8 Things Every Landscape Architect Should Know About Irrigation

May 29, 2023 | Commercial Landscapes

We can’t get high levels of distribution uniformity (DU) using sprays when lawns and gardens are designed in odd shapes. 

Distribution uniformity refers to the evenness and consistency of water distribution across the irrigated area. As irrigation designers, using sprays, we can generally get a high level of distribution uniformity (Normally 85% +) in sprays across large expanses of turf or garden. However, the high level of uniformity is nearly always lost as we get to the edges of the irrigated area, especially when we have curved and oddly shaped edges.

A high level of distribution uniformity can be achieved in odd-shaped landscape areas by installing evenly-spaced driplines. Drip-in turf can be used. However, soil profiles must be considered when using driplines in turf.

So when you specify a level of expected DU (i.e 75%), remember that it can be achieved in large areas, but DU will likely decrease on edges.

 

You generally need a council permit to irrigate nature strips

Water meter sizes matter, especially when it comes to the amount of area you need to irrigate

We have a very loose general water meter sizing guide (Guide only – Site conditions change, and pressure boosting may be required).

20mm water meter, we assume we can achieve 20LPM

25mm water meter, we assume we can achieve 55LPM

32mm water meter, we assume we can achieve 75LPM

40mm water meter, we assume we can achieve 100LPM

Water meter sizing when considering the area to be irrigated

20mm < 2194m2 area

25mm <5280m2 area

32mm <7200m2 area

40mm <9920m2 area

All irrigation systems designed will deliver 35mm of water across the irrigated area over seven watering days. A watering day is 8 hours.

 

If the site we are working on is spread across multiple titles. Each title needs its water-tapping point.

This really can come into play in pocket parks across new estates. The water authority usually won’t allow us to cross a road from one pocket park to another with an irrigation main if each side of the road is on a different title.

 

Make sure the products you specify are distributed in Australia

Just because you found a product in an irrigation catalogue doesn’t mean it is available to the Australian Market. On occasion, the product may only be available with an NPT thread, whereas in Australia, we use a BSP thread.

 

WIFI irrigation controllers are complex in facilities that have intense security around internet use

Schools, aged care facilities, and govt departments have firewalls that may stop the WIFI controller from being able to connect to the site’s WIFI

 

Kids destroy driplines (and garden beds) around play equipment

As kids run through gardens, they kick away mulch and soil, exposing dripline. The drip is often then squashed, stretched, and broken.

 

New ways of irrigating are here, and more landscape architect tips!

Check out Linktap, Geodrops, and Irrigreen. These products are all in their infancy, but, IMHO, these new technologies are set to replace some of the more traditional forms of landscape irrigation. We are on Beta testing lists for the Geodrop and successfully use the Linktap!

We hope you’ve found this blog highly informative. Hopefully this blog has given insight into the key things every landscape architect should know about irrigation. Check out some Eco Stream Water articles for more tips from landscape architect experts.

 

Other articles that may be of interest

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