Review Category : Water Conservation

Mala Ua: A Hawaiian Rain Garden

At one time, rainfall percolated into our island aquifers or flowed relatively clean into nearby water bodies as part of the water cycle.  As our lands have become developed, the installation of impervious surfaces, which prevent runoff from infiltrating into the ground, has changed the way water interacts with the environment.  As a result, less water is reaching our aquifers and an increased amount of polluted storm water is reaching our streams and ocean. Following rain, storm water picks up pollutants such as fertilizers, trash, and sediment carrying these to storm drains which empty directly into our streams and near shore marine environments.  Hui o Koʻolaupoko (HOK) is working to address these issues by installing rain gardens and other low-impact retrofits throughout Ko’olaupoko. A rain garden is a shallow, flat-bottom garden bed designed to serve as a collection and treatment site for storm water runoff from rooftops, driveways, walkways, streets, or parking lots.  Through the process of infiltration and phytoremediation, rain gardens can remove pollutants from runoff before water recharges aquifers or... ...

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Irrigation System Check Up

As we head into the dry summer season, it is absolutely essential that a complete check of your or your clients irrigation system be among your top priorities. The worst thing you can do for your landscape is to wait until the last minute when you need the system operating to find you have problems. Scheduling a thorough inspection and run-through of irrigation systems in advance of when needed will save time, money and headaches associated with malfunctions. Recommended Irrigation Check List • Is the controller working properly? An unresponsive controller may be an indicator of damaged components or improper voltage required to perform successfully. If your controller should be operating at 120 volts, and a simple check if it’s operating at an over or under voltage condition which will cause harm to the controller. On larger systems, check the communications between the controller and the central control system computer to make sure everything is communicating properly. •Check each zone. Valve wiring are generally the first function of the controller system to... ...

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Proclamation: Governor Proclaims July LICH Irrigation Conservation Month

At our October 2009 LICH conference, at the Blaisdell, while still LICH President, I called for a new committee to see what could be done to improve water conservation, especially in landscape uses, for Hawaii.  Several dedicated committee members stepped up, including Alan Schildknecht, of Irrigation Consultants, Mel Villoria of HISCO, Lanky Morrill of DLNR, Cat Sawai of BWS, and Neal Fujii of the State Water Commission. We met every month and discussed what could be done.  I was especially interested in finding ways to encourage the use of simple but effective sensors and new timers that automatically adjust watering cycles to local weather conditions.  Others who came and participated in the discussions included Richard Quinn of Helber, Hastert & Fee, and Matt Flach, the landscape architect for Pearl Harbor, ands at the 2010 conference, Elson Gushiken of Irrigation Technology Corporation.  We participated in the County of Maui’s development of new landscape codes.  We provided text for a possible Hawaii legislative resolution in 2010.  After Chris Dacus came on board,... ...

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LICH Seeks Comments on Irrigation Water Conservation Specifications

LICH seeks comments on Irrigation Water Conservation Specifications. The LICH Irrigation Water Conservation committee has developed a draft version of specifications and design guidelines. This first draft is formatted for State of Hawaii construction specifications. We would appreciate your comments. Download the STATE Guidelines for Designing an Irrigation System and STATE 616 Irrigation System Construction Specifications. Comments due by 10/15/13.                                                                       – Construction Specifications. ...

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Irrigation Programming For 2013

How long do you run your controller for? It’s amazing how often I walk up to an irrigation controller and look at how long each station is scheduled to operate.  Regretfully, it’s more of the norm to see spray heads set to water 15, 20, even 30 minutes every day, applying up to an inch of water, when they only need to run 6 or 7 minutes per day. So how long should you run your systems:  Today, most spray-type sprinklers apply 1.5” to 2” of water per hour?  The average evaporative losses on Oahu are about 0.18” so on an average day, in theory you need to irrigate less than 7 minutes per day to replenish the full ET.  However, not all plants need full ET and not all areas will be the same. A protected shady area of your property may only have losses of 0.12” or less while a dry, windy area that exposed to full sun will be higher.  Each plant type has a different crop... ...

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