Every July is Smart Irrigation Month sponsored by the Irrigation Association, and this year, it’s more important than ever. With record-breaking heat across the United States and other regions, everyone is looking towards creative technology and solutions to conserve water. With the U.S. population projected to grow an amazing 42% between the years 2010 and 2050, water is becoming an increasingly rare resource. Fortunately, there’s a few ways everyone from the homeowner to the farmer that can do their part to conserve water with the latest filtration technology.
Residential Filtration Can Save Water, Energy, and Appliances
Smart Irrigation Month doesn’t apply just to farmers. In single family homes, outdoor uses like landscaping and irrigation account for nearly one third of homes’ water use, (followed by toilets and washing machines).
If you’re on a private well, an excellent way to conserve water is by installing a filtration system to effectively remove solids from your supply. Even landscape and irrigation water should be free of solids. Dirt and debris can block a sprinkler valve, permanently forcing it into the open position, potentially flooding a yard and wasting water. And in many regions, water waste can lead to heavy fines or penalties. A SandMaster separator installed before the pressure tank, or a TwistIIClean installed after it, is a great way to prevent this unnecessary flooding in your yard or garden.
Proper filtration in the home will also keep your faucets and appliances working efficiently and prevent them from clogging. According to the EPA, “water-efficient household appliances and fixtures can yield significant water savings, and careful selection of construction materials can conserve natural resources and improve indoor air quality.”
On top of all these benefits, smart water use can save energy: “Water treatment and distribution are highly energy-intensive, as are many water uses that involve heating, chilling, softening, or pressurizing it for various needs.” So by utilizing filtration, other equipment (like pumps) don’t have to work as hard, preserving energy along with water savings.
Reduced Backwashing Is Smart Irrigation
The water saving concepts in residential filtration also apply to irrigating farmland; care should be taken to prevent clogging and wasted resources. Sprinklers and drip emitters can clog, causing excess watering and energy waste. Media tanks like the ProII or SST are ideal for removing unwanted solids in these applications.
But to save even more water, media tanks can be paired with an IHB centrifugal separator to create a Backwash Reduction System (BRS). By stopping excessive backwashing, water loss can be prevented even further - now that’s Smart Irrigation! This separator can be connected to all existing sand media filters, regardless of size, manufacturer, or date of installation.
Smart Technology for Smart Irrigation
Computers, technology, and filtration are constantly improving and evolving. Not only that, but they can help each other evolve. One company has been leading the charge for continuous filtration technology improvement for over 40 years. LAKOS Separators and Filtration Solutions has been improving their patented centrifugal filtration technology for decades, along with paving the way towards better community filtration education.
Visit the all new Irrigation Filtration Solutions page TODAY to see what all the hype is about! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact the webmaster at the bottom of the page.
Part of their latest education efforts is the launch of a brand new webpage dedicated to irrigation filtration solutions. http://www.lakos.com/irrigation.htm uses the latest cutting edge technology to improve filtration education and enhanced state-of-the-art graphics aimed educating the world about the importance of irrigation filtration. The all new page features new content, organized tabs and icons for easy selection, as well as expanded news and events. The new design makes it easier for visitors to see the importance of smart filtration choices for irrigation, groundwater, industrial and heat transfer applications.
Filtration Puts the Freeze on Winter Crop Damage
Freezing temperatures have an impact on agricultural regions, causing damage to fruits and vegetable crops and forcing farmers to devise ways to protect their crops from frost damage. During these harsh winter months, many farmers turn to filtration to help protect their harvest. Using micro sprinkler systems, along with a proper filtration system, water can be sprinkled on to the produce, which then freezes, releasing heated energy onto the crops. The warmth from the liquid-to-solid-state transformation keeps the produce warm enough to avoid frost damage.In order for these micro sprinkler systems to work most effectively, filtration must be used to prevent the spray nozzles from clogging. Sand media filters are the perfect filtration solution for this situation, and for extra protection, a centrifugal sand separator can be installed before the sand media tanks in the water line to remove the larger dirt and solids before it reaches the tanks and other system parts.Irrigation Filtration Showcased at World Ag Expo Last WeekThe World Ag Exposition took place last week in the heart of the agriculturally rich Central California. The Expo --the world’s largest agriculture trade show -- prominently features irrigation and groundwater filtration solutions from around the globe.At the heart of this ag filtration show every year is the premiere brand in irrigation filtration: LAKOS Separators and Filtration Solutions. LAKOS sand media filters have been protecting irrigation systems, sprinklers, and drip emitters for decades. Their unique underdrain system provides an optimum, even flow, while providing longer operating cycles and the best backwash results in the industry.
