Having an automatic sprinkler system is actually a very good start to saving water compared to watering by hand or with moveable sprinklers. However, once a system is installed, there are several things you can do to make sure it’s using water as efficiently as possible. Here are just a few tips that will help you save water and money all summer long.
Install the correct number of zones
Sometimes in order to save money, other companies may suggest putting in a zone or two less than what is truly needed. While it might sound like a good idea at the time, in the long run, the sprinklers may have to run longer in hopes of covering an extended area. This makes the system less efficient and it will use more water.
Water Saving Tip: It is better to have the right number of zones and the proper kinds of heads for adequate, even coverage. Spending slightly more initially to have the proper amount of coverage, will save water over the lifetime of your system.
Make sure water spray is not blocked
At the beginning of the watering season, it’s a good idea to take a walk around your yard to see how plants and grass may affect the spray of each head. Maturing plants or an area that is overgrown can significantly impact whether the water reaches its intended target. Another good time to check things out is after making a change to your landscape or gardens.
Water Saving Tip: Something as simple as a bush that’s bigger than it was the previous year can change the effectiveness of a nearby sprinkler head. Check to make sure the water’s path is clear from beginning to end at each head.
Install a Rain Sensor
We’ve all driven by lawns and street corners where the sprinklers are watering during a rain storm. Obviously, this is not the best scenario for water conservation. This situation can be prevented in most home systems by installing a rain sensor which will turn off the sprinklers when it rains.
Water Saving Tip: A rain sensor is simple to add to most systems. Once installed by a professional, it is also easy for homeowners to maintain and adjust the settings if necessary.
Install Drip Irrigation
In some situations, sprinklers are not the most efficient way to water. Drip irrigation is often a better solution for flower beds and vegetable gardens along with mature bushes. Farms and commercial nurseries have used drip hoses for decades, and that same reliable technology is now more widely available for smaller lawn sprinkler systems.
Water Saving Tip: Drip hoses deliver water slowly near the base of plants which makes decreases both evaporation and run off. If a large area of your landscaping is covered with flowers or shrubs, you may want to consider adding some drip lines.