Friday, June 25, 2010

Smart Irrigation Month

 The weather here in the Midwest has been like a wild roller-coaster ride the last few weeks. We seem to have gotten out of the severe thunderstorm pattern and arrived at HOT and dry. We have certainly had some weather that made having a smart controller or a rain shut-off device a very wise investment.

July is just a couple days away and it is typically a high water use month. The Irrigation Association has deemed July "Smart Irrigation Month". We all want you to have a green grass and all the wonderful benefits that come along with having healthy turf-grass, but we want you to be smart water consumers.
This from the Irrigation Association:
Automatic sprinklers offer convenience and control in protecting your landscape investment. Irrigation systems help you to enjoy your yard, and to keep it healthy and beautiful. However, most homeowners tend to over water their lawn or waste water through inefficient habits. Adopting water-savvy habits is essential to maintaining and extending your community's water supply, especially during peak use.
The key to efficient outdoor irrigation is applying just enough water and only when necessary. Water-wise habits will result in a healthier lawn and landscape, in addition to conserving water. Plus, reducing your consumption will help reduce your water bill.
 How can you be a smart water consumer? Here are a few pointers.

Inspect your sprinkler on a regular basis. Check for leaks, broken or clogged heads, and other problems, Clean drip-irrigation filters as needed. Don't assume that a sprinkler serviced in April will not need any repairs for the entire season - mowers, cars and kids can quickly misalign and damage heads. Be aware of any wet areas or run-off in and around your property.

Adjust sprinkler heads. Correct obstructions that prevent sprinklers from distributing water evenly. Plants and grasses grow very quickly and can block or clog heads. Keep water off pavement and structures (they don't grow!)

Consider a Smart controller or install a rain-sensor. If you missed learning about Smart Controllers back in April, here is a link to the blog entry ( and we talked about rain sensors in March ( Each of these devices will pay for themselves in water savings.

Water at the optimum time. Water when the sun is low or down, winds are calm and temperatures are cool - between the evening and early morning - to reduce evaporation. You can lose as much as 30% of water to evaporation by watering mid-day. We recommend completing your water cycle before the sun rises.

Don't over water. Watering too much and too frequently results in shallow roots, weed growth, disease and fungus. Water just enough to keep your grass green. The appearance of your lawn will tell you it is time to water if you are not watering enough. The leaves will begin to wilt/curl and develop a bluish cast. It will recover quickly once water is applied. Try not to wait until your grass is browning out to apply water. The point here is to find a happy medium.

Hopefully this will give you a starting point for being a smart water consumer.  If you are unsure if your sprinkler is running at peak efficiency, have it checked by a professional.

Have a super week!
Keep it green!

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