New White Paper Explains The Importance of Irrigation Filtration
A new, recently published white paper explains in detail the importance of irrigation filtration and how to choose the right filter for each irrigation application. Written by an industry expert, this paper was presented at the annual Irrigation Association trade show and clearly illustrates the features and benefits of each option for irrigation and groundwater applications.
Available for the first time to the general public, CLICK HERE to download this resource of the Best Practices in the field of Irrigation Filtration.
Every year the Irrigation Association promotes irrigation best practices by honoring July as Smart Irrigation Month. The goal of the month long celebration is to raise awareness of water efficiency.
Water conservation is more important than ever this year, with many agricultural regions suffering from severe drought conditions. In Nebraska, over 1,100 farmers have been ordered to stop irrigating their crops with surface water, due to extreme drought. They will have to rely on groundwater to prevent the corn crop from dying. With these conditions, it’s important for farmers to utilize best practices in irrigation to get the most out of their water and equipment.
Filtration: An Irrigation Best Practice
According to the Irrigation Association, the best practices that irrigation systems should incorporate to ensure efficiency are:
- Assure Overall Quality of the Irrigation System
- Design the Irrigation System for the Efficient and Uniform Distribution of Water
- Install the Irrigation System to Meet the Design Criteria
- Maintain the Irrigation System for Optimum Performance
- Manage the Irrigation System to Respond to the Changing Requirement for Water in the Landscape
Implementing an effective filtration system is the perfect way to meet these guidelines.
For agriculture irrigation, the best decision is often to install a centrifugal separator upstream of sand media filters as a way to remove the larger sand and solids particles first (with the separator), and then the smaller particles and light organic next (using the sand media filters). Fewer and more efficient backwashing cycles are the result, leading to longer equipment life and less water waste.
Download FREE Filtration Information Guides
Download our Filtration Guides, complete with color photos and valuable advice on what types of filters to use. These filtration guides have all the information you need to start following Best Practices in irrigation filtration.
Download the Residential and Landscape Irrigation Solutions Guide, LS-847
Download the Agriculture Irrigation Solutions Guide, LS-848
The important role that water plays in California today and the battles over its usage are a harbinger of the issues other states and countries will face in the near future. Water is needed for residential use as well as in business, and in agricultural-rich California the water requirements for crop irrigation makes it even more important. So the desire to use water wisely is on the minds of everyone in California, and will continue to be even more so in the future.
A “Blue Revolution” Being Urged by Major Research Universities
As reported by National Geographic, three research universities -- including one in California -- are focusing their attention on water issues and asking tough questions about the best use of water and innovative methods and equipment to use it more wisely. The three universities are:
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which is about to begin a two-year campus-wide focus on water issues
- Michigan State University, which sits in the midst of the Great Lakes and is one of the most water wealthy areas in the U.S., and has more than 100 faculty members working on water issues and their own Water Sciences Center
- California State University at Fresno. Sitting in the middle of the Central Valley -- the most productive agricultural region in the world -- the university farms hundreds of acres of its own land in addition being home to the International Center for Water Technology (ICWT). The center is a test-bed for independent research and new technologies. In addition to the approximately 120 local companies with water-related interests, many in the valley are now calling this part of California the “Blue Tech Valley”. The university’s commitment to water research is growing even greater as it looks into the future and plans to add eight (8) new faculty positions over the next 2 years dedicated to water technology and water research. Their stated goal is to make Blue Tech Valley the Silicon Valley of water technology.
