A large contribution to water use is irrigation. Sustainable irrigation practices are helpful in reducing water usage, while also benefiting the environment. Below are some tips regarding sustainable irrigation practices.
1) Schedule your watering.
- Run your irrigation system during the morning hours. Less water is lost to evaporation when the temperature is cooler.
2) Check for leaking systems.
- Fix leaking valves. Look for water running on sidewalks or over curbs after the irrigation system is off. If water flows constantly when the irrigation system is off, that indicates a valve is not fully closing.
3) Manage fertilizer usage.
- Consider reducing the use of fertilizers. Fertilizers encourage rapid growth which results in higher water use. More frequent application of fertilizer in small doses may also help.
4) Check your irrigation program.
- If you irrigate with automatic sprinklers, program your irrigation timer so that it waters in 2-3 short cycles rather than a single, long period of time. This allows the water to soak in to the ground between the cycles.
5) Install or check rain sensors.
- Consider installing a rain sensor or check existing sensors. Rain sensors will shut down the irrigation system in the event of rainfall.
6) Remove barriers that waste water.
- Make sure tall grass, ground covers, or shrubs are not blocking or deflecting the water spraying out of the sprinklers. The water from sprinkler heads that pop-up less than 3 inches high is deflected by tall grass around the sprinkler head. When the water pattern is deflected by tall grass or leaves, it results in uneven watering and water waste.