Waterwell Newsletter 2014


Marks desk;     

Overcoming water restrictions.

We have spoken several times about recycling and managing our resources, in our case water, intelligently.  It personally upsets me when I see things being wasted for                                                                                                                        no reason other than laziness and/or ignorance.  Many municipalities have already adopted watering restrictions, and many more have been implementing them in an effort to be more environmentally conscious.  The initial concept and rational behind them was the first step.  As we live with these new rules however, it is our goal to educate our customers on the evolving technology and future of irrigation waste management.  Imposing restrictions does not guarantee being responsible. 

Currently, water restrictions define a time and duration of when you are allowed to water.  This generalization however, does not take into account many variables such as size of property, peak demand, etc..., and completely ignores the primary objective of teaching people to be responsible and aware of the resource. 

The primary objective of irrigation is to maintain a healthy environment for landscapes to flourish, and additionally reduce the negative impact of dead plants.  Many times the imposed watering restrictions do not allow enough time to water in order to keep the landscaping healthy.  Additionally, putting a time constraint does not teach people how to use water properly or efficiently, and in many cases actually results in more wasted water. 

More emphasis should be placed on the educational aspect in an effort to reduce water consumption.  Factors such as: ideal mowing height, rain/heat sensors, flow detectors, wind monitors, draught resistant vegetation, drip irrigation, etc..., could potentially save roughly 50% or more of water consumption.  Additionally, things such as permits and inspections of systems by the municipality would further enforce this goal.  Providing an incentive (ie. longer watering windows) to people who retrofit their existing irrigation systems with some of these water saving devices would encourage their use and further educate responsible use of this finite resource.  Ultimately, it would accomplish the goal of promoting a healthy and beautiful landscape.

Paperless option

Did you know since last year we have a paperless option? For all communication including work orders and invoicing! You have only to select the box on the booking form advising us that you would like this option or advise us when next you are on the phone with one of our customer service reps.  Make sure when you phone in that we have an updated email.

Waterwell is pleased to announce that our electronic tablets test runs are going smoothly.  With still a few glitches to work out, hopefully this will ultimately replace paper work orders and go forward with greener tomorrow!

 7 seasons and our rates are still the same!!

We are proud to be able to offer our customers another season without raising our rates.  


2013 season was 5 years of service for our install crew chief Tyler Vanloo. Thank you Tyler for your years of hard work and service!

 Did you know that purple is the new green???

 On a recent trip to the Hoover Damn I saw first hand how precious water is.  The white mineral deposit stained walls of the Colorado river are all the proof you need that hey guess what...we are running out of water! As global water levels are dropping the movement to preserve what we have has never been more important.  Our industry which relies on water has taken many steps over the last few decades to preserve water and in turn preserve our existence.  Although using reclaimed water for irrigating lawns and gardens is general practice in many states south of the border Montreal is relatively new to the scene.  With more buildings trying to get LEED certified there is great effort that comes in planning the landscapes and its water requirements.  Reclaimed water is NOT potable water. To alert people to this the traditional black caps on the sprinkler heads have been replaced with purple caps, they also now have purple pipe, purple valves, purple valve box lids...you get the idea.   So if in your travels this summer you happen upon the purple capped sprinkler heads, you’ll know that it’s not a new fashion trend in the irrigation world.   But rather a warning and also a source of pride for an industry working towards being more sustainable.


Some of the most common service calls we usually get entail some sort of the following: 

- “It’s raining and my system is still watering!”

 - “My system does not work and it has just rained!”

- “Why does my timer say RAIN/OFF?”

With a little knowledge, hopefully this information on rain sensors will make you think twice before picking up the phone and paying for a service call.  It is instructive to first look at what a rain sensor is and how it actually works. 

At about roughly half the size of your standard computer mouse, it looks like a small white cylindrical stack with a metal mounting arm bracket.  Sometimes it may not be possible to actually see, but it is usually installed on your house or shed roof.  Inside the device is a series of hygroscopic discs much like the cork in a wine bottle, that serve as the activating trigger by expanding/contracting when they absorb/dry out the collected water.  Its main function is to save water by preventing watering cycles when it has rained by acting like a switch to cut the electrical circuit from the timer to the electric solenoid valves. 

Depending on the settings/location/temperature however, the rainfall required to activate the sensor and conversely, the time it takes to dry out, vary drastically.  It is not uncommon for rain sensors to NOT activate after a quick shower, or for it to take a few days to reset after a heavy rainfall (the reasons why your sprinkler systems may be operating in the rain and it skipping a couple cycles).  If you have a Hunter Pro-C timer and the RS is wired directly into the timer, the display will read Rain/Off, but you may not see this with other controllers.

Furthermore, if your rain sensor is installed on other locations other than your roof, such as your wall, fence, etc..., it may not function properly.   A sensor on a low fence, as an example, may be subject to vandalism or even be triggered falsely by your neighbours sprinklers watering directly into it!  Ideally, it should be installed on a flat surface unobstructed from tree branches and other objects, so that naturally occurring rain is able to collect into its tiny reservoir.

If you believe your rain sensor is preventing scheduled watering cycles but you wish to water anyways, you can always try ‘bypassing’ it with your controller if it has that option (For Hunter timers – usually located on the top left of the display, Toro/Richdel/Irritrol – there is usually a toggle switch behind the display panel...BUT BEWARE: JUST BECAUSE THERE IS A BYPASS SWITCH/OPTION DOES NOT MEAN THAT IT IS FUNCTIONAL OR GUARANTEE THAT YOU ACTUALLY HAVE A RAIN SENSOR!)

With that said, here are the most common reasons why your rain sensor may not be working properly:

  1. Not enough rain has occurred to prevent watering or not enough time has elapsed for your rain sensor to dry out (there is a calibration on the unit) 
  2. It has been bypassed and was never reset (see above)
  3. Snow/elements have changed the angle of the rain collector and it simply needs to be straightened
  4. Recent construction on your house: new roof, gutters, shed, etc...
  5. You have recently changed controllers and it is not compatible with the existing rain sensor
  6. It is defective
  7. You don’t have one!




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