May is Sprinkler Spruce-Up Month

Did you know that we waste almost 50 percent of the water we use outdoors through inefficient watering methods and faulty irrigation systems? Curb your water waste this May during EPA WaterSense Sprinkler Spruce-Up month by inspecting and repairing your irrigation system.

When it comes to a home’s irrigation system, a little maintenance goes a long way. You may think that clock timer on your irrigation system is helping save water, but homes with automatic controllers use about 50 percent more water outdoors than homes without irrigation systems. Your system can waste even more if it’s programmed incorrectly, a sprinkler head is broken or misdirected, or there is a leak. Power surges or outages can sometimes cause your timer settings to revert back to factory default settings, which are often programmed to put out more than twice the water that is needed for your lawn.

Spruce up your irrigation system with these four simple steps:

  • Inspect. Check your system for clogged, broken or missing sprinkler heads. Better yet, go with a pro—find an irrigation professional certified by a WaterSense labeled program to do the work for you.

  • Connect. Examine points where the sprinkler heads connect to pipes or hoses. If water pools in your landscape or you have large wet areas, you could have a leak in your system. A leak about as small as the tip of a ballpoint pen (or 1/32nd of an inch) can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month!

  • Direct. Make sure to direct your sprinklers so that they apply water only to the landscape—not the driveway, house, sidewalk or street.

  • Select. An improperly scheduled irrigation controller can waste water and money. If you need to replace your controller, select a WaterSense labeled weather-based irrigation controller to take the guesswork out of scheduling. Set your controller to run in manual mode and only water when rainfall is not enough. Sign up for free weekly watering recommendations based on your location at

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You can save even more water outdoors by incorporating WaterSense water-smart landscaping principles or AgriLife’s landscape best practices into your landscape design. Looking for more ways to save? Check out other outdoor water-saving technologies.