Fine-Tune Your Irrigation System To
Save Money and See Better Results
irrigation systems offer convenience in protecting your landscape
investment. Enjoy your yard, keep it healthy and beautiful while you
water efficiently, save time and
With some 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.
The Irrigation Association offers these water-saving tips to
maintain and update automatic irrigation systems:
1) Adapt 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.
2) Schedule 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.
3) Inspect 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.
4) Adjust sprinkler heads.
Correct obstructions that prevent sprinklers from distributing water
evenly. Keep water off pavement and structures.
5) Get 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 under-watered or brown spots. The
Irrigation Association maintains an online list of IA Certified
Landscape Irrigation Auditors.
6) Consider "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.
7) Install a rain shutoff switch.
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
8) Consider 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.
9) Water at the optimum time.
Water when the sun is low or down, winds are calm and temperatures are
cool - between the evening and early morning - to reduce evaporation.
You can lose as much as 30% of water to evaporation by watering mid-day.
10) Water only when needed.
Saturate root zones and let the soil dry. Watering too much and too
frequently results in shallow roots, weed growth, disease and fungus.
Best advice 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.
Your landscape reflects the pride that you take in your home and your
An automatic irrigation system is the easiest way to keep that landscape
provide you with three great dividends:
Save time and
effort. Once an irrigation system is installed you’ll never
have to drag a hose all over the yard, never have to try and figure out if
enough (or too much) water, and you’ll never have to worry about watering the
while you’re away.
Because the system
is automatic, you don’t need to be there to physically
apply the water. You’ll have more free time to enjoy more of your favorite
requires substantial investment and careful maintenance.
An automatic irrigation system will protect that investment by assuring
living plants and turf. Plus, installing a system is a convenience “upgrade”
that will measurably
increase your property’s appraised value and curb appeal.