Texas A&M AgriLife faculty have designed and patented an irrigation runoff mitigation system, according to an article on newswise.com.
The system was developed by an interdisciplinary team of engineers, irrigation researchers and turfgrass experts who have spent the past two years designing a solution to conserve strained water supplies in municipal landscapes.
Leading the invention were Dr. Ben Wherley, Texas A&M AgriLife Research turfgrass ecologist, and Dr. Jorge Alvarado, Texas A&M University department of engineering technology and industrial distribution professor, both in College Station, Texas.
The team’s objective was to design a reliable, durable and low-cost Landscape Irrigation Runoff Mitigation System, or LIRMS, that could minimize irrigation runoff losses from residential or commercial landscapes.
Wherley said that in a series of tests comparing LIRMS-controlled irrigation versus industry standard irrigation practices, the LIRMS was able to reduce landscape runoff by up to 50% during a typical 1-inch irrigation event.
LIRMS detects and responds to the early stages of runoff, pausing irrigation and generating an automated cycle soaking through the duration of the allotted run period, decreasing runoff.
The system is composed of a sensor as well as a controller which can be installed when a new irrigation system is installed, or as an add on to an existing irrigation system.
The team says there is still room for improvement in the system and their future efforts will seek to improve efficiency of the system.
According to Wherley, the devices they’ve developed are simply prototypes since no company has licensed the technology yet. He says their patent covers any type of system that controls irrigation in response to detected runoff.
The product is currently available for licensing.