simple practices and new technology, existing irrigation systems can be
made more efficient, lowering your water bill, reducing run-off and eliminating
waste. Waterwise habits will result in a healthier lawn and landscape,
in addition to conserving water.
Association® offers these water-saving tips to maintain and update
automatic irrigation systems:
YOUR WATERING SCHEDULE TO THE WEATHER AND THE SEASON. Familiarize
yourself with the settings on your irrigation controller. Adjust the watering
schedule regularly to conform with current weather conditions.
EACH INDIVIDUAL ZONE IN YOUR IRRIGATION SYSTEM. "Scheduling"
accounts for the type of sprinkler, sun or shade exposure and the soil
type for the specific area. The same watering schedule should almost never
apply to all zones in the system.
YOUR SYSTEM MONTHLY. Check for leaks, broken or clogged heads, and
other problems, or engage an irrigation professional to regularly check
your system. Clean micro-irrigation filters as needed.
SPRINKLER HEADS. Correct obstructions that prevent sprinklers from
distributing water evenly. Keep water off pavement and structures.
A PROFESSIONAL SYSTEM AUDIT. Hire a professional to conduct an irrigation
audit and uniformity test to make sure areas are being watered evenly.
This can be especially helpful if you have areas being underwatered or
brown spots. The Irrigation Association maintains an online list of IA
Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditors.
"SMART" TECHNOLOGY. Climate - or soil moisture sensor-based
controllers evaluate weather or soil moisture conditions and then calculate
and automatically adjust the irrigation schedule to meet the specific
needs of your landscape. Learn more at http://www.irrigation.org/swat/homeowners/.
INSTALL A RAIN SHUTOFF SWITCH....INEXPENSIVE AND EFFECTIVE. Required
by law in many states, these money-saving sensors turn off your system
in rainy weather and help to compensate for natural rainfall. The device
can be retrofitted to almost any system.
LOW VOLUME DRIP IRRIGATION FOR PLANT BEDS. Install micro irrigation
for gardens, trees and shrubs. Micro irrigation includes drip (also known
as trickle), micro spray jets, micro-sprinklers, or bubbler irrigation
to irrigate slowly and minimize evaporation, runoff and overspray.
AT THE OPTIMUM TIME. Water when the sun is low or down, winds are
calm and temperatures are cool - between the evening and the early morning
- to reduce evaporation. You can lose as much as 30% of water to evaporation
by watering midday.
ONLY WHEN NEEDED. Saturate root zones and let the soil dry. Watering
too much and too frequently results in shallow roots, weed growth, disease,
for a healthy, drought-and stress-tolerant lawn and landscape: use less
water. These tips will help keep more money in your wallet instead of
sending it down the drain.
American Backflow Prevention Association (ABPA) and the Irrigation Association
for this information.