As the largest city in our country, not near a major body of water, it’s no secret that Atlanta continues to be at risk for water shortage, which is why many of our clients come to us seeking efficient and ever-improving water management programs for their commercial properties.
These property managers of HOAs, medical campuses, industrial parks, and retail settings are interested in making the most of the water they use for commercial landscape irrigation, especially when threats of drought and watering restrictions are always looming.
We install and maintain two popular commercial irrigation systems across the Metro Atlanta area: drip irrigation and sprinkler irrigation. There is no one-size-fits-all water management solution. Both irrigation methods serve different purposes depending on the unique needs of your commercial landscape.
Here’s a closer look at drip vs. sprinkler irrigation for your commercial property.
What Is Drip Irrigation?
Drip irrigation — also known as micro-irrigation — is a localized, low-volume form of landscape irrigation. Through a network of valves, tubing, and emitters, this precise irrigation method has proven to reduce water and fertilizer usage by delivering or “dripping” water slowly, steadily, and directly to the intended target: the soil surface, root zone, or at the base of the plant, for instance.
Another form of drip irrigation is subsurface drip irrigation. This irrigation technique can be even more efficient by taking drip irrigation underground, thus removing the potential for surface evaporation and the formation of weeds.
Advantages Of Drip Irrigation
Drip irrigation can be more than 90 percent efficient for plants using the water emitted to them. This irrigation system can be designed and installed in both new and existing commercial landscapes. Here are a few more advantages that make drip irrigation appealing when water scarcity continues to be top of mind:
- irregularly shaped or sloped landscapes are easy to accommodate
- reduced weed prevalence
- reduced soil erosion
- uniform water distribution
- fertilizer targeting is improved; run-off risk diminished
- minimizes water contact with foliage reducing disease risks
Disadvantages Of Drip Irrigation
While the pros for adding a drip irrigation system to your commercial landscape are plenty, here are a few disadvantages to be aware of:
- harsh sun can damage the tubing
- tubing can clog — without proper filtering
- cannot be used for frost control, unlike sprinkler systems
- real-time watering effectiveness can be difficult to observe
What Is Sprinkler Irrigation?
Unlike drip irrigation, which can go relatively unnoticed in the landscape, sprinkler or spray irrigation systems are pressure-regulated spray heads and rotors. Advanced head nozzles break water up into tiny water drops that emulate rain.
Advantages Of Sprinkler Irrigation
On commercial properties, sprinkler irrigation can cover large areas like lawns. Here are a few more benefits sprinkler irrigation can bring to a commercial property:
- frequent and light irrigation to supplement minimal rainfall
- uniform water distribution
- systems can be easily mechanized and automated
- receptive to smart irrigation upgrades
- spray patterns are adjustable
Disadvantages Of Sprinkler Irrigation
Sprinkler irrigation on commercial properties will require expert calibration to achieve adequate coverage to a given area. If maintenance is neglected or equipment is tampered with, one faulty piece of the sprinkler system can make things inefficient or, worse, inoperable. Other potential disadvantages of sprinkler irrigation include:
- uneven water application from wind and extreme temperatures
- water loss from evaporation during irrigation
- wetting of foliage can increase the risk of disease and fungi growth
- improperly maintained spray angles near buildings and walkways can damage fixtures and cause slippery surfaces
Save Money And Water This Year — And Every Year
How efficient are the irrigation methods on your commercial property? Could drip irrigation or a new sprinkler system do wonders for your landscape and water bill? To achieve optimum efficiency from your commercial landscape irrigation, turn to the experts who can provide you with a state-of-the-art water management program.
HighGrove can help you save 20 to 40 percent of your water use through its KnowWater initiative – a budget-adaptable, customizable water management program for commercial properties.
From water consumption analysis to irrigation system renovation, HighGrove can provide you with a detailed commercial landscape irrigation plan that is cost-effective and sustainable. Call us at 678-298-0550 or use our simple contact form for a free consultation.