By Beth Livingston, WaterSense Brand Manager
Many of us are ready to breathe a little life back into our yards and landscapes. In addition to withering plants, winter can also wreak havoc on sprinkler systems, causing anything from cracked pipes to broken sprinkler heads that can result in significant water waste. At a time when so many parts of the United States are experiencing drought conditions, wasting water outdoors just doesn’t make sense.
Americans use nearly 9 billion gallons of water outdoors every day, primarily for landscape irrigation. But up to half of that is wasted due to evaporation, wind, and runoff caused by overwatering.
In fact, single broken or missing sprinkler heads can waste up to 25,000 gallons of water and $90 on your water bill over a six-month irrigation season.
If you have an outdoor irrigation system, you can give it a sprinkler spruce-up with these four steps: inspect, connect, direct, and select
Inspect your system for clogged, broken, and missing sprinkler heads. Next, look for leaks where sprinklers connect to hoses and pipes.
Also be sure to direct sprinklers to water your landscape and not your driveway or sidewalk. And if you are currently using a clock timer to schedule watering, a WaterSense labeled weather-based irrigation controller, which uses local climate data to provide only the water your landscape needs.
Not the do-it-yourself type? Consult a certified irrigation professional to spruce up your sprinkler system. An irrigation professional certified by a WaterSense labeled program is equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to get your watering system in tip-top shape, including:
Testing your irrigation system to confirm that it performs properly and efficiently.
Installation, maintenance, and repair
Selecting and servicing equipment and site layout, as well as ensuring proper scheduling of your irrigation system to optimize performance
Customizing your irrigation system to best suit your landscape and account for local climate conditions.
WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is a simple way to identify water-efficient products, new homes, and programs.
To learn more about how to spruce up your sprinkler system, find a certified irrigation professional, or search for WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers, visit the WaterSense website at www.epa.gov/watersense/watering_tips.html.