Water Conservation Tip
Perform an Irrigation Efficiency Tune Up
September, 2014 - Issue #119
What's your first inclination when you see a brown spot on your lawn?

If you're like many of homeowners, you probably think that you need to water longer. However, brown spots can be caused by a number of problems, including dog urine, fungi, grubs or an under-performing irrigation system. Many times, performing an irrigation efficiency tune up on your system can save water (and money) while improving the overall health of the landscape.

Telltale Signs

Brown spots aren't the only sign that you need to evaluate your landscape irrigation. Ask yourself these questions:

• Do I see water running off the lawn onto
the sidewalk or street?

• Are there areas of the lawn that are
swamp-like and soggy?

• Do the sprinklers create lots of mist
instead of big water drops?

These are signs of overwatering and water waste - it is time for an irrigation efficiency tune up.

Performing a Tune Up
To perform an irrigation tune up, you should methodically examine each sprinkler head. Then you should turn the system on to see how it performs.
If you've identified that you have any of the problems above, you can talk to someone at your local irrigation supply store or hardware store about how to implement the solution.

The Controller
Don't forget to look at the irrigation controller programming. If you have water running off the landscape, divide how long you water by two and run two short cycles instead of one long cycle. Leave the sprinklers off for an hour in between running the two cycles. If you still have runoff - try three short cycles.

If you have standing water or swampy areas, reduce the water in those areas by one day per week.

Too Much Pressure
High water pressure will cause sprinklers to spray fine mist instead of water drops. Reducing the pressure will make sprinklers work more efficiently and less water will be lost to evaporation and drift.

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