blogger this week. Hunter Industries is committed to research and development efforts centered on innovative solutions that save water, and they always have been. Moving forward, their focus towards water and energy conservation will continue every day.