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Many people do not realize that, over time, installed sprinkler systems may degrade and begin to operate less effectively. These inefficiencies translate into wasted water and, over the long-term, higher watering costs.

The best way to ensure your irrigation system is operating at peak efficiency is to either carefully inspect your system yourself, or hire a professional to conduct an irrigation audit. An irrigation audit may not only significantly reduce water waste, but also save you lots of money over time.

An irrigation audit might include the following:

  • A visual inspection of your lawn to check for areas of slow drainage, compaction and thatch.
  • An inspection of your sprinkler system, checking for damaged or leaking heads.
  • Observation to determine whether or not water is being equally distributed across watering zones.
  • Suggestions and recommendations for fine-tuning and making adjustments to improve watering efficiencies.

At Detailed Landscape, we can perform this type of irrigation audit for you and share recommendations that may reduce your watering costs over time. However, if you would prefer to first do a cursory irrigation or sprinkler system audit yourself, here are a few suggestions:

  • Check your entire sprinkler system for any damage or leaking parts. Clean and/or or replace any valves that are not working correctly. Also, if your sprinkler heads are fairly old, consider switching to newer, more efficient sprinkler heads. If your sprinkler heads are putting out a lot of mist, consider purchasing sprinkler heads with built-in pressure regulators.
  • Try an informal catch-can test yourself. Place plastic cups or tuna cans at around your yard in each of the different watering zones. Let your sprinkler run through its normal cycle. Then check to see if the amount of water in the cans is roughly the same across zones. This will give you a ballpark estimate of water distribution inequalities.
  • Trowel the soil in your yard. Inspect for compacted soil and thatch, both of which keep water from getting deep to the roots. Aerate or de-thatch your lawn as needed.
  • Make sure to water during morning hours as opposed to the evening. Evening breezes tend to promote water evaporation and can potentially spread disease across your lawn.

Conducting your own cursory audit will give you a general estimate of how efficiently your sprinkler system is currently operating. However, if you would like a professional opinion, contact us today at Detailed Landscape and we can go over our irrigation auditing process with you in more