Only 3% of the water on the planet is freshwater, and yet we use it for a significant percentage of our needs. As a result, conservation efforts are becoming more crutial than ever. According to the World Wildlife Foundation, one of the biggest culprits when it comes to water waste is lawn maintenance.
Lawn Sprinkler Water Conservation Tips
If you are looking for a way to save money on your water bill, then follow these simple steps:
- Turn off your sprinkler system when it rains or if it is not sunny.
- Do not leave your sprinklers on too long, especially in the evening when the sun is not out. This will waste water and cause water damage to your lawn and plants as well!
- Make sure that the timer on your sprinkler system works properly so that there are no leaks in the pipes leading into your house.
Install an Automatic Rain Shut-Off Device
You can save water and money by installing a rain shut-off device on your sprinklers. A rain shut-off device is basically a valve or switch that will turn off your sprinklers when it rains. This prevents you from wasting water when the ground is already wet, which decreases erosion.
When it’s not raining the valve would remain open so that you can still use your sprinkler system as normal. The result? You’ll be using less water while still having access to all of the benefits of irrigation in your yard!
Ugrade Your Irrigation System With a Smart Controller
Smart controllers are more efficient than traditional controllers.They work by monitoring the soil temperature, which allows them to determine when it is necessary to water your lawn. Some smart controllers will also allow you to program the time of day and/or week that you would like your lawn watered.
Upgrade Outdated Emitters
Upgrading your emitter heads will not only help you save water, but it can also help reduce the amount of time you spend watering. All those little holes in the emitters are there for a reason: to evenly distribute water over your lawn. When they get clogged with debris or wear out, they don’t deliver enough water at once to do their job.
If you have one emitter that is worn out and can only spray 10 gallons per minute instead of 25, forcing the rest of them to work harder to take up the slack from the one that isn’t working properly.
Eliminate Sprinkler System Leaks
Inspect your sprinkler system for leaks. If you have an older system, you may have to replace some of the heads with new ones. This can be done by checking the sprinkler head at each zone for leaks, damage or misalignment and replacing them. An EPA study estimates a leak in a hose, emitter, or outdoor faucet of 1.32″ diameter wastes over 6,000 gallons of water every year.
Water Your Lawn in the Morning
When it comes to watering your lawn, timing really is everything. Watering in the morning allows for the water to more effectively soak into the ground, rather than evaporating from the heat of midday. This saves you time and money spent on irrigation systems because it ensures that your grass remains hydrated without having to be watered as often.
Use Rain Barrels
Rain barrels are a great way to catch the water that is already running off your roof and use it for watering plants. A system for irrigation can then be set up to reuse the water. They are a great way to conserve water during those times it is already raining.
As rainwater contains fewer salts and chemicals than groundwater, it is also healthier for your plants. If you have gutters on your house, the barrels can be installed in a way that allows the gutters to drain directly into the barrels and be used year-round. You can also add a faucet pipe and irrigation hose to water your plants or garden.
Make Sure Your Plants Are Properly Mulched
Mulching is another way to keep your plants healthy and maintain a beautiful yard. Mulch is a material that covers the soil around plants, preventing weeds from growing and keeping the soil moist. It also helps prevent the evaporation of water from the soil surface.
Mulch can be purchased in bags at most garden centers or you can make your own by shredding leaves, grass clippings, bark chips, or other natural materials. Once you have applied sufficient amounts of mulch around each plant, it’s time to water your lawn!
Aim the water at the Soil
When you water your lawn during the day time, you waste a lot of water. If you water in the morning or evening when the sun isn’t out, you’ll save money on water bills and keep your grass healthy.
In addition to watering your lawn at the right time of day, it’s important to aim the water at the soil to moisten as much of the root zone as possible. This will ensure that your lawn stays moist without soaking it too much and reducing evaporation rates.
Don’t Cut Your Grass Too Short
One of the biggest lawn watering mistakes to make is to cut your grass too short. Grass that’s too short will get a lot hotter, which causes it to lose water faster and therefore use more water. If you’re going to cut your grass, make sure it’s at least 2 inches tall. The best time to mow is when it’s dry outside so that you don’t waste any moisture from rain or dew on your lawn mower blades. You might also consider installing a new blade periodically. Dull blades don’t cut as well, so you may find yourself going over the area repeatedly which can result in overcutting.
Make Sure Your Sprinkler System Is Properly Conserving Water
Another way to conserve water is by making sure your sprinkler system is using the right amount of water. To do this, look at your lawn and see if there are any puddles or mud holes on the grass. If there are, then it may be time to check the timer settings on your sprinkler system and make adjustments as necessary. Don’t forget to drain your rotor sprinklers when winterizing your home.
If you’re looking for a sprinkler professional to aid in the health of your sprinkler system in North Texas, give H.E.B Plumbing & Sprinkler a call. We’re here to help with your lawn sprinkler system, irrigation system, and any other watering needs you may have! We can answer questions about how to conserve water on your property while still making sure everything gets enough water.