Improve Your Existing System
Conduct a System Inspection.
Evaluate your system and yard for potential issues to make sure your automatic sprinkler system is ready for another season. Just a few simple steps will go a long way towards saving water and preventing costly fines.
Review Your Water Bill.
Always look at your water bills. If you have a spike, you may have a leak. Leaky sprinkler systems waste millions of gallons each year. The EPA estimates that a leak about the thickness of a dime can cause water waste of 6,300 gallons per month! Fixing leaks can make a big difference in your water usage and your bill.
Schedule a Professional Audit.
Contact a local Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor (CLIA) contractor to evaluate your system.
Conduct Monthly System Checkups.
Water Only At The Right Times
Water in the Morning.
Water between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m.—when the sun is low, winds are calm and temperatures are cool. Midday watering tends to be less efficient because of water loss due to evaporation and windy conditions. Watering in the evening isn't a good idea either because leaves can remain wet overnight—an open invitation for fungus to grow. By watering in the morning, you give the leaves a chance to dry out. You can set all Rain Bird clocks to water exactly when you want.
Follow Local Rules.
Check with your local water provider to see what days and times you are allowed to water your yard and then change your Rain Bird clock to avoid costly fines.
Don't Water in the Rain.
There is nothing worse than seeing a sprinkler running in the rain. Using a rain sensor (like the Rain Bird® WR2 Wireless Rain Sensor) will automatically shut off your sprinkler system when it rains, so you never have to worry about watering during rainstorms.
Overcome Wind Drift.
Ever seen sprinklers running in the middle of the day and watering everything but the yard? Even small amounts of wind can cause water to drift. Avoid midday watering, when winds are the highest. Rain Bird pressure regulating sprinklers and thick streamed HE-VAN or Rain Bird Rotary and R-VAN nozzles can also help reduce wind drift.
Turn Your Watering Time Down.
Many sprinkler systems are set to water too much, leading to soggy soil, excess runoff and unhealthy landscapes. Turn your watering times down on your Rain Bird clock as seasons and weather change.
Replace Older nozzles with New High-Efficiency nozzles.
Today's sprinkler nozzles are more efficient that those of years past. The key is to pick the right nozzle for your landscape needs. For slopes and hills, use lower-flow rotary nozzles like Rain Bird's Rotary nozzles and R-VANs. If you have watering time restrictions, use Rain Bird's HE-VAN and Dual Spray™ nozzles.
- HE-VAN Nozzles Sell Sheet
- 1800® Series Sprays Real World Wind Test
- 1800® Series Sprays Even Coverage Test
Break Up Your Watering Times Into Shorter Segments.
The greatest water waste comes from applying too much water at one time, since much of it runs off and is never absorbed. Instead of watering for one long continuous session, use your Rain Bird clock to split your watering time into shorter periods and take 15-minute breaks in between each session. This will let the water soak in, while minimizing runoff.
Adjust Your Watering Times for Sunny and Shady Areas.
Easy-to-set Rain Bird clocks with multiple, independent programs allow you to reduce watering times for shady areas. Add a SMRT-Y Soil Moisture Sensor to be certain you're only watering your yard when your plants demand it.
Water Only When Your Plants Demand It.
Overwatering is bad for your landscape's health and can lead to fungus and disease. The best way to tell if your yard needs water is also the easiest; just take a walk and look around. If your plant leaves are beginning to curl and your footprints are staying longer than usual (meaning the grass doesn't bounce back), it's time to water. With a Rain Bird controller and SMRT-Y Soil Moisture Sensor, you can be sure you are watering just what you need to maintain a healthy landscape.
Use The Right Products
Pressure Regulation in your sprinklers is just like installing a low-flow shower head. It delivers the right amount of water to get the job done, without any waste. In fact, Rain Bird sprinklers with PRS pressure regulating technology can save up to 1 gallon per minute per sprinkler.
Water can puddle or pool around sprinklers installed at the bottom of slopes or hills, causing soggy areas, which can kill landscape or encourage fungus to grow. Use Rain Bird sprinklers with pre-installed check valves (SAM) to prevent drainage issues.
Use Drip when Possible.
By dividing your landscape into sections, you can water to the unique needs of individual plants with Rain Bird's low-volume drip irrigation.
Water Only Things That Grow.
Add Efficiency to Gardens.
When it comes to watering individual trees, flowerbeds, potted containers or other sparsely planted areas, you can apply water directly to the roots with low-volume drip irrigation. This will reduce water waste from evaporation or runoff and keep weeds from growing.
- Landscape Drip Conversion Guide
- Xeri-Bug Emitters: Point-Source Emitter Calculator
- SQ Series & Xeri-Pop: Animations
Separate Zones by Plant Types.
Water as Evenly as Possible.
Different sprinklers apply water at different rates. To make sure you are applying water evenly and not overwatering some portions of your landscape, use sprinklers that are designed to work together, like Rain Bird's MPR, Dual Spray™ and HE-VAN nozzles. Rain Bird R-VANs, Rotary nozzles and 5000 series Rotors with MPR nozzles can also be used together.
Keep Your Water In Place
Always Hit Your Target Zone.
Large water droplets offer greater wind resistance, helping you save water on gusty days. Rain Bird's HE-VAN and Rotary nozzles can be paired with Rain Bird's pressure regulating 1800® series spray heads (PRS) to dramatically reduce water loss from misting and airborne evaporation. And, Rain Bird is the only manufacturer to offer pressure regulating 5000 series rotors.
Make Sure Your Sprinklers are Flush with the Ground.
Check that sprinkler heads are high enough to clear plants that may have grown taller since the system was installed.
Clear the Spray Path.
Make sure that your plant material hasn't grown to a height that will block the spray from your sprinkler.
Update Your Landscape
Choose Plants Wisely.
Add More Mulch.
A great way to conserve water and help plants stay healthy is to spread mulch in shrub beds, tree rings and flower gardens. Applying mulch helps drainage, encourages root development and improves soil by making nutrients more available to plants. It also insulates soil and plants in winter months, while cooling the soil and reducing water use during hot summer months.