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Front yard sprinkler A residential water bill can double or even triple in the summer and early fall months due to over-irrigating your landscape and gardens. If you’re irrigating in the late evening or early morning, it’s difficult to observe common maintenance issues in your system that cause higher than normal water bills, such as broken sprinkler heads, leaking valves, and missing emitters.

Best Practices for Maintaining your Irrigation System:

  • Have your irrigation system checked at least seasonally by operating each zone to identify inefficiencies such as broken, misaligned, or clogged sprinkler heads and to check for leaks at the irrigation valves. An observer is the most important part of any efficient irrigation system.  Performing simple and immediate repairs are the quickest way to maintaining your system's efficiency.
  • Adjust sprinklers to water the landscape, not the concrete or asphalt. Irrigation overspray is a common water waste in the landscape.
  • Irrigation overspray
    Irrigation overspray is a prohibited water waste activity.
    Water between 8 p.m. and 10 a.m. to reduce evaporation and water loss from wind.
  • Check the soil moisture in each zone seasonally to determine if the current irrigation schedule is over watering or under watering your landscape and adjust the schedule accordingly.
  • Connect a weather station or rain sensor to your irrigation controller to better meet the water demands of your landscape during dry spells, cloudy days, or storm events. 
  • Harness the power of your irrigation controller by utilizing the percent-adjust feature which allows you to turn the entire irrigation system up or down by percentages, instead of reprogramming each individual station.
  • Consider removing any unused turf and replace with San Francisco climate-appropriate plants that require little or no irrigation at all! For a list of over 2,000 plants and their water use ranking (low, moderate or high) check out the San Francisco Plant Water Use List.

For more information on water-wise plantings, free landscape evaluations, local gardening classes, and recommendations for making your landscape more efficient, visit our landscape page.  


Last updated: 7/5/2018 5:07:05 PM