Check Your Sprinkler System
Things you can do NOW at NO cost:
- Adjust your sprinkler timer watering schedule weekly with the Watering % Adjust: Save thousands of gallons per month.
Things you can do NOW at LOW cost:
- 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.
- Automatic sprinkler systems are the biggest use of water. Make sure you are adjusting and checking your system every month.
- If you hand water, look for signs of plant stress and feel for dry soil near the roots before applying water. Plants don't save water, people do!
- 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
- Take an active role in the water used in your garden. Talk to your gardener about leaks and sprinkler scheduling to make sure water is being used efficiently. Save thousands of gallons per month.
- Use a broom to clean driveways, sidewalks and patios. Save 8-18 gallons per minute.
- Wash cars / 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 a leak! View these resources: How to Check for Leaks Inside and Out and How to Read your Water Meter
- 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.
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.
Working With Your Gardener: 9 Simple Steps to Saving
1) Adjust your sprinkler timer watering schedule weekly with the Watering % Adjust.
2) Find out your water usage by reading your meter and keeping track of water use.
3) Set your water saving target to represent at least a 20% reduction.
4) Have your gardener or your water auditor inspect your irrigation system for leaks and for properly aligned spray heads.
5) Install a smart irrigation controller and make sure it is programmed and maintained properly.
6) Install a drip system for your landscaping.
7) Reduce watering times and frequency and set timers to water between 2 A.M. and 7 A.M. to reduce water loss from evaporation.
8) Apply mulch to gardens and trees to retain moisture.
9) Keep checking your water meter to see if your improvements and yielding that 20% savings or more.
You can get a free water checkup from your water provider to help you check your sprinkler system for efficiency and leaks!
Links to Other Resources
Watering % Adjust
How to Program your Irrigation Controller
Common Irrigation Problems