Water

Water is a hot topic in Texas right now, as it should be.  Using & managing water responsibly should be the highest priority of any landscape  designer or contractor and should be of the utmost concern to every homeowner.  At Purple Fountain Tree, water is at the top of our list; every landscape design needs a water management strategy and we offer the full gamut.  Read below to learn about different methods of utilizing water to its full extent and then contact Purple Fountain Tree to see how you can utilize water even better.

CONSERVATION

Conservation is the first step and should be considered during every phase of your landscape’s development.  For a list of ways to conserve water indoors, click here.

IRRIGATION SYSTEMS

Here at Purple Fountain Tree, we try to devise a landscape plan that ideally wouldn’t require an irrigation system.  However, Texas droughts are unpredictable  and having an irrigation system simply as a backup strategy for supplemental water is much preferred to losing an entire lawn or landscape.  Many times, a well timed watering can get plants thru the summer and into the cooler temperatures of fall.  So Purple Fountain Tree strives to install the most efficient irrigation systems out there.  An efficient system starts with a good design.  Drip irrigation is our specialty and has many advantages over spray irrigation: zero water loss due to wind, slow application rate minimizes erosion & water waste, and water can’t be blocked by overgrown plants as it so often is with spray systems.  We prefer drip irrigation systems, even under lawns, but when we install a pop-up sprinkler system we use some of the most efficient heads & nozzles on the market.  One of the key factors that is overlooked when considering an irrigation system is the precipitation rate of the nozzle.  Applying water too fast to your lawn exceeds the infiltration rate, and can lead to erosion.  We prefer nozzles that apply water more slowly, like the Hunter MP Rotators.  We also prefer taller heads, 6″ or more, so that overgrowth doesn’t block the spray and we put check valves on all the heads to minimize  water loss.  We install controllers that help minimize water waste with rain sensors, freeze sensors or soil moisture sensors.  We even install the newest models that utilize real-time weather forecasts & can be controlled via your internet wifi like the BlueSpray controller.  BlueSpray is manufactured here in Austin, Texas.  In addition to using the most technologically advanced components, we also install the BluLock piping system made by HydroRain.  Conventional piping is made with the plastic PVC, polyvinyl chloride, and the manufacturing and recycling processes are more devastating to the environment as compared to polyethylene, the plastic utilized by Blulock.  To learn more about going PVC free, click here.

To view current water restrictions & to view your watering schedule for the City of Austin, click here.

RAINWATER SYSTEMS

One of the best tools for managing water is a Rainwater Harvesting System.  In a typical rain event, the water that hits your roof is usually lost.  For every 1000 sf of home area you have, you can collect 600gal of water in a 1″ rainfall event.  The volume of water that goes down your downspout, or drips off your eaves typically won’t be absorbed into the soil of your landscape  simply because there is too much water, too quickly.  Most of that water turns into runoff, and flows down the street or into the neighbors yard causing erosion and property damage.  So why not collect it?  Purple Fountain Tree is a rainwater harvesting system design & installation specialist.  We offer a wide assortment of tanks & cisterns anywhere from 55gal to 50,000gal and we install the pumps, filters and accessories.  Irrigating with rainwater is simple and gives your plants a chemical-free alternative to city municipal water which contains chloramines, fluoride and carbonates.  The City of Austin offers a Rainwater Rebate for citizens that want to harvest rainwater because it decreases stress on the city water infrastructure and increases awareness of water usage.  For more info, click here.   To learn more about rainwater harvesting systems, visit the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association page; Purple Fountain Tree is a Accredited Professional with ARCSA and is featured in their resource guide.  Or for some quick answers to frequently asked questions, check out the Texas Water Development Board site.  For rainwater and water conservation information related to Texas, check out the Texas Rainwater Catchment Association page.

Purple Fountain Tree also occasionally hosts Rainwater Harvesting Workshops in Austin, TX and the surrounding area.  If you prefer a more hands-on approach to this type of project, come learn from the pros first. To see if any workshops are coming up in the area, visit our workshops page.

 

GREYWATER SYSTEMS

Greywater is household wastewater from vanity sinks, clothes washers, showers & tubs.  This is in contrast to wastewater from the other fixtures, namely the kitchen sink & toilet, called blackwater.  Many people consider the kitchen sink greywater as well, but most authorities consider it blackwater because of the grease content.  A greywater system recycles this wastewater and utilizes it in your landscape instead of municipal water.  A greywater system can save a substantial amount of water on your bill and with a few minor adjustments is a healthy source of water for plants & trees.  Those adjustments include possibly changing your laundry & bath soaps, and being mindful of the cleaners you put down the sink.  Contact Purple Fountain Tree today to schedule a consult regarding your homes potential for a greywater.