Landscape Irrigation

Preventing Run-Off

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.

Irrigation Tips

  • 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:
    • The Texas Water Development Board Rainwater Harvesting Program Information Sheet.
    • The American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association:
  • 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.
  • Aqua offers free irrigation system audits. Contact the conservation staff; 303-3943 x 136 or

Irrigation Audit

  • 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