The term "zone" can have a number of possible meanings in the realm of irrigation design. When you're designing an irrigation system with Irrigaton F/X, you'll encounter several usages of this term – all of which are somewhat related.
Here's a primer of the types of "zone" or "zoning" you'll likely encounter when designing an irrigation system with our software.
"Hydrozoning" refers to grouping similar plants, as well as similar irrigation components, to ensure that your irrigation plan will cover your plant areas properly. Examples include the grouping of the following items together:
- Similar head types (turf spray with turf spray, shrub heads with shrub heads)
- Plants with similar water needs (drought-tolerant with drought-tolerant, for instance)
- Plants with similar sun exposure needs
- Similar rotor types and arcs
You'll want to establish your hydrozones before placing your sprinkler heads. A good understanding of irrigation components and plant types will help you develop a logical system of hydrozones, in turn laying the groundwork for water use efficiency and healthy plants before you even design your system.
Flow zoning is another important step in the design of a well-designed irrigation system. This process allows you to determine the total amount of flow you can build into a circuit comprising a certain type and number of heads within your irrigation system.
Our Circuit tool provides a quick and accurate method for establishing flow zones for specific heads. For more information, see our Zone and Circuit documentation.
You might hear the term "station" in the same context in which you hear the term "zone." This is because in the field of irrigation, a station is essentially the same thing as a zone. Think of "station" as a general term that can apply to both a hydrozone and a flow zone.
Once you've laid out your sprinkler heads and piped to the appropriate heads, you can produce a colorized version of your irrigation design. This colorized version will identify the stations you have created. You can use this version of your design in creating an as-built drawing or controller chart. You can also use it to communicate your design intent to site owners or contractors.