Conservation Suggestions to Improve

Irrigation Efficiency

Implement a monthly base-watering schedule.

Reduce run times until minor stress occurs.  Temporarily hand water stressed areas to help them along rather than increasing run times on the controller.

Microclimates are created by specific exposures to sun and shade.  Their water requirements can be significantly different from surrounding areas.  Program these areas separately with appropriate irrigation system and scheduling.

Probe the soil monthly to determine the depth of water penetration.

Use sprinkler heads that are the same type, model, nozzle angle, and have matched precipitation rates.  Relocate improperly spaced sprinkler heads for even coverage.  Install pressure regulators or booster pumps to maintain consistent pressure.  Implementing any or all of the above recommendations will increase the uniformity of the irrigation system.

Relocate sprinkler heads that are drastically out of position (Check the sprinkler manufacturer’s catalog for spacing recommendations).

Level sprinkler heads to grade and properly position all sprinkler heads.  Spray pop-up sprinklers in turf should be a minimum of a four (4) inch spring-loaded pop-up with appropriate nozzling to eliminate sunken and misaligned heads.

On a weekly basis make sure the sprinkler nozzles are not clogged, the sprinkler output stream is not being deflected, and that all rotating sprinklers are turning normally.

Install pressure regulators where operating pressure exceeds the manufacturers specifications.  Several manufacturers offer pressure-regulating devices to work with individual sprinkler heads.  Pressure regulators can also be installed at the control valve.

Adjust all spray patterns so minimal water is falling onto hardscapes such as sidewalks and parking lots.

To prevent over spray and structural damage, pop-ups should be placed three (3) to four (4) inches, and rotaries should be placed six (6) to eight (8) inches from hardscapes or structures.

Reassess placement of sprinkler heads and/or plant material where spray patterns are blocked.

Make sure plants and turf are on separate irrigation systems to allow for proper irrigation and higher uniformity rates. 

Use the proper spray pattern in the appropriate location.  For example, use a quarter head in a 90-degree corner, a half head along a 180-degree edge, and/or an adjustable angle head in an odd-shaped area.

Remove any strip of turf that is less than ten (10) feet wide and/or irregular shaped (difficult to   irrigate) and replace with a low water use shrub with drip irrigation.

Install a check valve into the sprinkler head or before the head if water drains from   the heads after the system shuts off.

Develop proper irrigation schedules based on evapotranspiration rates, soil conditions, and plant type.

Convert existing electromechanical controller(s) or inadequate electronic/solid-state controller(s) to appropriate solid-state controller(s) that will provide the versatility needed for your landscaping.                                           


Reducing Runoff and Over Spray

Cycle short run times one to two hours apart to ensure the water is absorbed by the soil.

Level sprinklers heads to grade.

Aerate and/or vertical cut turf areas at least twice a year.  Include a top dress with amendments to help increase the infiltration rate and water holding capacity.

Repair or replace all broken sprinkler heads, broken risers, leaks in the sprinkler lines, and valves that are leaking.



Test the sprinklers after mowing to identify any breaks or sprinkler operational problems.

Implement a bi-monthly walk through inspection of the sprinkler system.

Replace broken sprinklers with the same type and nozzle to maintain uniformity