How is your Twin Cities MN commercial irrigation system performing?

Plain and simple. Your commercial irrigation system is almost certainly using way too much water. And that excess water usage is driving several consequences.

  1. You’re flushing money down the drain
  2. You’re throwing clean water away

At Conserva Irrigation Twin Cities, our company was founded with the premise of conserving water used for irrigation. We help our residential clients use 40% – 60% less water in their irrigation system and want to help you do the same.

How do we do that? It starts with smart technology. We use only Toro® irrigation technology. Both Toro and Conserva Irrigation work to ensure your turf and landscaping get only the right amount of water. Sufficient irrigation is never sacrificed. Toro is an over 100 year old company dedicated to turf and landscaping management. Toro, and Conserva both realize that overwatering can be just as damaging as not providing enough water.

Here’s how we can help you reach the optimal level of water usage for your facility and help you use 40% – 60% less water on irrigation. We utilize our proprietary tiered audit system to identify inefficiencies in your system. In our Tier 1 audit, we measure irrigated acreage via aerial photography. We obtain water usage reports from the corresponding municipalities and determine application efficiencies and inefficiencies. We then determine the water usage goals and determine both technology and process to manage and reduce your water usage.

If we need more data to determine the efficiencies and inefficiencies, we conduct a Tier 2 audit. In this audit, we evaluate all system zones and record/observe the controller and system functionality in order to document system repairs and improvements.

Next steps? After the system audit, we recommend critical repairs and adjustments. We then perform a Conserva technology retrofit. This includes replacing simple timers with the Toro EVOLUTION®  smart controller. We also pair on-site weather stations with Toro Precision soil moisture sensors if necessary. After optimizing your system performance, we work with you to monitor and maintain your system.

Let us bring our passion, process and technology to you. Call us to engage in optimizing the performance of your irrigation system. Call (763) 434-5414. We look forward to your call.

It’s September. Do you know how or when to winterize your irrigation system?

Minneapolis sprinkler winterizationIt won’t be long until it starts getting cold. Here in the Minneapolis and Twin Cities area, it’s time to start thinking about storing our boats for the winter, time to start thinking about closing up the pool for the winter and also time to think about winterizing your sprinkler system.

The reason I mentioned the above 3 tasks is because they all have to do with water. As we all know, if we choose to not winterize our boat or pool on time (or at all), damage will occur, causing us much grief and costing us lots of money to repair.  The same holds true for your irrigation system. Water freezing within your system can be devastating and very costly.

Here at Conserva of Twin Cities, our goal is to make sure no sprinkler system goes un-winterized. That’s why we charge only $65 to winterize your entire residential system – no matter the size. When we tell you about our process, you’ll be even more amazed at the low cost. While many irrigation contractors will run some air through the lines until the next closest head stops releasing water, we spend time on every single head making sure your entire system is taken care of professionally. Often this effort pays off in more ways than one.

Water seeps down, air bubbles up

It’s quite possible that you could have lateral line leaks, a hole in your drip irrigation lines, or leaking seals on the bottom side of your sprinkler heads and never know it. Here’s why. Water drips downward so if part of your system is losing water, you may never know. It’s easy to see a broken head but you may never notice leaks in your irrigation lines. These leaks could have been caused by animals chewing on the line or from a quick slice from a gardening tool. Not only could you be literally dumping water this season, think about all the seasons to come.

When Conserva Irrigation winterizes your system, controlled compressed air is used to evacuate the water from the water lines.  At the same time, our certified technician observes Minneapolis sprinkler blowoutsthe process zone by zone, head by head, and takes notes accordingly.  If we see air bubbling up, we know we’ve found a problem. Before we leave, we provide you with transparent flat rate pricing for fixing any leaks or holes in your system. If you want to wait until the next season to make the fixes, you will know exactly what to budget. Be assured that when you call next year, our office staff will have the same exact estimate in front of them when the appointment is set.  And when our technician arrives, they too will have access to the agreed upon repairs – ensuring that you have the best, most efficient irrigation system that utilizes only the right amount of water at the right times for the right irrigation.

Over 46 million residential sprinkler systems need to be winterized in the U.S. Here at Conserva Irrigation of the Twin Cities, our goal is to provide the best winterization for our Minneapolis, St. Paul and the surrounding metro.

We winterize all systems

No matter who installed your system or which brand it may be, we at Conserva want to winterize it for you. Do you have an older system that might need to be upgraded in the next

Russ Jundt Conserva Irrigation Co-Founder

Russ Jundt
Conserva Irrigation Co-Founder

year or two? That’s the best reason to have us winterize your system. We will provide a priced list of what needs to be updated on your system. You determine when you want to make those upgrades. We want to help you plan for the most efficient sprinkler system.

