Water Conservation

Irrigation Maintenance

Perform regular irrigation system maintenance

Irrigation systems should be regularly checked to ensure water is being used efficiently.

  • Establish a maintenance schedule- Inspect your system monthly. Take note of any deviations from the original design.
  • Fix or replace broken sprinkler heads- Heads and nozzles are relatively inexpensive.  First dig out around the sprinkler head. Then unscrew the sprinkler head making sure not to get dirt into the riser. Take the broken irrigation head with you when you go to buy a new one to ensure you buy the right one.
  • Repair stuck sprinkler heads- If you have a pop up sprinkler that is stuck in the up position unscrew the spray head and clean whatever is stuck in the wiper seal.
  • Check the pressure- Pressure can change over time and can cause misting or directional issues.
  • Check for leaks- If you have a sudden increase in your water bill, dry or soggy areas in your yard, or overgrown turf areas, you might have a leak.To find the leak, locate your water meter and turn off the water everything that uses water indoors and outdoors. If your water meter dial is still moving, you have a leak. Check your control valves and each irrigation zone. A good contractor can also check for leaks.
  • Maintain large plants- Trim and maintain plants to preserve system performance.
  • Realign sprinkler heads so sidewalks, roadways, and other hardscapes are not being watered.
  • Consider low volume, micro irrigation for gardens, trees, and shrubs- Drip irrigation and micro irrigation slowly apply water and minimize evaporation and runoff.
  • Check for buried or clogged sprinkler heads- If they are clogged or broken, make sure to replace them.
  • Consider a “smart” water controller- Smart water controllers evaluate weather or soil moisture conditions and automatically adjust the irrigation schedule to meet the specific requirements of your landscape.
  • lnstall a rain sensor- This inexpensive sensor can be fitted to most systems and will turn off your irrigation system during a rain event.
  • Update the system based on the season- If you have an automatic timer, during the winter set it to water once a month or less depending on precipitation.
  • Conduct an irrigation audit- Instructions for how to conduct an irrigation audit can be found under the Irrigation tab.

David Hillock discusses fine tuning irrigation systems to conserve water in the landscape