But there is good news! Technological innovations are occurring in the landscape irrigation industry. These innovations are highlighted in a recent article published in the monthly publication by the Washington State Chapter of Community Associations Institute (WSCAI). Check out the article, Weather Based Smart Control, written by Tom DiMeco

 Weather-based Smart Irrigation Control 

Weathermatic SmartLink Weather-Based Irrigation adjusts your irrigation controller daily based on the weather, increasing and decreasing irrigation based on that weather data. This saves 20-30% of normal water use.

Pacific Landscape Management has been utilizing Weather Based Irrigation for over a decade. PLM is now a Weathermatic Premier Partner allowing us to offer their SmartLink Wireless Landscape Network Weather Base Irrigation Control as a subscription, saving our customers the previously required a capital expenditure. For a small increase in the monthly fee, you will avoid the capital installation cost. 

See this video for a brief outline of this new technology.

Also, see this informational flier.

Additional Water Conservation Services

PLM has invested in evaluating and developing water conservation services and projects for our customers. To help conserve water and reduce your operational expenses, we offer the following services.


Weather-based irrigation is just the first step in conserving water. If the irrigation system has poor coverage, or if the landscape has changed as plants mature, adjustments to the system can be made to reduce water use and cost. 

That is why we have developed and are promoting our Water Conservation Plans.

We have developed a program for our customers - known as a Water Conservation Plan - which involves performing a detailed and thorough evaluation of the customer site and the irrigation system.

This evaluation identifies the appropriate irrigation modifications that need to be made in order to reduce water usage and save operational dollars. These modifications include:

  • Replacement of obsolete and failing components
  • Converting to drip irrigation and newer technologies
  • Adopting weather-based irrigation
  • Lawn-conversion for areas where it is impractical to effectively irrigate, regardless of the delivery system

See a video explaining the Water Conservation Plans that we provide to our customers.


Historically, most irrigation systems lack pressure-regulated sprinklers, which often leads to operating in an over-pressurized manner. Over-pressurization can cause water loss and contribute to uneven watering.

Pressure-regulating spray heads are a developing technology designed to regulate pressure to optimal performance. These spray heads include built-in regulators that maintain a more constant pressure for optimal nozzle performance.


Two reasons: Pressure regulation saves water and it is likely soon to be the law. 


Compared with non-regulated sprinklers, pressure-regulated sprinklers will use about 20-25% less water. And, if the nozzle breaks, pressure regulators are estimated to save 70% of the water that might have been spilled if using an older sprinkler system!


Sometimes water conservation is best achieved by changing the landscape as opposed to changing the irrigation system. This means giving up on lawn and converting to something else. Don’t get us wrong, we love lawn. Quite frankly, we make our living on managing and maintaining lawns. That being said, we also hate trying to maintain lawn where it won’t grow or where it's hard or expensive to maintain. The pictures above are examples of where lawn should not be.  

Why is lawn where is shouldn’t be? The simplest answer is that lawn is the cheapest part of landscape installation. When lawn is brand new on freshly prepared soil, it looks great. However, parking strips and parking islands are probably the worst place for lawn. There is concrete or asphalt on most or all sides, often times the soil is shallow or there is rock or asphalt below, irrigation coverage is difficult due to small odd shapes, and as tree roots develop, they compete for moisture.

We believe that parking strips and islands may take as much as 5-10 times as much irrigation to maintain. This is a bad combination to grow and maintain lawns. In addition, these areas are difficult and sometimes dangerous to maintain due to nearby cars and obstacles.

What is the Alternative? There are lots of options. Replacing lawn with just barkdust or some sort of groundcover are two options. We have experimented with sedum on green roofs but it has had marginal success. We are seeing locally and nationally the use of rock and we are very excited about that option. Below are several pictures of rock as a groundcover that is very attractive and easy to maintain. Rocks do not need water and never die. Some have expressed concern about the liability risk with rocks but we believe that is low. If someone wants to throw a rock through a window, they will find it even if there is no rock in the landscape. 

Our fall budgets will include proposals to convert lawns for water conservation and improve their appearance. See our website for more details:



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