Give us a call now to set up winterization for your Minneapolis irrigation system. Call 763-434-5414.

Call us early so we can work hand-in-hand with your landscaper

install_irrigation_hand-in-hand_with_landscaper_MinneapolisAre you preparing to add new landscaping or possibly a new deck, patio or pergola? Now is the time to think about your current or future irrigation to make sure your money doesn’t go down the drain, literally. In our recent article Tales from the Irrigation Crpyt, you read that all too many times new yard additions cover up, break or completely bury existing sprinkler lines and heads. Even worse, not thinking about your irrigation lines before adding new landscaping or outdoor structures could require ripping up your turf, gardens or structures to get irrigation to other parts of your yard or property in the future.

So here’s the question. Should you use your landscaper to install your irrigation system?

Your landscaper is going to design and install beautiful landscaping for your yard. Should you have them install your irrigation system too? Many landscapers offer irrigation as one of their services but most often they will sub out work. Indeed we work with several of the Twin City’s top notch landscapers who utilize our skill set and expertise for that critical part of the job. What you do need to worry about are landscapers who attempt to install irrigation themselves when it’s not their core service. We know it’s tempting to have someone who’s already in your yard just take care of a few extra things but your irrigation system is an investment not only in your system but in all your future water bills.

How much does it cost to have us come out and do a pre-landscape visit (PLV)?

Nothing.

There is no cost to you. We want to work with you to protect your investments now and in the future. We want you to get the most efficient system that will not require any retrofitting, redoing or rebuilding.

Why Conserva?

water_leak_under_patio_minneapolisConserva Irrigation of the Twin Cities is here for the life of your landscaping and backyard improvements. Don’t let us be an afterthought in your landscape design project. While we may be the last guys to install, we are vital to keeping your investment alive well into the future. We are here to make your plants flourish and grow without over or under-watering them, a job best left to the water experts.

Russ Jundt Conserva Irrigation Co-Founder

Russ Jundt
Conserva Irrigation Co-Founder

At Conserva Irrigation, we want every irrigation system to be working at peak efficiency. Contact us to install your new Minneapolis irrigation system or to schedule your FREE INSPECTION on your existing system. Give us a ring at (763) 434-5414, email us at twincities@conservairrigation.com or visit our website at www.conservairrigation.com. We look forward to hearing from you and helping make your irrigation system an efficient water conservation system.

Tales from the irrigation inspection crypt: buried sprinkler heads waste gallons of fresh water while leaving your lawn brown

“I don’t need an inspection of my irrigation system, it’s working just fine.”

Are you sure? With your Twin Cities sprinkler system being completely buried under ground would you know if you were having a problem? There are so many variables to running an efficient irrigation system from current weather, to what happened over the winter and who has been doing work in your yard lately. It is vital that you have a regular inspection to find anything that could be unseen underground wreaking havoc on your lawn, garden and your water bill. With Conserva Irrigation of the Twin Cities an inspection is completely free, so you have nothing to lose.

planting_a_tree_twin_citiesWhat you don’t know, can hurt you

Your system appears to be working fine. You don’t see any broken sprinkler heads above ground, so everything is great, right? Maybe not. Instead of telling you what could happen, let us tell you about hidden problems we have seen in the hundreds of free inspections we’ve done.

Underground lines are cut

Whenever your landscaping is changed by you or anyone else you should have us do a free 12-point inspection. We’ve found lines cut and leaking underground from a customer planting a tree nearby. This can cause high long term water costs as it may be impossible to detect with a naked eye. We’ve also discovered breaks in lines occurring from winter conditions beyond anyone’s control. The natural shift in the land from the freeze/thaw effect can and does affect your irrigation. Do you have any burrowing rodents? A mouse or ground hog can dig around causing sinking around lines that lead to breaks and cracks and leaky lines.

Night time watering can lead to unnoticed issues

night_irrigation_minneapolisLocal homeowners who run their sprinkler system at night (and they should) were unaware of an issue with their system until it had been going on for a long time. They noticed some brown spots in their lawn and were unsure of what could possibly be happening. When we did our free 12-point inspection we were able to identify that the 3 zones in that area of his yard were not working at all, find the reason why they were not working and fix them. If you’re system runs when you are not home or asleep, there could be any number of issue or inefficiencies that you are unable to observe.

The destruction, covering or burying of sprinkler heads

We recently went out for a free 12-point inspection and discovered that a sprinkler head had been concreted into a new fence post. When work is done on your property things like this can happen. We’ve seen fences put up with sprinkler heads ending up on the outside of the fence. We’ve seen patios and sheds placed right over sprinkler heads. Just the other day we found a sprinkler head buried in asphalt from a driveway expansion.

