Spruce Up Your Sprinkler and Save

Spruce Up Your Sprinkler and Save

A little maintenance goes a long way with irrigation systems

According to the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA), residential outdoor water use across the U.S. climbs to nearly 9 billion gallons per day in the spring and summer, and much of that is used for irrigation. Here are a few other interesting facts about spring and summer water use:

  • Residential water use can double or triple in the spring and summer months as residents begin watering lawns, filling up swimming pools, washing cars, or simply letting the kids play with the hose on a hot day.
  • According to the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA), as much as half of the water used outdoors is lost due to evaporation, wind or runoff caused by inefficient irrigation methods and systems.
  • A broken sprinkler head can lose up to 25,000 gallons of water over the course of six months – that’s at least twice as much as most households use in a single month (average usage is typically 80 – 100 gallons per person per day).

Because of this, White House Utility District (WHUD) wants to remind customers to take a few minutes to spruce up their sprinkler system so they can keep their water usage in check this spring and summer. There are four basic steps:

  1. Check irrigation systems for clogged, broken or missing sprinkler heads. Customers who need assistance can call in a pro, namely a certified irrigation consultant.
  2. Inspect points where sprinkler heads connect to pipes or hoses. Pooling water in the landscape or moisture around the connection are often signs of a leak.
  3. Redirect sprinkler heads if you notice a significant amount of water is hitting the sidewalk, driveway or street.
  4. Install a WaterSense labeled controller to create a smart watering schedule – one that adapts to rainfall and other seasonal conditions.

“We generally see a substantial spike in water usage in the spring and summer months,” said Maureen Averill, operations manager at WHUD, “and irrigation is one of the biggest factors. No one wants to pay for water they aren’t using, and taking 15 minutes to inspect irrigation systems before they turn them on for the season is a really easy way to avoid doing so.”

In addition to sprinkler systems, residents with piped irrigation also need to make sure their backflow prevention device is hooked up and properly functioning. WHUD conducts annual testing of all backflow prevention devices. To learn more about backflow prevention devices or schedule and inspection, click here.

For more outdoor water savings tips, click here.