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Home Irrigation Tips to Maximize Water and Money Savings

Environment August 9, 2018
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Lindsay Cutler

Roughly 30 to 60 percent of water use in the average American household goes toward lawn care and landscaping, depending on location and climate. This adds up to 9 billion gallons per day used for residential outdoor use, and it’s estimated that roughly half of this water is being wasted or misused. This is as detrimental to the environment as it is to our wallets. To curb your spending and help conserve water, try these tips with your home irrigation system. (And if you’re looking to save money on plumbing inside the home, check out Flo!)

Water at night and the early morning

Watering your landscape when the temperature is cooler will prevent evaporation and gives the water more time to absorb into the ground. Your water usage will be more efficient and more effective if you set your sprinklers to run in the morning or at night.

Group plants with similar watering needs together

Different plants have different watering needs, so it’s only appropriate to place plants with similar needs together, in groups called hydrozones. Strategic placement of plants will reduce the chance of underwatering or overwatering and will save you water and money in the long-run. For example, turf grass and flower beds have very different watering needs and should not be placed near the same sprinkler.

Set your sprinklers to short, frequent cycles

Time your sprinkler to shorter, more frequent cycles rather than longer, infrequent ones. Most residential sprinklers produce more water than a lawn is able to absorb in a 30-minute time span, resulting in wasted water and a waterlogged lawn. Try setting your sprinklers to more frequent 15-minute cycles instead. Your lawn will be healthier and you’ll save more water!

Use smarter tech

Using smart irrigation technologies, such as WaterSense controllers and low-flow sprinkler bodies, will reduce the amount of time you spend micromanaging your lawn care and also cut down on water usage and cost. For example, WaterSense controllers detect weather and landscape conditions, so sprinklers are only activated when water is needed, not because it’s timed. Rain and soil moisture sensors also go a long way in promoting plant health and reducing water usage and tailoring irrigation schedules to specific hydrozones in your yard.

Recycle rainwater

If you live in a rainy area, place barrels by gutters and drain spouts to collect the runoff. It’s free, and you can drastically reduce your water bill simply by collecting and reusing rainwater!

Use plants native to the area

The largest expense in a lawn or garden are often exotic plants which are not local to the area and can’t thrive naturally in the region. They require more fertilizer, water and a lot more time and money. Instead, opt for regionally appropriate plants as they have stronger immunity to pests and diseases and are already adapted to local soil.

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