Whether you own multiple acres of land or a postage-stamp sized plot, chances are you spend significant time in the summer months watering your lawn and gardens. For people who get their water from a municipal water system, watering the yard not only means more time taken away from those precious warm-weather months, but more money spent on the water bill.
For people invested in getting the most out of their lawn and gardens, we recommend drilling an irrigation well and installing an irrigation system. The long-term money and time saved by an effective irrigation well and system will more than pay for the installation costs.
Irrigation systems are better for your yard
After years of hose spraying and sprinkler shifting, you might be surprised to learn that certain irrigation systems are better for your plants and will cut down on your weeding time. Instead of watering your garden by spraying it from above, specialized drip irrigation systems direct water specifically to each plant's root ball. This makes it harder for weed seeds to germinate, so you'll have less weeding to do. Watering at the roots also prevents leaf diseases and blight caused by standing droplets on the foliage.
Irrigation systems prevent over watering, which can leach important nutrients from the soil and away from your plants. Watering on the surface, as opposed to directly at the root, also compacts the soil, which can bring on root disease or cause plants to wither. A drip or sprinkler irrigation system produces small droplets, helping to preserve nutrients and reduce soil compaction.
But isn’t installing an irrigation system expensive?
Let’s look at the numbers. If you are an active gardener on city water, using an irrigation system with an irrigation well can save significant money over time. The average irrigation system runs for about 3 hours a day, but depending on the size of your property, the water usage could be more or less. If the cost of your city water is $3 per 100 cubic feet, a 3-hour run time would equal 300 cubic feet, or 1,800 gallons. At that price, daily watering on an irrigation system will cost $7.20 a day or $216 a month.
By running an irrigation system off of an irrigation well, the only cost to you beyond installation is electricity to run the pump. The average system, running 3 hours a day, would cost about 36 cents a day or $10.80 a month.
It costs $7,000 to drill the average well. With the cost savings on city water, the well would be paid for in about 6 years.
Other Irrigation Well Benefits
Once an irrigation well is installed, it is hardly noticeable in the average yard. It looks like a small capped pipe extending about 18 inches from the ground. You may also want to consider installing hose bibs on your house so you can access the well water for washing your car, filling the pool or spraying down the deck or patio. This will further reduce your city water usage and water bill.
The other benefit of an irrigation well is that you can continue to water your lawn under municipal water bans. Regardless of rainfall or drought, your lawn will be green when others around you have turned brown.