Over watering to the point of run-off is a serious problem, leading to significant water waste. Soil type and the application rate of the sprinkler system determine how quickly run-off occurs. When water is applied faster than it can permeate the soil, it creates run-off and corresponding loss.
- Over several irrigation cycles, watch for water running onto sidewalks or streets, or into gutters.
- Time how long the sprinkler is on prior to the beginning of water run-off. This becomes the new maximum run time for that irrigation zone. Repeat this process for other zones to prevent water losses due to run-off.
- Change your irrigation timer to the new shorter time. Better yet, trim the irrigation time a little more to the point of allowable plant stress.
- Watering your lawn every day or every other day is not a water conserving practice. Watering less and for longer duration makes your grass more drought tolerant by allowing the roots to grow deeper.
- Water your lawn before 10:00 AM or after 7:00 PM. There is less evaporation than during the heat of the day. Avoid watering on windy days when water will be blown away from its intended application.
- Adjust your sprinklers to water your lawn, not the sidewalk or driveway.
- As plant material matures, trim or remove vegetation which is blocking or altering the spray from the heads.
- A good conservation practice is to use a hose timer when watering your lawn or plants with a garden hose.
- Collect rainwater and use it as a free source of water. Use rainwater on gardens, potted plants, planting beds, birdbaths, refill ponds, etc.
- Helpful links regarding rainwater collection:
- Inspect your irrigation system to be sure it is operating efficiently. Each month, check every zone, adjusting all the heads which are not spraying properly and repair all leaks.
- How many gallons required per zone
- Record current controller run times
- Create a spreadsheet/graph showing usage
- Develop a recommended schedule and a spreadsheet showing future use and potential savings