An automated irrigation system offers many conveniences, but convenience is not without responsibility. You should inspect your irrigation system for potential problems monthly and have it checked thoroughly at least twice a year, in the fall and spring. If not properly maintained, large amounts of water can be wasted.
Before you use your irrigation system this spring, check it for:
- Broken, leaning, and/or clogged sprinkler heads
- Heads spraying on sidewalks, driveways, patios or streets
- Extremely fine mist that could evaporate before it hits the ground
- Uneven coverage and sprays blocked by landscape material
Also, examine the controller for start times and frequency of use. Set a schedule that is appropriate for your landscape. During the hottest, driest time of the year, you shouldn’t need to run your irrigation system more than once per week for turf, and no more than once every two to three weeks for beds. If you have drought-tolerant plant material, irrigate even less often, if at all.
If inspecting your irrigation system is too daunting, have it checked by a licensed irrigator. Make sure they set your controller to a water-saving setting.