Waterwell Newsletter 2012


Take one out and scratch my head, I am now black but once was red.  Who or what am I?

Marks desk;     

We have discussed this in many past issues and the momentum is growing. Waterwell has been requested to give feedback and opinions to several municipalities during the past year. We have been asked many questions about rain sensors:  Do they work?  How much water do they save? How much water does the plantation require? Can the timer be programmed too? When is the best time to water? Yes, they work very well and can save up to 20% on needless water consumption. On average plants and grass need about 1” of water a week. The ideal time to water is early morning to prevent evaporation or when water demand for the municipality is low to avoid water pressure issues. Timers can be programed to your municipal restrictions.

Do not be surprised to find that bylaws in several municipalities will be changing, these new rules were researched, and reflect the growing concern to be water wise.

Laval has implemented conformity measures. As of 2012 all commercial buildings with irrigation must have a rain sensor, ALL new installations residential and or commercial must have a rain sensor installed, existing residential for now to not have to comply.

A rain sensor is the cheapest and most practical way of saving water, 20% which can represents about 20 000 gallons or a small swimming pool. Now think of how many neighbors have an irrigation system…..that is a lot of water.

If you are thinking about being more water wise and installing a rain sensor $250.00 can be used as a budget, although each property is different.

Bird story

A robin and a blue jay were perched on a telephone wire in the west island on a warm May day last summer. The robin feeling particularly philosophical about life turned to the blue jay and ask the age old question; 

Is the grass really greener on the other side of the fence? 

The blue jay sat in quiet reflection and after a few moments responded...that depends..do they have an irrigation system?


What’s your soil type?

Did you know that depending on your soil type it directly

affects how you water? For example if you have sandy soil you need to water in shorter more frequent stints to give the sand time to absorb the water. You don’t want the water fast tracking past the roots, it then will serve no purpose. Same thing can be said for clay based soil. Only clay doesn’t absorb the water quickly, too much at once creates a run off and waste. 

Again the watering time needs to be programed for frequent shorter sessions. Because clay hold its moisture longer it requires less watering then sandy or other types of soil. You don’t want to cause root rot or yellowing of your plants and grass. These are good reasons for customers to know how to program their timers. We set the watering times in the spring for peak season watering needs. But if it’s been raining a lot or extremely hot out, the watering times need adjustments. Rain sensors and humidity detectors can help a lot in these situations. Ideally you would combine rain sensors (a required device in many municipalities now) and manually adjusting watering times according to the weather. No one knows better than you what is happening in your yard. Well you and your plants of course!

A very brief history on irrigations system...as I see it!

Depending which site you land on you’ll get varying accounts of when and where and who invented the lawn irrigation system. Although my research doesn’t point a direct finger at one particular inventor there is a common running theme. Golf. We can all thank the game of golf and it’s obsession for green turf for the evolution of the modern day irrigation system. In the early 1800’s on Scottish fairways, carts filled with water were drawn by mules to water the turf. In it’s early years it was a luxury that only the rich could afford. Once municipal water systems came in to play it was a whole new game. Having a beautiful yard with envious green grass became a new pass time. New patents were popping up all the time for sprinkler heads and various irrigation components. Honorable mentions go out to J. Lessler who had the first patent in 1891 and J.H Smith who in 1897 made a spinning head that shot water from both sides. But the grand-daddy would be Orton Englehardt a fruit farmer in California who in 1932 invented the first impact sprinkler head. Englehardt who was more interested in farming sold the patent to his neighbors the La Fetra’s in 1933. They in turn started what is to this day a leader in the irrigation field, Rain Bird Co. which is still operated by their descendents. 

And that’s it’s brief history..as I see it anyway!


Welcome back!

We just wanted to take a moment and welcome Alex back for her second season with us! She joined us last year in late April to temporally help us ease into the season and is now part of our full time staff!

Applications are now being accepted for Irrigation Technicians.  No experience required.

We are looking for bilingual individuals who have a valid driver’s license.

Send your CV to: michelle@waterwellirrigation.com 

The next step

Rain sensors have been around a long time. There is now a new device that we started installing last year that has a rain sensor as well a sensor that measures the heat. This device translates the heat into a measure of evaporation and will automatically adjust up or down on a daily basis the watering time on each zone as needed. Statistically this will save 15% -20%. It is easier to understand this using a graph. Unless the programing is modified during the year it is programmed for worst case scenario which would be the hottest day in July (peak in the graph). If it is not programmed this way the lawn would be yellow for a period during the year. When the programing line meets the watering required peak this is perfect quantity of water, everything prior and after this (hatched) is waste and over watering.

If you are thinking about being more water wise and installing this sensor $295.00 can be used as a budget, although each property is different and it will only work on newer timers.

The answer to the riddle

A match of course!

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