Check Your Sprinkler System
Now that spring is here you may be thinking of starting up that irrigation system that has been mothballed for the last 5 years of drought. It is important to inspect all the valves, every sprinkler head, water line and to properly schedule the controller for a season of efficient watering. You may be more comfortable with a dedicated landscape maintenance professional to tune up your system but you can complete the initial inspection. Following these simple steps now will go a long way towards saving you water and money and avoiding an irrigation meltdown in the future.
We have received rain but we still don't have water to waste.
Download your Irrigation Start-up Checklist!
Links to helpful resources:
- Adjust watering to the weather with the weekly
Watering % Adjust
- Receive a free
Water Checkup for your home or business from your water provider
- Use the
Watering Calculator to find how much water your plants need
- Learn how to program your
- Adjust the
pressure in your irrigation system for optimal efficiency
- Use the
CA Landscape Water Budget Program to stay on track of water savings
- More information about Smart Irrigation
Things you can do NOW at NO cost:
- Adjust your irrigation scheduling according to the weather by using the weekly with the
Watering % Adjust. Watch
using the Watering % Adjust on a Sprinkler Timer.
- Automatic sprinkler systems are the biggest use of water. Make sure to check and adjust your system every month. Learn
how to Check Your Sprinklers for Leaks.
Maximize your irrigation efficiency in your garden:
- Reduce watering times by 2 minutes on each station: Save 22 gallons each time you water.
- Water between 2 A.M. and 7 A.M. to reduce evaporation: Save 25 gallons each time you water. Check your current
Outdoor Water Shortage Emergency Regulations in your area.
- Adjust sprinklers to water plants, not driveways and sidewalks and check for leaks and broken sprinkler heads: Save 12-15 gallons each time you water. Use this handy
Irrigation System Self-Evaluation.
- Talk to your gardener about leaks and sprinkler scheduling to make sure water is being used efficiently. Save thousands of gallons per month by consulting a certified and trained
landscape professional near you!
- For hand watering, look for signs of plant stress and feel for dry soil near the roots before applying water. Plants don't save water, people do!
- Wash vehicles and boats with a bucket, sponge, and hose with self-closing nozzle. Save 8-18 gallons per minute.
- Think you have a leak? Turn off all the water in the house and check your water meter for a spinning triangle. Movement means water is still running and there's a leak! View these resources:
How to Check for Leaks Inside and Out and
How to Read your Water Meter.
- Use a broom to clean driveways, sidewalks and patios. Save 8-18 gallons per minute.
Things you can do NOW at LOW cost:
- Choose a water efficient irrigation system such as drip irrigation for your trees, shrubs, and flowers. Save 20% or more annually.
- Add a thick layer of mulch, 3" or more to your garden to keep moisture in the soil and weeds out.
Free mulch is available from the County for pick up. Save 20-30 gallons each time you water 1,000 sq. ft.
- Install a 'Smart' irrigation controller. Save 20% or more annually.
- Use a pool cover to save on water and energy.
- Here are more easy actions you can take to be Water Wise during the drought.
If you have 5 MINUTES, videos you can watch:
How to Check Your Sprinklers for Leaks (3:26)
How to Check Your Drip System for Leaks (2:54)
How to Repair PVC Breaks (1:23)
How to Repair Drip Tubing Breaks (0:54)
How to Use a Watering Calculator (8:27)
Using the Watering % Adjust on a Sprinkler Timer (4:05)
Water Conservation Products (6:48)
If you have 30 MINUTES, videos you can watch:
Frugal Watering and Fruitful Gardening - Summary
Saving Money and Resources in Your Garden - Summary
Lawn and Order - Summary
How to Water Wisely - Summary
Working With Your Gardener: 9 Simple Steps to Saving
If you're not a Do-It-Yourselfer, or you encountered complicated problems during your own examination, be sure to hire the right person to evaluate and repair your irrigation system. Here are a few resources for hiring a landscape professional. Does your landscaper only speak Spanish? Try this handy bilingual guide to help translate some basic water saving instructions. For property managers, here are suggestions for working with landscape contractors.
- Adjust your sprinkler timer watering schedule weekly with the Watering % Adjust.
- Find out your water usage by reading your meter and keeping track of water use.
- Set your water saving target to represent at least a 20% reduction.
- Have your gardener or your water auditor inspect your irrigation system for leaks and for properly aligned spray heads.
- Install a smart irrigation controller and make sure it is programmed and maintained properly.
- Install a drip system for your landscaping.
- Reduce watering times and frequency and set timers to water between 2 A.M. and 7 A.M. to reduce water loss from evaporation.
- Apply mulch to gardens and trees to retain moisture.
- Keep checking your water meter to see if your improvements and yielding that 20% savings or more.