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Maximising Water Efficiency with Ultrasonic Flow Meters
As autumn descends on us, the lawn care season is just about over. The reduced sunlight and chillier temperatures slow grass growth to a minimum. Weekends spent using the lawn mower are over until we get our springtime worming trends.
This is not the case for groundsmen and greenkeepers in all the various public areas that have large expanses of grass, foliage and greenery. Sporting grounds, parks, golf courses and many businesses will need to keep their grounds not just looking good, but in the cases of public parks, football and rugby pitches, bowling greens, and the previously mentioned golf courses, usable and playable. The cold, dark winter months may slow things down a bit, and reduce overall traffic, but they must still be available to the public and kept in good condition.
Upkeep Must Be Sustainable
Today, all businesses and organisations (and hopefully private individuals) must be conscious of the conservation of resources. Water is a key one. We all know that a well-kept lawn requires watering. When doing that at home with a garden hose, controlling the amount of water we use is not that difficult. Imagine, though, having acres and acres of property to keep up on a golf course or in a park. This is normally done with underground pipes that transport the water to the locations it is needed and run up to sprinkler heads. With the ever-increasing cost of water from the mains, the potential for increased regulation of water use, and the pressure from environmental organisations, monitoring and measuring the flow is a challenge that must be met. Only my measurement can the water use be managed.
Methods of Conserving
There are many ways that groundskeepers can work to improve efficiency in their use of water. Much of this will come from their training and education. Knowing what time of day is best for watering the particular type of grass in a given area allows them to choose times that keep absorption rates high and loss to evaporation low. There are rainwater collection systems being used that collect rainwater that would otherwise go down storm drains. The water thus collected can be used on lawns or playing surfaces.
Another area that aids conservation is the management of the soil conditions. Making sure that the water doesn’t simply run off is vital. It must be absorbed into the soil to reach the roots of the greenery. Scarification, spiking, and aeration all help in this regard.
Use of Technologies
There is hardware available that the more advanced grounds keeping efforts put into play to maximise water efficiency. There are specialise sprinkler heads available that direct the flow most accurately. There are soil sensing devices that ensure that watering is only undertaken when necessary. There are also flow meter than can, and should be used to keep a close eye on overall use. Having a record of the amount of water being used can also help identify and stop any underground leaks that happen from time to time in any system.
Water Management with Flow Meters
All these technologies will have a cost associated with them. Controlling those costs is important for the sustainability of the organisations responsible for their grounds. There are usually options available to them. Ultrasonic flow meters can be utilised in many ways, including models that do not require breaking into the pipe for installation. The sensors can be clamped onto the outside of the pipe with no loss of accuracy. This saves installation costs. It also does not require the watering system to be taken offline at all.