Home | Smart Controllers | Products & Services - Lubbock Area | 10 Water Saving Tips | Controller Links | Water Conservation Links | Blog | Contact Info


10 Water Saving Tips

Our lawns are the major user of water in our cities, so you can save the most on your water bill by making sure your sprinkler system is operating properly.  According to a recent NASA-sponsored study, turfgrass is the largest irrigated crop in the United States at nearly 32 million acres, nearly three times the acreage of irrigated corn!

1. Check your sprinkler system and have broken and malfunctioning heads repaired.  In Lubbock, due to inblown soil, many sprinkler heads do not pop up high enough to water the turf without interference.  The result is an inefficient, poor watering pattern.

2. Adjust your sprinkler timer for the season of the year.  Historically June and July are the months when the lawn will need the most water.  Or, have a Smart Controller installed that will automatically adjust itself according to current conditions.

3. Know the precipitation rate of each zone in your system and make sure each zone is running for the proper amount of time.  Set out empty tuna cans to see how long it takes to apply an inch of water in each zone.  You'll find that some types of sprinklers (sprays) apply water much more quickly than others (rotors). 

4. Reduce pressure to 30 psi on spray heads.  Above this pressure, they will mist and waste water into the atmosphere.  If you have flow control valves, you can easily reduce the flow so they do not mist, although they do not adjust to pressure fluctuations like pressure regulators.

5. Water early in the day when wind and evaporation are at their lowest.  More of the water will end up in the soil rather than in the atmosphere or on the street and sidewalk.  Night watering is better than daytime, but wet grass promotes disease, so about 2 hours before sunrise is ideal.




6. Use the cycle feature on your controller to avoid runoff.  Spray heads, especially on a slope, apply water so quickly that runoff will often occur.  Rather than run these for 30 minutes straight, it is better to run a zone at say 3:00 am for 10 minutes, then at 5:00 am for 10 minutes, then at 7:00 am for 10 minutes.  This gives the water time to soak into the soil before runoff occurs. 

7. Apply enough water to wet the soil to a depth of 4 to 6 inches, instead of applying less water more frequently.  If you have heavy soil which is susceptible to runoff, use the cycle method described earlier.  Frequent waterings promote shallow roots which are more susceptible to drought and less able to take advantage of rainfall.  If your system runs every day, this is too often.  Don't water the grass until it needs it.  See the TexasET website.

8. Install a rain/freeze sensor.  This device will automatically shut off the system when it rains or freezes.  This saves water and makes our streets and sidewalks safer.  These devices can pay for themselves in 1-3 years, depending on the size of the lawn and the amount of rainfall received.

An example of a drought tolerant landscape strip

9. Consider drought tolerant landscaping.  Replace those narrow strips of turfgrass near the street with drought tolerant perennial flowers, shrubs, and ornamental grasses.  These plants are beautiful, require very little water, and need less maintenance than turf.

10. Install good low flow showerheads in the home.  These save not only water, but energy, since hot water is a major user of energy in the home.