LEED® POINTS FOR LANDSCAPING DEVICES
While California’s new Water Efficiency Landscape Ordinances (WELO, AKA AB1881) requires new landscapes to use a wide array of water-conserving devices, there are still a few gizmos that will take you the extra mile toward a cleaner, healthier, safer landscape. These devices rack-up LEED® points, the ultimate unit of measure for sustainable buildings and landscapes.
LEED® point worthy devices include:
Flow meters. Flow meters help identify leaks, a major source of outdoor water waste. The flow meter’s master valve restricts the amount of water allowed to flow through all outdoor water valves. When flow exceeds the set amount needed for a landscape, the flow meter shuts off the water supply and issues an alert.
Leak detection. These devices provide immediate notification of leaks.
Moisture sensors. Placed throughout the landscape and connected to the irrigation controller, moisture sensors indicate whether or not watering is needed.
Pool cover. While reducing evaporation, pool covers also reduce the energy needed to maintain optimal pool temperature.
Rain barrels. A great source of water for container and vegetable gardens, rain barrels provide a mechanism for making the most of rainy season deluges throughout the year. Unlike most of the “extra mile” gadgets on this list, some are eligible for give-aways and rebates.
Rain catchment devices/systems. Cisterns or simpler systems with capacities much greater than rain barrels can store rainwater for use throughout a landscape. Not only do these devices save huge amounts of water, they produce profound energy savings by eliminating the need for the transportation of water.
Graywater systems. These systems reroute water from washing machines and showers into the landscape. Like rain catchment systems, graywater makes the most of the energy used to deliver water into a property’s plumbing system in addition to saving water.