$1,000 Scholarships To Reward Water Study and Innovation
To aid in this push towards increased research and study in the field of water usage, two Blue Tech Valley companies -- the Claude Laval Corporation (LAKOS) and Laval Underground Surveys -- encourage today’s youth to strive for new water innovations by awarding two scholarships to students planning to work in this field.
Every year, two college students are each awarded $1,000 towards their education to study in some kind of a water related field. The Ben Everson Scholarships are named in honor of Ben Everson, a long time employee of both companies who personified the value of hard work, dedication, and belief in the future promise of America’s youth. Successful candidates for the scholarship must be part of a family with experience in the groundwater or irrigation industry.
Apply Before July 1st
The deadline to apply for this year’s scholarship is July 1st, 2012. Winners will be notified by August 1st. To apply for the scholarship, visit beneversonscholarship.com.
From the Thames River in England to Mitchell County, Georgia, this winter’s lack of rainfall is causing historical droughts all over the globe. This means that groundwater levels are at an unprecedented low, hitting hard in agriculturally rich areas like the Central Valley of California and many others. The most recent reports show that the California mountain snowpack is only at 30% of its historical average. That means farmers could get only 50% of the water requested for them by the public agencies that supply water for nearly a million acres of irrigated farmland in California.
This Week Is National Groundwater Awareness Week In The USA
With these record low levels of groundwater all over the world, it is important now more than ever to do our part to protect this precious resource. NGWA’s National Groundwater Awareness Week comes at a perfect time, as the weather starts to warm up and more water is needed for crops and other uses.
One of the best ways to preserve groundwater is by adding filtration to a water system. Residential filtration or filtration during irrigation are great ways to not only clean water from unwanted solids, but are also efficient ways of saving water. Sand build up can clog pipes, water treatment systems, appliances, and create problems for water heaters or pressure systems. A clogged solenoid or control valve stuck in the "open" position can cause over watering. Filtration can protect your water system from all sorts of problematic solids, such as sand, silt, grit, and algae. With increasingly limited amounts of available groundwater, it’s important that we use what we have to its fullest potential.
Growing Future Generations of Groundwater Preservers
As with all precious resources, having a protective industry is key to groundwater’s preservation. A network of thousands of professionals work every day to help conserve this natural resource. LAKOS is dedicated to expanding this important industry to future generations.
That’s why LAKOS is once again offering the annual Ben Everson Scholarship. The $1,000 scholarship is awarded each year to two students pursuing a college degree in a water related field.
Apply For FREE College Money TODAY!
Click here to see all of the details and to download the application form. The deadline to apply is July 1, 2012. All high school seniors and current college students are eligible to apply, but applicants must have a family tie to someone in the groundwater or irrigation profession. Let’s all stay focused on making the best use of water that we possibly can -- and continue to encourage new ideas and products that help use it in the most efficient ways possible.
Groundwater Innovation Moves Forward
Water in itself doesn’t seem new and exciting. It hasn’t changed much since the Garden of Eden. But the process in which we treat this precious resource is constantly evolving to be faster, cleaner, and more efficient. Groundwater plays an increasingly important role in ecosystems across the globe, so new technology and forward thinking are necessary to keep it clean for generations to come.
TwistIIClean Filter A Winner in Product of the Year Competition
Each year the organizers of the World Ag Exposition select their Products of the Year. Yesterday they made their selections for 2012, and the TwistIIClean sediment filter from LAKOS has been named to their list! The newest filter from the most trusted name in separator filtration eliminates cleaning hassles and keeps sand out of residential water supplies. The TwistIIClean will be on display at the World Ag Exposition in Tulare (California) on February 14-16, 2012, along with many other LAKOS Groundwater and Agricultural filtration products. The TwistIIClean received a Top-10 Honorable Mention in the competition.
