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Know Your Irrigation System

A key to using an irrigation system efficiently is to know how it works. If the controller has not been programmed since the home was built, and the home is more than one year old, the irrigation system is probably watering too much. Why? Irrigation systems are initially set to establish plants and sod. After plantings are established, typically within 30 days, water cycles should be re-programmed.

The Fort Worth Water Department offers FREE residential irrigation system assessments for its customers. You can request these online. But if you want to do it yourself, here are some basic water-saving tips to help ensure your irrigation system is operating properly.

  • Program your irrigation system seasonally. During the summer months when high temperatures drain moisture more quickly, one inch is needed every five days. In the spring and fall, one inch is needed every 10 to 15 days and every 15-20 days in the winter.
  • Adjust sprinkler heads as needed. Make sure the intended area is being watered, rather than the driveway, street or sidewalks.
  • Make sure your landscape is hydrozoned. Hydrozoning separates beds and turf with separate water needs into different zones. This allows for more efficient watering, based on plant needs, sun and shade.
  • Make sure your timer is set to water before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m.
  • Install a rain or freeze sensor. These automatic sensors will ensure your system doesn’t go off when it’s raining. Sensors can be easily added to most systems and are required for all new installations.
  • Inspect your system regularly. Check for leaks, broken, missing or clogged heads.
  • Water deeply and infrequently. One inch every five to seven days is recommended. This will penetrate 4-6 inches below ground to help build a strong root system for your plants.

The efficiency of an irrigation system requires maintenance check-ups to ensure it’s operating at peak performance. Know your irrigation system and be water smart.

Tips

Report Water Waste

Fort Worth has year-round watering restrictions which include a no more than twice a week irrigation schedule. Please report water waste online or use the MyFtWorth app for smartphones. Questions? See Frequently Asked Questions.

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