These water saving tips can save you a ton off your water bill. We see these problems every day in the field with our service trucks and estimators. We consistently train our technicians on ways to save water and we believe in using technology to help.
- Turn off your sprinkler system controller when you get a good rain or better yet invest in a good rain sensor. A ½” rain event should turn your system off for a day or two. An average sprinkler system with 8 zones, can use 1000 gallons of water when it runs through a cycle.
- Set multiple start times with controller to avoid water runoff and increase absorption rate. This is smart especially during extreme heat when you need to water on specific days due to water restrictions. Deep watering your grass and plants is the best way to keep them healthy. Watering every day can keep roots from growing deep. Suggest 3 days a week watering for grass and most plants but you must water deep in the summer. 10-20 minutes for sprays and 30-40 minutes for rotors. These times may vary depending on coverage i.e. amount of water applied.
- Install a smart controller that will update settings for changing weather and make it easy to adjust settings from smart phone or tablet. Smart controllers use weather stations close to your zip code. We use the Rain Bird ME-3. They have improved their original wi-fi module. It also will give you the ability to still change settings manually from your garage.
- Get the best sprinkler coverage you can. The better your coverage the less time you have to water. There are so many options now that can increase the amount of water for plants like azaleas. Nothing beats head-to-head coverage except for rain.
- Repair any leaks that will waste water. Leaks can be obvious that show themselves by spraying water and there are also slow leaking main line leaks that can be hard to find. Many times, it will lower your water pressure on the rest of your spray heads making the entire zone ineffective. Older spray heads can leak through the old seals and stem. Backflow devices can also develop leaks if not checked yearly.
- Install better quality water saving technology spray heads and nozzles. There are some great products out there like the Rain Bird SAM spray heads, Rain Bird adjustable rotary nozzles, and Rain Bird MPR nozzles. The SAM Heads will stop water leaking downstream below your valves out on your sidewalk and street after they are done spraying.
- Use drip irrigation when it makes sense. It is not the best for big areas or grass. In my opinion drip works best in small areas, 4’ or less. Our clay soil makes it difficult to use in large areas in residential applications and curved areas. Drip can work well when installed properly.
- Raise your heads or install taller spray heads. Plant growth can block the water spray and keep water from reaching designed distance. A normal spray head is only 4” high. When grass roots thicken or plants grow, you may want to increase to a 6”. 12” spray heads are great for the front of beds to water plants better.
- Straighten your spray heads. Yards can settle over time around your home and in your yard and the heads settle with them. Crooked spray heads do not spray as they were designed to spray. A head spraying higher or lower than it was designed will not spray as far. It is also impacted much greater by wind. Many times, it will cause dry spots.
- This is a big one. Always run your sprinkler system early in the morning if possible. The temperature is the coolest and the wind is the calmest. This will get the most water to your plants as possible from your sprinkler system. Houston temperatures in the early evening summer can still be in the 90’s.
Schedule your service for maximizing your water usage online or call us today with any questions.
Peter Hudson Sr
Texas Landscape Irrigator LI 0009024
Southwest Irrigation Systems inc.