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NEW WEATHER-BASED LANDSCAPE WATERING TECHNOLOGY GADGETS HELP HOMEOWNERS REDUCE WATER WASTE IN THE LAWN AND GARDEN THIS SUMMER

Home Gardeners Can Now Link Lawn And Garden Watering Schedules With Real-Time Weather Conditions, Decreasing Water Use By Up To 70%

AZUSA, CALIF. - (June 8, 2010) – Homeowners are now able to save water in their own landscapes with the same weather-based, water-saving technologies used at many of the world’s golf courses, sports fields and large outdoor areas that until now were previously only available to professional landscapers.

Rain Bird, the company that pioneered the irrigation market more than 75 years ago, is changing the way homeowners water their landscapes with the unveiling of a group of technology-infused irrigation products that are designed to provide significant water savings by automatically adjusting the schedule and amount of water needed according to constantly changing weather conditions.

From weather-based smart controllers that adjust sprinkler operation according to current and historical weather data to wireless rain and freeze sensors, to moisture sensors that deliver real-time information on soil condition, each is designed to be used in residential lawns and gardens and can help homeowners cut outdoor water use by up to 70%.

“The technology found in these new products will change the way residential landscapes are watered by allowing homeowners to tie the operation of their sprinkler system directly to the needs of the landscape on a real-time basis,” said Dave Johnson, Rain Bird’s director of corporate marketing. “As the weather conditions change, the sprinkler system will reflect those changes by tailoring watering accordingly.   No longer does the homeowner need to worry about whether or not their lawn and garden is getting too much or too little water. The result is less water wasted, lower water bills and a healthier and heartier landscape.”

Because they offer significant water savings, many of these intelligent irrigation products are part of annual local government rebate programs.  A list of available rebate programs by state is available on Rain Bird’s water-savings rebate web page.

WEATHER-BASED IRRIGATION CONTROLLER

A less complex and less expensive version of the same weather-based sprinkler controller used by today’s landscape professionals, Rain Bird’s new ESP-SMTe irrigation controller utilizes historical and real-time weather data to determine optimum watering needs of the landscape based on the on-site current weather conditions.  About the size of a shoebox, the controller mounts in a garage or on an outside wall, and uses temperature and rainfall data as recorded by its weather sensor to calculate the site’s evapotranspiration (ET) rate each day. The controller then deducts effective rainfall amounts from the ET rate to determine how much water is needed to maintain the optimum level of moisture in the soil. After it examines the unique characteristics of each zone (e.g. sprinkler type, sun exposure, slope and plantings), the ESP-SMTe determines whether to continue with the current irrigation schedule, suspend irrigation or adjust the schedule to apply more or less water as needed.  The ESP-SMTe smart irrigation controller has a suggested retail price of $450, and is available by visiting Rain Bird’s online store.

SOIL MOISTURE SENSOR

Faced with rising water costs and renewed calls for more efficient water use, Rain Bird’s new Soil Moisture Sensor Kit (SMRT-Y) connects to an existing irrigation controller to better manage the watering needs of a lawn and garden by providing instantaneous access to current soil moisture levels.  Simple-to-use, yet highly sophisticated when it comes to water savings, the SMRT-Y Soil Moisture Sensor represents a new class of smart control technology that can result in significant water and cost savings for homeowners this summer. The Moisture Sensor Kit has a suggested retail price of $179, and is available by visiting Rain Bird’s online store.

WIRELESS RAIN AND FREEZE SENSOR

Regarded as a vital component to any automatic sprinkler system, Rain Bird’s new WR2 Wireless Rain and Freeze Sensor measures rainfall and the onset of frigid temperatures to prevent unnecessary watering, saving water and improving overall sprinkler system efficiency. The WR2 Wireless Rain and Freeze Sensor transmits weather data back to the irrigation controller every 45 seconds, enabling real-time responsiveness to changing environmental conditions. After programming the device with the appropriate irrigation mode, rainfall and temperature set points, the device will automatically tailor the watering schedule according to the prevailing weather conditions. The Wireless Rain and Freeze Sensor has a suggested retail price of $99, and is available by visiting Rain Bird’s online store.

ABOUT RAIN BIRD CORPORATION
Based in Azusa, Calif., Rain Bird Corporation is the leading manufacturer and provider of irrigation products and services. Since its beginnings in 1933, Rain Bird has offered the industry's broadest range of irrigation products for farms, golf courses, sports arenas, commercial developments and homes in more than 130 countries around the world. Rain Bird has been awarded more than 130 patents, including the first in 1935 for the impact sprinkler. Rain Bird and The Intelligent Use of Water is about using water wisely. Its commitment extends beyond products to education, training and services for the industry and the community. Rain Bird maintains state-of-the-art manufacturing assembly facilities in the United States, France, Sweden and Mexico http://www.rainbird.com.

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