Your lawn irrigation system should be more than a convenience, it should help ensure that your home uses less water more effectively to maintain a healthy landscape. Unfortunately, some small issues can lead to water waste.

1. Emitter Misalignment

Misaligned emitters lead to wasted water since they are not spraying onto the areas you want to irrigate. In some cases, the emitters may not even be spraying your lawn at all and instead, they are watering a sidewalk or the street. Emitters become misaligned for many reasons, such as from being hit with a lawnmower. You should check the alignment in spring when you first turn on the system and again periodically throughout the watering season.

2. Ineffective Emitters

The wrong emitter can also waste a lot of water because it won't irrigate the area effectively. One example is using an overhead spray emitter to water a shrub hedge. Most of the water will land on the foliage where it quickly evaporates before it gets into the soil and reaches the roots. In this situation, switching to more effective drip emitters installed beneath the shrubs will provide more moisture to the roots while ensuring less water is wasted.

3. Scheduling Issues

Most people put their irrigation system on a timer and forget about it. You may change up the watering schedule periodically, such as having a spring and summer schedule, but other than that, the sprinkler comes on at a set time no matter how much water the landscape actually needs. This can lead to overwatering, particularly during rainy weather. Consider having moisture sensors hooked into the system. If the sensor picks up adequate moisture in the soil, then the irrigation system won't come on regardless of the schedule.

4. Leaking Systems

Leaks in your irrigation system aren't always immediately noticeable. Leaks can occur at an emitter, where lines connect, or from a broken line. The most obvious signs are poor water pressure at an emitter or soggy areas on the lawn. Have your system inspected annually in the spring for any leaks so you can have them repaired before water is wasted.

5. Bad Zoning

Too few irrigation zones can cause overwatering of some areas of the landscape. Make sure the system is zoned so that areas with similar exposure and watering needs share a zone, even if this means having extra zones programmed into the system.

Contact an irrigation service to have your system inspected. You may be able to reduce water usage and save money with a few small changes and repairs.

To learn more about irrigation systems, reach out to a company like Pacific  Sunscapes.

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