Homeowners and Installers Alike Praise the TwistIIClean Filter
The World Ag Expo team of judges are not the only ones who have been impressed by the effectiveness of the TwistIIClean. Read some comments and testimonials from people who have already tried this product.
- "Once again LAKOS has come up with a functional and easy-to-use product. The TwistIIClean not only efficiently traps sand and sediment, but with a simple turn of the handle to flush and clean the unit, maintenance is a snap. From a company that always listens and responds to its customers, I would expect nothing less."
- " ...The fact that the TwistIIClean filter can be purged and cleaned without shutting down the pump, makes this filter the best I have used without doubt!"
The innovation that can be found in the TwistIIClean carries over into all of the LAKOS products, including separators that prevent sand damage to pumps and valves in water wells.
Pump Protection Separator Saves City Water Well
One city in Illinois desperately needed some filtration innovation at one of their municipal water wells that was supposed to provide clean water to residents.The well was so contaminated with sandstone grains that it had to be shut down. It seemed like their only option was to go through a rehabilitation process that could cost the city upwards of $150,000.
A LAKOS Pump Protection Separator (PPS) was installed in order to save the well that had been previously deemed unusable. For a fraction of what a complete rehabilitation would have cost, LAKOS successfully removed the sandstone grains that were infiltrating the city’s water.
Download The FREE City of Rochelle Case Study
Get the whole story on how LAKOS saved the City of Rochelle’s municipal water well from expensive well rehabilitation. Download the full case study with color photos here and quotes from the customer.
Over a year ago, we noted here how farmers and ranchers were embracing the latest communication technology in their normal work day. Thanks to the ever expanding digital world that we live in, agriculture technology has come a long way since that time.
Smart Phones and Mobile Apps On The Farm
It’s no secret that smartphone usage is on the rise. According to one Nielsen report, as of July 2011, 40% of mobile phone usage was with smartphones, and mobile data traffic has doubled in the last 12 months. Another stunning report shows that in the first six months of 2011 alone, Americans sent and received 1.138 trillion text messages. For farmers and ranchers, development of mobile applications running on these smart phones is also on the increase. Today there is a wide variety of mobile phone "apps" to choose from, including: seed selection tools, irrigation management, news and weather. Many more may be on the way, as recent trends indicate 2011 may end with 8 billion Android app downloads and 6 billion for the Apple Iphone. The two combined for 4 billion downloads in 2010. The modern farmer can carry all this technology around conveniently in his pocket. Together with Global Positioning Systems (GPS), this technology is changing the way farming is done.
For many in rural areas, utilizing the web through smartphones, tablets, and laptops is faster, cheaper, and more convenient than more traditional methods of communication. In the last 10 years, Internet access on farms has grown nearly 20%.
Cattle Ranchers Also Doing Things Differently
Technology is also changing life on the ranch -- and today's modern cattleman does things quite differently than Ben, Hoss, and the other Cartwrights did years ago (watch a rerun of Bonanza if you don't recognize those names). For instance, radio frequency identification (RFID) chips inserted into cattle ear tags help track their movements and determines how often they have been to a feeding area or other areas on the ranch. Electronic Identifcation readers (EID) mounted on posts and other locations read the tags as the cattle pass by (much like a bar code wand can read a bar code in a physical goods inventory). Other pedometry tools measure cow leg activity as a predictor of preferred breeding times.
One family-run dairy farm that has been in operation since 1783 recently installed fiber optics lines, web cams, and wireless internet throughout their new, state-of-the-art barn. Now they can remotely keep an eye on a pregnant cow, or even know when one in the herd might be sick. Computers track the milk production of each cow, and when averages are low, it can indicate an illness.
