Tips on Saving Water Outdoors
Saving water using an automatic irrigation system is not a guaranteed fact—that is, unless you do a little homework to make sure all is functioning properly. Maintenance is the key. Here are a few tips to keep your watering needs to a minimum while maximizing your landscape’s beauty:
Know Your Plants Watering Needs• Avoid overwatering lawns and gardens.
• Adjust your controller for the seasons.
• Water early in the morning.
• Practice the “cycle and soak” method.
• Hydrozone and create areas with similar watering requirements.
• Check your automated sprinkler system often.
• Consider drip irrigation.
• Trim grass at a higher mower setting to shade roots from sunlight and encourage
deeper root growth.
• Look for the WaterSense labels, and keep up on the new water saving products.
Know Your Plants Watering Needs
The first thing to do is to learn when and how much to water your lawn. For most people, that will mean cutting back. Learning to water your lawn properly may take a little time initially. But learning how to water your particular landscape will save you time and money in the future.
Most people water too much. Studies show that most lawns receive twice as much water as they need. Healthy lawns and plants don’t need water every day. Overwatering looks similar to underwatering when a plant shows stress. If your landscape looks stressed in the evening, wait until the following morning before watering. If the stress was a result of too much water, waiting until the next morning allows recovery time. If the stress was due to a lack of water, then the plants will still show stress, and you should go ahead and water. Surface runoff and water applied to areas with no roots or grass is completely wasted.
Adjust Your Controller for the Seasons
Tweak your irrigation timer often. It is a good idea to understand the water requirements of your yard and how to best meet those requirements. Respect current watering codes. Flagstaff has a water mandated water schedule.
Water in the Early Morning Hours
Maximize the efficiency of sprinkler irrigation by watering early in the morning. Start the sprinklers at 3:00 AM. That gives the water enough time to soak in before the sun comes out to burn it off the surface. It is safe to water at night, but don’t overwater, it can lead to diseases in your lawn.
Cycle and Soak
Break those 20-minute watering cycles into two 10-minute cycles spread at least 30 minutes apart. This gives the first ten minutes worth of water enough time to soak in to minimize run off during the second ten minutes. If an area you are watering is sloped, watch it during one cycle and see how long it takes for the water to start running off. You may need to run that zone 3 times for 6-7 minutes each cycle.
Separating shrubs, annual garden, grass, and hanging baskets/pots into separate zones to allow more specific watering schedules tailored to each specific area, minimizing over- and underwatering.
Consider Drip Irrigation
Drip irrigation is a great alternative to pop-up sprinkler heads for those flowerbed areas. It will reduce overspray, drifting from the wind and place the water exactly where it is needed.
The only certainty in estimating repairs is to uncover the issues underground. Some tell-tale signs of sprinkler behavior above ground can help identify the primary needed repair, however, once certain repairs are made, other issues may reveal themselves after reestablished water pressure runs through the station. Those companies offering a low cost may be for only that obvious simple repair and never check for the ensuing issues.
Our expert licensed irrigators and technicians have faced most every irrigation problem a system can develop, from leaks, cut wires and valves that won’t shut off to outdated coverage, low heads and dry spots. We will contact you if there are any other major repairs to be made. If the other issues are small enough, we’ll take care of them with efficiency and professionalism.
Water Conservation — Water is fundamental to life. It is required for all agricultural, industrial, urban, and recreational activity and for healthy function of the natural environment. However, many researchers expect that water supply shortage, flood occurrence, and water quality degradation will increasingly affect the environment and future generations.