Natural maturation of landscape requires adjustments

mature_landscapes_need_water_too_Conserva_MinneapolisThink about the natural changes in your landscape. Did a once small bush spread out across the entire length of your fence over the past few years? Is part of that bush not getting the water it needs? Did a small tree grow very large? That now large tree has large spreading roots that can easily disrupt your irrigation system. Maybe you’ve added some more trees, bushes and perennials since your installation? We can retrofit and add micro irrigation to make sure your new plants and now matured plants are getting the amount of hydration they need.

With our free 12-point evaluation you can at the very least have the peace of mind knowing that there are no issues with your system. We’ll provide you with a System Efficiency Score from 1-100 along with a flat-rate quote for any repairs, so you will know right away just what it will cost with no hidden surprises later. While there might be nothing wrong with your system, you may learn about some new technologies that could be added to save you water and money. Most people over-water by 50%. By adding new technology you can reduce your water bill by 40-60% allowing you to irrigate responsibly and more affordably.

Russ Jundt Conserva Irrigation Co-Founder

Russ Jundt
Conserva Irrigation Co-Founder

At Conserva Irrigation, we want every irrigation system to be working at peak efficiency. Contact us to install your new Minneapolis irrigation system or to schedule your FREE INSPECTION on your existing system. Give us a ring at (763) 434-5414, email us at twincities@conservairrigation.com or visit our website at www.conservairrigation.com. We look forward to hearing from you and helping make your irrigation system an efficient water conservation system.

Innovation in irrigation is a reality with the Toro EVOLUTION® Controller

Toro EVOLUTION smart connect irrigation controller Minneapolis 900

Like fine wine, your irrigation will improve year after year with the Toro EVOLUTION® Controller. In the past, when the controller technology for your irrigation system is hung on the wall it is the best it will ever be. That is not the case anymore. At Conserva Irrigation of the Twin Cities we use the Toro EVOLUTION® Controller which is truly an evolution for sprinkler systems. By being completely updateable with new firmware as well as being able to be upgraded later with the addition of more sensors and new features as they come out it will continue to improve with age.

With its flexibility across the board the Toro EVOLUTION® Controller is the best option in irrigation control systems. With so many amazing features to offer, we would need to write a book to tell you about all of it. Here are the top features you’ll enjoy:

Historical weather data availability

The Toro EVOLUTION® Controller has the exclusive function of being able to use past weather data from your area to better control your irrigation system. Adjusting your peak watering schedule with annual weather data is a great way to run an efficient system, but with the added benefit of 40 years of historical data to factor into your monthly adjustments you can save up to 20% more on your water usage. No other controllers offer a history of weather data built right in.

User friendly interface

TORO_186By getting rid of the standard old fashioned dial that was super confusing and non-intuitive, the Toro EVOLUTION® Controller has a simple-to-use digital interface that is a breeze to use. With this new interface comes the ability to name your zones in ways that are more easily decipherable. Zone 1, Zone 2, and so on is a thing of the past. Now you can name your zones “Azaleas”, “Veggies”, “Oak tree”, “Right Side” or any other name that would make sense for your home and yard. And with the addition of an easy to use Water Now button you can quickly turn your sprinklers on any time you want.

Upgradeable, programmable and reprogrammable

What you see is not what you get. The Toro EVOLUTION® Controller is completely upgradeable, computer programmable and reprogrammable. With a standard thumb drive your firm ware can be updated every time the innovators at Toro improve it. Not only that, with the addition of Smart Connect™ it can wirelessly communicate with weather sensors, soil sensors, wireless relays and a handheld remote. These items can be added and removed for later upgrades or changes to your system. For example when newer functionality becomes available such as flow sensing, you will get it.

Russ Jundt Conserva Irrigation Co-Founder

Russ Jundt
Conserva Irrigation Co-Founder

With a multitude of other innovative features, the Toro EVOLUTION® Controller beats the competition and really holds true to the Conserva Irrigation core value of innovation. At Conserva Irrigation, our core values are a way of life and our standard course in everything we do. Contact us to install your new Minneapolis irrigation system or to schedule your FREE INSPECTION on your existing system. Give us a ring at (763) 434-5414, email us at twincities@conservairrigation.com or visit our website at www.conservairrigation.com. We look forward to hearing from you and helping make your irrigation system an efficient water conservation system.

