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Irrigation System Efficiency

sprinkler headThe number one way to save water in Kelowna is to ensure that automatic irrigation systems are operating efficiently. Irrigation experts estimate homeowners can reduce outdoor watering needs by 25 per cent just by keeping up with irrigation system maintenance and setting the timer properly.

The Water Smart program offers free irrigation system assessments. This is a basic walk-though of your system that takes about 30 minutes. A Water Smart coordinator will help troubleshoot the top five ways that irrigation systems can waste water, which include:

  1. Broken Sprinkler Heads
    The first, most obvious things to look for. Sprinkler heads are susceptible to damage, and since most people run their systems while they sleep, broken heads often go unnoticed.
  2. Distribution Uniformity
    A perfect irrigation system would deliver water evenly across your landscape, but wind, slopes, mismatched heads and pressure changes can make some areas too wet and other areas too dry. Often a dry spot isn’t caused by a lack of water, so increasing run times won’t help. The water may not even reach the dry spot because of poor distribution uniformity.
  3. Mixed Sprinkler Heads
    Rotating spray heads move in an arc. Fixed spray heads do not move. Obviously, a fixed head will deliver more water in one spot over time than a rotating head. Ensure that you do not have rotating and fixed heads in the same zone.
  4. Landscape Changes
    Inefficiencies can occur when changes are made to landscapes over time, without making adjustments to the irrigation system. As a result, there may be areas where some sprinkler heads could be replaced with a drip system or even eliminated entirely.
  5. Timer Issues 
    Sprinkler timings should be adjusted to the micro-climates of the yard and watering needs for each individual zone.

Download the Landscape & Irrigation Guide  or visit the Landscape Water Efficiency page for more detailed information about saving water outdoors.

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