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.