TUCSON, Ariz. — In 2013, Rain Bird launched “Project PRS,” an initiative aimed at educating irrigation contractors and their customers about the many benefits of pressure-regulating irrigation technology. Now, thanks to new, compelling research from the University of Arizona, Project PRS is well-positioned to continue its water-saving mission in 2015.
“In 2013, Rain Bird's Project PRS encouraged contractors to learn more about pressure regulating technology, install it at their customers' sites, monitor the resulting water savings and enter a contest to see who could save the most water,” said Anita Matlock, area specification manager for Rain Bird. “Over a period of just a few months, Project PRS received nearly 1,500 entries from contractors all across the United States who reported saving an amazing total of 215,485,448 gallons of water. We're continuing Project PRS because we believe there are still many people who are unaware of how much water and money they could save by simply swapping out standard sprays and rotors for those with integrated pressure regulation.”
Communities everywhere continue to face the problem of high water pressure. High water pressure causes irrigation systems to experience a higher water flow rate, which results in wasted water, higher water bills and even damaged system components.
Most rotors and sprays are designed to function best at recommended inlet pressures of 45 psi and 30 psi, respectively. Average water inlet pressure in the United States is 73 psi, with many sites exceeding 100 psi. These high inlet water pressures cause sprays and rotors to emit water as mist or fog which simply drifts away rather than landing on its intended target. For years, Rain Bird has offered sprays and rotors with patented pressure regulating stems (PRS) that maintain optimum performance regardless of inlet pressure.
In a recent independent study designed to measure the viability of Rain Bird's PRS technology, the University of Arizona's Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science evaluated eight different turf plots — four with PRS technology and four without. Researchers conducted 10 different tests measuring precipitation rate (PR), application efficiency (AE) and distribution uniformity (DU). Rain Bird's sprays and rotors with PRS technology had significantly higher AE and DU measurements than non-PRS sprays and rotors as inlet pressure increased. At 75 psi, PRS sprays and rotors used 14 and 20 percent less water.