Give your yard a June sprinkler spruce-up

June is a great time to renew your landscape, and that should include a thorough assessment of your sprinkler system.

Landscape irrigation makes up about half of the urban water used in California. Your system could be wasting a lot of water and money if it’s programmed incorrectly, if a sprinkler head is pointed in the wrong direction, or if you have a leak. Before you ramp up your watering to compensate for these problems, spruce up your system by remembering four simple steps: inspect, connect, direct and select.

Inspect: Test your irrigation stations and look for signs of water waste:
• Sprinkler heads that are tilted, jammed or spraying in the wrong areas
• Broken heads, which can result in a geyser-like water spout when running

Connect: Explore your yard for areas with pooled water that could indicate a leak. Check connections inside valve boxes and make sure all valves can be shut. If not, they could leak water even when the system is off.

Direct: While testing your irrigation stations, adjust sprinkler spray so it waters only the landscape, not pavement.

Select: Install a WaterSense-labeled irrigation controller that automatically adjusts your watering schedule using data from local weather and landscape conditions.

You may also want to consider converting some areas of your landscape to drip irrigation.

Several drip conversion kits are available online that will work using your existing spray heads. Remember to never mix spray heads and drip irrigation on the same valve because each type requires different run times and water line pressures.

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