Nobody wants to be an expert at wasting water. First, water is a precious resource. Conserving water is environmentally-friendly and responsible. Also, wasting water can cost you hundreds or even thousands every year on your water bill, not to mention any fines you may have to pay for unintentionally violating Austin water regulations.
But, maybe you don’t know where these losses are coming from. Here are some of the main culprits that waste water and eat away at your finances.
Your Irrigation System
Overwatering is the biggest detriment to both the health of your lawn and your wallet. There are a number of factors that add to overwatering. The first is your irrigation system.
Sprinkler heads should be adjusted to cover your zones evenly while taking into account the drainage of your landscape. If there are low spots, this can cause water to pool in these areas, thus saturating the ground with more water than it can absorb. Alternately, higher ground will lead to runoff, in which case you will need shorter, more frequent watering sessions.
If your system is on a timer, it is harder to adjust watering according to the needs of different zones. Plus, the system will continue to water even if it rains unless you adjust it manually.
Smart irrigation systems address this problem by adjusting the watering schedule to the local temperature and rainfall. You can also prevent overwatering by installing rain or soil moisture sensors, which will override the automatic schedule.
Old or cheap sprinklers are likely to shift over time, resulting in uneven watering or “watering the pavement”. Even better-quality sprinklers will eventually settle and shift, so it is important to observe and adjust accordingly.
Breaks and Leaks
Sprinkler heads can break, crack, and leak, either because of damage or normal wear. The telltale signs of leaks are pooling water, erosion, runoff, or puddles. Check sprinkler heads, stems, and wiper seals around the stem if you notice any of these signs, and replace parts as needed.
Plants and Landscaping
It is easy to make the mistake of overwatering if you don’t know how much water your specific plants require and how much your soil can absorb. Trees have deep roots and are able to store water, so they need more. Ground cover and shrubs require less deep watering, but more frequently.
Sandy soil has a very low moisture retention and needs more water, while soil with a high clay content takes in water more slowly, retains moisture longer, and erodes more easily.
One advantage of upgrading to a smart irrigation system is you can program the plant and soil types into the controller so that watering is adjusted accordingly.
Time of Day
Morning is the best time to water. Local Austin water regulations also require only watering on certain days during specific hours to avoid fines.
You will accumulate a lot of water waste by watering during the heat of day, as most of the water will evaporate before it can be absorbed. Watering at night, when nature’s moisture settles on the ground, can lead to the growth of undesirable fungus on plants and roots.
Contact South Austin Irrigation for any irrigation repairs you may need. Call us at (512) 534-7449