Other Innovative Agricultural Products
Innovation is not limited to improved communication devices, but includes other products used on the farm as well. Many farms and ranches rely on wells for fresh water to feed crops and cattle, and with that can come unwanted sand and contaminants in the water supply. Sand can clog or damage the impellers and bearings in submersible and turbine pumps. Filtration solutions can prevent this from occuring. As an alternative to filtering the sand before the water leaves a well, solutions also exist to deal with sand as it enters a residence. A new filtration combination can be the answer to dirty water problems at homes and on farms and ranches throughout the world.
One family in Arizona was facing a severe sand problem in their residential water supply. They found the answer to their water dilemma in a powerful centrifugal separator and sediment filter. They installed a LAKOS SandMaster Plus alongside a TwistIIClean sediment filter, with each handling a different part of the problem. Together that combination saved countless dollars by preventing sand damage to home appliances and other equipment repairs.
Download the Latest Case Study Details NOW!
Click Here to download your FREE copy of this new case study - complete with color photos and installation details - to see how the LAKOS SandMaster Plus and TwistIIClean saved the day for this Arizona family!
A photograph of a LAKOS PPS Pump Protection Separator being installed for the City of Rochelle, IL Water Utility is the latest Grand Prize Winner in our “Where in the World is a LAKOS Solution?” Photo Contest. The winning photographer -- Dick Milaeger -- took the winning photo and won a new Ipad2. Mr. Milaeger not only took a great photograph, but also explained in detail how the LAKOS PPS was being installed to prevent sandstone pitting and other damage to the high flow submersible pump used on one of the city's main water wells.
Photo Program Guidelines
Monthly finalists are selected from all submissions that month, based upon the (a) quality of the photograph and (b) details of the installation provided by the photographer. The monthly finalists compete against each other in the quarterly contest for a chance to win our Grand Prize, an iPad2. The contenders for this Grand Prize covered entries received from July through September. Photo entries ranged from a LAKOS HTH Separators installation in Abu Dhabi, to an ILB Separator installed at a resort in the Bahamas, to a JPX Separator system in Boise, Idaho.
Finishing 2nd and 3rd in the contest were two photographs of different LAKOS residential filtration products, including:
2nd Place: Photographer Tim Regello with his picture of a SandMaster Plus installed near a home in San Marcos, CA. It is used to filter irrigation water from a residential irrigation well.
3rd Place: Photographer Mike Wiesenberg with his photo of a residential TwistIIClean installation in Orlando, FL. This sediment filter is used to pre-filter water as it enters a home and prevents the whole house filter from getting clogged.
October-November-December Contest Has Begun
The contest continues each month through the end of 2011, with monthly finalists selected at the end of every month. The October deadline is coming soon. Subsequent monthly winners will be chosen after November and December entries are judged. The next iPad winner will be announced in January.
Send Us Your Photo Today!
The October competition closes in just a few days, and time is running out to enter in 2011. Don't miss out on this chance ! To enter a photo of a LAKOS product into the competition, visit photo.lakos.com. You could be the next winner of an iPad2!
Organized by the Irrigation Association, Smart Irrigation Month highlights the month of July as a time to raise awareness about simple practices and new technologies in irrigation that can save us all money and reduce waste of this great natural resource. Smart Irrigation Month also educates the public on local water management problems and provides an outlet for problem solving, encouraging businesses, homeowners, and growers to maintain and improve irrigation in their communities.
Some Facts About Irrigation
Did you know:
On average, it is estimated that home owners “over water” their lawns and landscapes by on average 30% ? By selecting and planting carefully, watering wisely, and maintaining and upgrading automated irrigation systems, consumers can save money, save water, and see better results. The Irrigation Association has some educational material to help accomplish this goal.
Separators and Sand Media Filters: A Smart Choice for Smart Irrigation Month
Installing a centrifugal separator and/or sand media filter would not only benefit you for Smart Irrigation Month, but for years to come. Separators used in either a residential or agricultural setting will not only serve the primary purpose of removing sand and grit that can plug drip emitters and create inefficiencies in a water system, but they also carry the added bonus of saving water and energy. In agriculture irrigation settings, the best decision is often to install a separator upstream of sand media filters as a way to remove the larger sand and solids particles first (with the separator), and then the smaller particles and light organic next (using the sand media filters). Fewer and more efficient backwashing cycles are the result, leading to longer equipment life and less water waste.
