Schedule a Free Conservation Consultation

Spring is just around the corner and with it comes the need to ensure your irrigation system is in good working order.

If your irrigation system was dormant this winter due to cool weather and seasonal rain, you’ll want to inspect it closely to avoid water waste citations or unusually high water bill.

What to look at:

  • Controller settings — Check the clock to see if it is still keeping time. If you cannot recall when you last changed the back-up battery, put a new one in. Also, review any programs that are in the controller under A and B settings. Once the system is turned on, any program with a time and a date will run. Stage Two drought rules allow spray irrigation only from 7-11 a.m. and 7-11 p.m. on your watering day. We always recommend leaving the controller on OFF until it becomes clear that supplemental water is needed.
  • Rain sensor — The most effective way to avoid irrigation during or after rain events is turning the system to “off” at the controller. But if you must leave the system on, a rain sensor will help avoid waste. By city ordinance rain sensors must be installed and functional on all irrigation systems. They are inexpensive and fairly easy to install, but must be replaced or serviced every three years.
  • Sprinkler function — Test system operation with a one minute run of each zone. It is best to do this on your watering day during the allowed hours of operation. Look for any heads turned in the wrong direction, nozzles missing, heads loose at their base, or areas where there could be broken pipe underground.
  • Upgrade options — Think carefully about where water is going and if its application seems efficient. Are there areas where irrigation is not needed anymore? Can your bed areas be converted from spray to drip? SAWS has rebate options that can help. A conservation consultation must take place prior to changes to qualify for rebates, so schedule that free service to start the process.

Not comfortable inspecting your irrigation system yourself? SAWS can help with this task. Just call 704-SAVE to schedule a conservation consultation.

Picture of Karen Guz
Karen Guz
Karen grew up taking family vacations to national parks and scenic rivers. A one-time kayak river guide in her home state of Pennsylvania, she got herself to Texas as fast as she could. Now as the vice president of Conservation for SAWS, she is responsible for meeting San Antonio’s long-term water conservation goals by leading a high energy, creative team of conservation planners. She first worked for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service providing a variety of horticulture and 4-H educational programs to the community before joining SAWS in 2000. When she’s not helping San Antonio live up to its reputation as a national leader in water conservation, she enjoys the outdoors as an avid hiker…continuing the tradition of luring the rest of her family to national parks and ranger talks.
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