If you currently have or are thinking of purchasing an irrigation system for your lawn, you definitely need to consider ways to cut costs and save money by saving water.
Below I've listed 8 proven ways to save water with your irrigation system that will also help save a little extra money for your summer plans as well as jumping on the "go green" band wagon.
1. Adjust the timer on your controller to run for seasonal changes in weather once a month or once a week. This step alone will save you more water and money than any other step. It only requires a little of your time, but other than that, it is free. Use the % key if your controller has the option.
2. Use your system during the morning hours instead of the evening hours. Temperatures are cooler in the morning and the wind doesn't usually blow as hard so premature evaporation is not an issue. If you water during the evening, you may face turf and plant disease problems because water can soak on plants all night (especially in humid areas).
3. When using an automatic sprinkler system, break up the watering into 2 or 3 short cycles instead of one long period of time. If you cycle your sprinkler sessions, the water has a chance to soak into the ground instead of building up and running off.
4. Relocate sprinklers appropriately. Space sprinklers 4-6 inches from the edge of sidewalks, curbs, and patios, in a lawn section and 12 inches in a shrub section. Find a store that sells irrigation equipment and purchase flexible riser pipes made for relocating sprinklers to make the process much easier for you.
5. Fix all leaking valves. After your irrigation system is turned off, if you see water running on the sidewalk, there is a leaking valve that needs to be cleaned or simply replaced.
6. Put a filter on your system. Most damage to irrigation systems is caused by contaminants in the water supply. Install a screen filter at the water source located before the valves.
7. When watering shrubs, use drip irrigation. Drip irrigation is not hard to install, not too expensive, and is 20% more efficient than regular sprinklers.
8. Get an irrigation audit. Your water supplier may conduct an audit for free or charge only a minimal fee. You can also look for an independent auditor. From the audit you should gain information about the condition of your irrigation system and recommendations for repairs and/or improvements. You may even get information on how often and how much you should water each month of the year.
These simple steps should lead you on your way to saving a lot of water and money as the watering season approaches.