Monday, July 23, 2012

Take control of your irrigation system controller to help conserve water

If your home has an irrigation system, it is tempting to just set the controller for a regular schedule and assume that it is handling all of your lawn and garden watering for you.

But the recent edition of the EPA Watersense newsletter has some great tips to ensure that homeowners don’t allow their irrigation systems to waste water.

Here are some TIPS to make sure that you keep the upper hand when it comes to controlling your watering:

1) Get to know your controllers: Kathy Nguyen, a 2011 WaterSense Promotional Partner of the Year, recommends that homeowners spend  time getting to know their irrigation systems this summer. For example, those with an automatic irrigation system should know how to turn it on and off.

“What has consistently saved the most water is when customers turn their automatic irrigation controllers on and off manually. Then, they are more apt to be involved in evaluating whether their landscape needs watering,” she says.

2) Spy on Your Sprinklers : Home and business owners should watch their sprinkler system run through each watering zone at least once to see how much concrete is inadvertently being watered. Systems that run overnight or at other times when users are not present can apply water to pavement that then evaporates before the user returns to the site.

3) Give Your Grass the Step Test:  Even if you don’t have an irrigation system for your yard, you can take steps to save water and improve your lawn’s health and beauty. Grass doesn’t always need water just because it’s hot out, Nguyen notes. Step on the lawn, and if the grass springs back, it doesn’t need water. She recommends performing this “step test” in the early morning or late evening to get the most realistic view.

Learn additional ways to save on your summer water bill, while enjoying a landscape that’s both beautiful and convenient.

Current Summer 2012 | WaterSense | US EPA

1 comment:

  1. Many irrigation systems used for lawns come on several times per week for short periods, often not exceeding 30 minutes. This has a harmful effect on the grass, watering shallowly, so the grass roots don't grow deeply and are easily stressed by heat, and causing lots of evaporation. It is better for the grass, and can save water, to water deeply for an hour or two once a week in the early morning hours (say 4AM). Unfortunately, some irrigation systems max out at 15-30 minutes, so shop wisely if you are getting a new system. Or just use drought-tolerant ground covers.


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