MARIETTA — One of humans’ oldest needs is meeting the latest technology thanks to a new smartphone app being made available for free to Cobb water customers.
Cobb Water System users can download the Sprinkler Times app for iPhone or Android for free, a discount over its normal price of $5.99. The app, designed by a California landscaping company, uses years of historic weather data to calculate a schedule for users to water their lawns by.
Cobb Water senior project manager Kathy Nguyen said the app, which sends monthly text or email messages telling users to adjust their watering schedules, can help the environment and save both the customer and the water system money.
“Irrigation timing and scheduling is vital to our customers,” Nguyen said. “They can maintain their landscapes but also water less.”
Cobb Water bought 550 of the apps in bulk in July, at a cost of $1,900 for the county, Nguyen said. As of two weeks ago, fewer than 100 customers had claimed the free app.
The app is a cheaper alternative to a “smart timer” that automatically sets watering schedules, which can cost between $250 and $1,500, Nguyen said.
Keith Loggins, irrigation water manager at Del Conte’s Landscape, said the app is available for sale to anyone, regardless of which water system they use. But Cobb is the sixth water district that the company has agreed to a deal with to provide free copies of the Sprinkler Times app. Four of the other systems are in California, with another in Wisconsin.
Loggins said that by using the app, customers can save between 25 and 30 percent on their water bills. This is because many homeowners and even contractors don’t know how much time they should devote to watering yards.
“Our app is there to really reduce the amount of water,” he said. “Overwatering is a very big problem.”
The schedule on the program is adjustable in case a property receives more or less rain than anticipated, Nguyen said.
The app can be downloaded at www.sprinklertimes.com. To get it for free, enter the promo code “cobbh2o” at the bottom of the page.