Automatic sprinkler systems are designed to use water in the most efficient way possible, but if used improperly they can also waste more water than they were designed to save.  A few simple and common sense adjustments can mean big water savings.

Adjust sprinkler clock settings for time of year

The biggest way most homeowners waste water is by not setting their sprinkler clocks properly. Grass needs far less water in the spring and fall than during the heat of the summer. Yet most homeowners only set the sprinkler clock once in the spring.  It continues to water the same, rain or shine, hot or cold.  This results in the grass getting way too much water when it doesn't need it and not enough when it could really use it. Adjusting watering cycles based on changing weather patterns and time of year can produce substantial water savings.

Not all sprinkler heads are alike

Each type of sprinkler head will apply different amounts of water.  Spray heads put out water faster than rotors. Some heads have interchangeable nozzles that will use more or less water, depending on the type of nozzle used. It is important not to treat every sprinkler zone the same. Each zone will require different lengths of watering time to apply the same amount of water depending on the type of sprinkler heads used.  Set run times for each zone according to how much water is applied by each sprinkler head type. This will prevent over watering some areas and under watering others.

Install a rain sensor

Watering when the rain is coming down doesn't make a lot of sense, yet we have all seen sprinkler systems continue to come on even while it's raining. A very simple and inexpensive solution is to install a rain sensor. When it rains the sensor shuts down or prevents the system from coming on.

Align sprinkler heads

Apply water where it's needed. Watering driveways and sidewalks is not a good use of a valuable and increasing scarce resource. Aligning sprinkler heads for proper coverage and spray patterns will insure that water runoff is kept to a minimum, with sprinklers delivering water to the lawn areas where it is needed. The result is that the grass gets the water it needs in the least amount of time possible.

Use low volume water saving sprinkler heads

Sprinkler head design has come a long way.  It is beneficial to install new or replace old inefficient sprinkler heads with the low volume heads and nozzles that are now available.  Low volume, water saving heads will allow water to soak in more slowly, reducing run off. They will also eliminate what is called "misting", or the tendency that some spray heads have to shoot water into the air in a fine mist where most of it evaporates before it can ever be used by the grass.

 © Can Stock Photo Inc. / ptxgarfield

 #automaticsprinklersystem  #lawncare  #howtosavewater

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