Don’t Set it and Forget it!

Lisa Spears

You’ve heard “set it and forget it” – well don’t let this become your mantra; it could end up costing you. Irrigation is often the last consideration when building a home. So if it was designed with no thought to the plant material being installed, then chances are you have a poorly designed system on your hands.

Irrigation system settings that don’t take into account variables such as the square footage of a zone, length of time set for watering, and your home’s water pressure can influence your system’s efficiency.

The life expectancy of a poorly designed system may be much shorter than that of a well-designed system and will cost you more in water and maintenance over time. Even the best irrigation system will never give you perfect uniformity in watering. There will always be spots that are under-watered and spots that are over-watered.

Additionally, over time you’re landscape watering needs change. Plants and grasses have vastly different watering needs too.

If your irrigation system design and settings haven’t changed since you moved into your home, it’s time to make some adjustments.

Do a quick survey of your landscape and irrigation system together. Simple corrections and maintenance can help. For example:

  • Adjust the irrigation spray head to make sure you’re not watering fences, porches, rocks or the side of your home. If you’ve made changes or additions to your landscape since it was installed, you may be able to eliminate a zone or two.
  • Be proactive! Over time, silt or debris can clog and block your sprinkler heads. Clean out the blocked sprinkler heads before they break and waste a lot of water.
  • Don’t run your irrigation system with broken sprinkler heads. Repair broken or missing nozzles and leave the water gushing to Old Faithful.
  • Check your rain sensor. Is it working? Internal disks must be replaced every two years.

If you’re considering bigger changes to your irrigation system, you may want to take advantage of SAWS’ revamped Residential Irrigation Rebate. The first step is to call 210-704-SAVE or email consult@saws.org to schedule a free Irrigation Consultation with a SAWS conservation consultant. We will run through your system, making suggestions to make it more efficient and we will pay you cash for any permanent changes that result in permanent water savings!

Saving money and water could not be easier.

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