Inefficient Landscape Irrigation: Misting

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Water moving in excess of five feet per second causes significant misting which wastes water and money.

Today’s topic in our series, Inefficient Landscape Irrigation, is misting.

Misting can account for as much as thirty-five to forty percent of the water used by sprinkler heads.  Misting is almost always a hydraulic problem.  When a system attempts to use more water than it has available, when pipes are improperly sized, or when pressure is too high, the speed of the water moving through the pipes is increased.  Water moving faster that five feet per second will create a mush finer droplet when it exits the nozzle and this is what we see when misting is a problem.

The video below is a great example of inefficient irrigation and the money it costs homeowners, businesses and HOA’s through water waste.  This video also demonstrates poor head placement and improper nozzle sizing.  These three issues are very common and, as seen in the video, create significant waste.  The corrective action for misting is slowing the water down.  This can be accomplished by re-sizing pipe or by reducing the amount of water needed by changing nozzle type or size.

Feel free to share your experience with misting heads and please don’t ever hesitate to ask a question or provide a topic you would like to see us address in a future installment.  Happy Gardening!

John A. Taylor is Vice President of Operations for Zodega-TIS in Houston, Texas. He was awarded the 2013 EPA Partner of the Year Award for his water conservation efforts, sits on the state irrigation board (TXIA), chairs the sub-committee on government relationships and lectures on water conservation through conscientious irrigation and sustainable landscape design. Zodega-TIS focuses on sustainable landscape and irrigation solutions in the Houston market. John is a veteran of the Unites States Marine Corps and lives with his wife and children in the north Houston area.

John has blogged 12 posts here.

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