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Save Water and Money—Inspect your Irrigation

As the weather warms, our mindset tends to shift to summer survival mode. You’ve likely increased the frequency of your landscape irrigation events, but before you receive another water bill, take some time to manually turn on your irrigation system and inspect it for leaks.

Drip irrigation can be sneaky. Since it delivers water directly to the root zone of a plant, much of the water delivery pieces are buried underground. It might take a longer amount of run time (more minutes) to bring a drip irrigation leak to the surface. And if your sprinkler system is set to irrigate in the early morning to reduce evaporation, it is quite possible you never see it run.

Tips for locating leaks in your landscape:

  1. Manually turn on your drip irrigation zones/ stations. Let it run for a little while. Look for standing water or large wet spots of soaked soil.
  • After an irrigation event, the surface of your soil should be wet—but near the emitter. If you find there is an unusually large wet spot, and the nearest emitter is 10 feet away, you may have a leak in the polyethylene tubing.
  1. Manually turn on your sprinkler irrigation zones/ stations, and look at the sprinklers while they are running.
  • It is important to turn on the sprinkler stations to make sure you don’t have a broken sprinkler head. Old Faithful belongs in Yellowstone, not your backyard!

On top of checking for leaks, make sure you are not overwatering your landscape. Even though May and June are our hottest and driest months, many landscape plants are remarkably talented at surviving in our climate. In fact, many landscape plants die from overwatering rather than under-watering. Follow this step by step guide to properly program your irrigation controller for your specific landscape needs.

Don’t even know how your irrigation system works? Gilbert residents can request a water audit and set up an appointment with a Water Conservation Specialist to learn how to properly water the yard for our arid climate.


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