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Water efficient practices

Install an Automatic Irrigation System

Automatic irrigation controllers are programmable electronic timers which switch irrigation stations on and off at specified times. They are highly recommended because they:

  • Are convenient and save time
  • Can be easily adjusted (or automatically self adjusted) to suit the climatic conditions/seasons
  • Reduce the likelihood of over or underwatering when managed properly

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Consider Installing Water Saving Technologies

These can be inexpensive devices that are easily fitted to most automatic irrigation systems, and can save water by irrigating based on the weather readings.

  • Evapotranspiration sensors and weather stations are sensors that will adjust the irrigation cycle based on a mixture of the current climatic conditions and the plant’s estimated water demand
  • Rain sensors disconnect the automatic irrigation system controller temporarily when a specific amount of rainfall has occurred
  • Soil moisture sensors modify the pre-set irrigation run time based on the amount of moisture in the soil, i.e. if it has rained recently and the soil is moist, it will either reduce the run time or may even stop the program temporarily

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Water efficient practices

Select the Best Irrigation Type

The various sprinkler types and their recommended application are detailed below:

Fixed Spray Sprinklers
Recommended Application:
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Fixed spray sprinklers have fixed radius heads set at a pre-set arc or a predetermined radius action. Position them so that they aren’t blocked by vegetation and don’t overspray onto paving.

Rotary Sprinkler
Recommended Application:
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Rotary sprinklers provide even water distribution in calm wind conditions. Like all spray irrigation, large spraying distances can result in water loss through evaporation and wind drift.

Gear Drive Sprinklers
Recommended Application:
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Gear drive sprinklers operate via water driven gears and usually require more water pressure to operate than rotary, spray or drip irrigation types. Gear drive sprinklers are vulnerable to water loss from wind drift and evaporation.

Drip Irrigation
Recommended Application:
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Drip irrigation is the most effective, water efficient means of irrigation available. Drip irrigation applies water on the ground and close to the root zone, effectively eliminating water loss due to overspray and wind drift. It can be mulched over, which further reduces the potential water loss through evaporation.

Micro Spray Irrigation

Not Recommended

Whilst micro sprays are inexpensive and easy to install, they have a number of disadvantages including higher maintenance requirements due to the spray heads clogging up, are quite easily damaged or vandalised, distribute a reduced, uneven spray pattern due to the fine droplet size, and lose a significant proportion of irrigation water due to wind drift and misting. These types of systems are not recommended.

Sprinkler head types have different precipitation rates and distribution areas. To ensure accurate, effective and uniform distribution across your garden you need to ensure sprinkler heads (or drip emitters) are all of a consistent type, size and model.

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Water efficient practices

Recommended Watering Times

The table below highlights the recommended watering times for the Geographe Bay that should be programmed for each hydrozone.

The plant selection and the sprinkler type in each of these hydrozone areas will determine the watering run times. ‘High resource needs’ hydrozone areas require an application of 10mm per watering day, the ‘medium resource needs’ zones receiving slightly less water application per watering day and ‘low resource needs’ hydrozones often require no irrigation.

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For properties with Scheme Water refer to Busselton Water/Water Corporation Rostered Watering Days. As of March 2014, between the 1st of September and 31st of May you can irrigate your property two days per week before 9am and after 6pm.

For properties with Bore Water refer to the Department of Water Domestic Garden Bores for the South West Area (Area 4). As of March 2014, between 1st of September and 31st of May bore users can irrigate any day of the week before 9am and after 6pm, but are encouraged to limit
watering to 2 days per week.

For all properties there is a complete winter sprinkler ban between the 1st of June and the 31st of August.