Not all sprinklers are created equal. In fact, some are better suited for particular tasks than others. And, some use water much more efficiently than others. Find out more about types of sprinklers or watch this Garden Time segment. Regardless of the type of sprinkler that you use, there are simple things you can do to ensure that the right amount of water gets where it is needed.
One of the most important things you can do to conserve water outdoors is to keep your watering system operating efficiently, whether it's a hose with a nozzle or a sophisticated underground irrigation system. Watch this segment from KATU's AM Northwest to see how to test out your hand-watering or in-ground sprinkler system in the springtime.
Fall Sprinkler System Maintenance
Each fall, you should winterize your irrigation system to keep it in prime condition for next spring and summer. Get ready for the rainy season with these tips:
- Check to see that your sprinkler system is functioning correctly. Make sure that your sprinkler heads aren't blocked and are directed to the plants you would like them to water.
- Look for perpetual damp spots in your landscape as these might indicate a leak or broken line that will have to be fixed.
- Get your backflow checked. If you have an automatic sprinkler system, chances are that you have a backflow connection that is required by law to be checked annually.
- Winterize your automatic sprinkler system by emptying it of water and turning it off for the season (this includes drip systems too!)
- Put garden hoses away for the season and insulate outdoor pipes. Empty and disconnect your garden hoses from outdoor faucets. Also be sure to insulate your outdoor faucets and any exposed pipes for the winter.
- Clear debris from your gutters and downspouts. This will prevent overflow and keep the water from your roof directed where you want it to go during the winter rains.
Hand-Watering System Maintenance
- Inspect your hose, hose nozzle, and/or sprinkler for leaks and general wear and tear that will affect its performance. For example: is the metal end of your hose bent or covered in dirt or debris? Is the washer in good condition? If not, they could cause your watering system to leak.
- Put your system through a test-run. This will tell you if your connection are properly tightened and whether there are any holes that need to be repaired. Making sure that your hand-watering system is leak-free is one of the most important things you can do to use water wisely. This is because a dripping spigot or small hole can easily waste hundreds of gallons of water each month - over the summer, that can really add up to a lot of wasted water and money.