FREE Irrigation Filtration Guides
Download one of our FREE Irrigation Solutions Guides today, and learn more about the different ways your dirt-and-sand created irrigation problems can be solved by proper filtration.
Download the Residential and Landscape Irrigation Solutions Guide, LS-847
Download the Agriculture Irrigation Solutions Guide, LS-848
The tools and equipment for a successful farming operation have always changed with the times. Fields once cultivated with a horse and plow are now handled by air-conditioned tractors in many areas. Hand written accounting systems are now processed by computers. Plans for the placement of irrigation systems were once scratched in the dirt or on paper, and now they may use GPS and field-mapping software for proper design. It should be no surprise to find that farmers have embraced the Internet for news and information gathering, as well as this relatively new tool called "social media."
CNN reports that a 2007 census by the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows high-speed Internet access doubled on U.S. farms between 2005 and 2007, jumping from 13 percent to 27 percent. That is still less than the general U.S. population, but it's growing faster. According to government statistics, 55 percent of U.S. farms had Internet access in 2007 compared with 62 percent of homes in the U.S. overall. And social media activities are growing quickly in popularity as a communications and marketing tool. A recent American Farm Bureau Federation survey (pg.4) of farmers and ranchers ages 18-35 indicates that among the 92 percent who use computers, 46 percent regularly use social media.
Social Media Defined
Social media can be defined as "social interaction and communication through web-based techniques and media." It includes Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, blogs, and many others. While Facebook is the fastest growing website in terms of total visitors, having recently passed Yahoo at #3 overall (behind only Google and Microsoft), the mobile nature of today's farmer seems to have made Twitter their most preferred social media tool. Farmers, like the small group in California, use their smart phones to make Twitter entries throughout the day. They use Twitter to answer questions and break stereotypes of what life is really like on a farm, and the daily challenges of today's farmer.
Websites serving the agribusiness community like AgWired are utilizing social media tools to extend their reach and provide more timely information to its followers. The United States Department of Agriculture even has a separate section of its website dedicated to Social Media and Resources and a very active Twitter account (@USDAgov). Others are using social media to raise the level of awareness of farm issues to the general population. In 2009, Mike Haley, who raises crops and purebred Simmental cattle near West Salem, OH, demonstrated the power of Twitter for farmers. To raise awareness and support of America's dairy families, he asked everyone who uses Twitter to create "tweets" using the keyword #moo on a certain day (in Twitter lingo, the # sign preceding a phrase is known as a "hash tag"). Word of this request spread among farmers and Twitter users. For that particular day, the keyword #moo became one of the most popular terms on Twitter -- on a day when 15 million tweets were made.
How Is It Used?
So besides debunking farm myths and raising awareness of farm issues, what is everyone Tweeting and Facebooking about? Some of it is just about farm life, and the daily challenges of that profession. Some of it is problem solving, and requesting input from others regarding how to handle certain situations. Such as those asked at the AgTalkForum, a moderated forum covering questions and answers on a variety of farm topics, claiming to have over 14,000 registered users. There are questions about using computers on the farm, including opinions from end users regarding which farm management software program might be the most appropriate. There is also a section on "Crop Talk" where visitors can share techniques about planting or fertilizing or irrigation equipment, like sand media tanks. Or ask questions like "If I have sand in my water well, how do I prevent it from damaging my submersible or turbine pumps that irrigate my crops?"
What about you? Do you see other ways social media and the Internet can improve life on the farm? Leave us your thoughts in the Comments area below.
Or why not jump a bit deeper into social media yourself! Just click on the icons on this page to follow LAKOS on Twitter, Facebook, or by subscribing to our RSS feed.
Social media is here, and it's time to get on board.