At Conserva Irrigation, values are not an afterthought, they drive everything we do

Many companies have penned a mission statement and core values. Most often these are established after the fact. Perhaps it is to retroactively instill a particular sensibility among its staff. Perhaps it’s when the company is large or distributed enough that something should guide their day-to-day decision making. Perhaps a board or new management wants to ensure that future goals and processes stay in line. Or worse yet, maybe these are established out of a sense of responsibility to have them.

Because we are in the business of conserving water used for irrigation, what we do has to be a values-led proposition from the very start. And it is. While irrigation systems seem like simple systems from the “surface”, a lot goes on under the surface, behind the scenes, with the technology, and in the installation process.

Last week I was working with Conserva Irrigation with team members on a mission to install a system. Because of rain, we were not able to install that day but we planned, prepared, organized, pre-fitted, marked, color coded and attended to every other possible detail to ensure the installation would be performed properly and effectively by a different set of technicians that would be returning for the actual installation.

Professionalism, protocol and process

At Conserva, professionalism is core value #1. That professionalism is extended not only to the customers we serve but to each other, our customers and even to our customers’ neighbors as you’ll see in the video below. During our pre-installation process, we marked the neighbors’ sprinkler heads to ensure no disruption to their system. We fully pre-prepped the installation not only to ensure the installers did the job right but as a nod indicating our professional courtesy and respect to our team partners. Take a look at the pre-installation at this home.

Innovation is another driver and core value in accomplishing our goals of effectively installing the best water conserving irrigation systems. As you saw in the video above, we use only Toro products because they are the most innovative products available on the market.

The work we do, from selecting partners and innovative technology, to installing, to servicing, is values led, professional and environmentally responsible from before we say the word go.

Russ Jundt Conserva Irrigation Co-Founder

Russ Jundt
Conserva Irrigation Co-Founder

At Conserva Irrigation, our core values are a way of life and our standard course in everything we do. Contact us to install your new Minneapolis irrigation system or to schedule your FREE INSPECTION on your existing system. Give us a ring at (763) 434-5414, email us at twincities@conservairrigation.com or visit our website at www.conservairrigation.com. We look forward to hearing from you and helping make your irrigation system an efficient water conservation system.

Can we really do what we say? Can we really save 40 – 60% on your Twin Cities irrigation system’s water bills?

As we’ve noted before, it’s a little odd that we are in the business of irrigation but at the same time committed to conserving water. But we are. We’ve found a great way to be environmentally conscientious, conserve water, and drastically cut down your watering bill. Here’s how.

Toro Evolution Controller ET Weather Sensor and Soil Sensor Minneapolis

The 3 Toro irrigation system components above are what we like to think of as the trifecta in turning your irrigation system into a smart and water conserving system. These 3 critical components work with each other to make sure your system delivers the right amount of water, at the right time, delivered by the right products.

To the left on the picture above is the Toro EVOLUTION® Controller. The controller stores 40 years of weather data specific to your latitude and longitude. The stored weather is E.T. data or EvapoTranspiration data, meaning, what evaporates through the air or transpires from the plant material. Think of E.T. as the opposite of rain – the amount of water that leaves the earth. Basically, it stores data on what goes back up after the rain.

Our goal as irrigators is to replenish what was taken away but we want to do that in a smart way. As you know, the weather has been atypical the last couple years. It has not been weather normal. That brings us to the second component – the Toro ET Weather Sensor. At about the size of a fist, the ET sensor records what is happening right now on that exact property and communicates that data back to the controller. That way weather past is having a conversation with weather present; and this conversation takes place every night.

While the Controller has 40 years worth of weather data, the tiny fist-sized Toro ET Weather Sensor collects lots of “right now” data. It collects data on cloud activity. It has a UV indicator. The peg at the top is a water sensor which records a rainfall event. The bottom portion of the sensor collects on-site ambient temperature and employs an algorithm to take humidity into consideration.

The smart override

What if all the data indicates that it’s time to irrigate but the ground itself says no? The Toro Precision™ Soil Sensor has two 6″ stainless steel probes in the earth. If the earth around that particular zone doesn’t need watering, those sprinkler heads will not go off. Have you ever gritted your teeth when yours or someone else’s irrigation system goes off while it’s raining? Not gonna happen with Toro and Conserva. Just not going to over water. And that… is what saves you 40 – 60% on your irrigation.

Russ Jundt Conserva Irrigation Co-Founder

Russ Jundt
Conserva Irrigation Co-Founder

To schedule your FREE INSPECTION in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul community, we welcome your call. Give us a ring at (763) 434-5414, email us at twincities@conservairrigation.com or visit our website at www.conservairrigation.com. We look forward to hearing from you and helping make your irrigation system an efficient water conservation system.