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WaterWise Landscapes: Manual and Automatic Sprinklers and Scheduling Part 1

Manual Sprinklers Paula Anderson from the Cascade Water Alliance shares some tips on manual sprinklers. First, try to find a sprinkler that matches the area you want to water. Oscillating sprinklers have bigger water drops and are less likely to evaporate. For smaller areas, it may just be easier to water by hand. Check where your hose attaches for any leaks. Leaks at the hose attachment can cause some water efficiencies that can easily be fixed. Usually an O-ring washer is a quick fix. Forgetting to turn off your hose can also cause water waste. You can buy a timer that can automatically shut off your hose if you forget. But, you would need to install a vacuum breaker so no contaminated water can accidently go back into your home's plumbing. Automatic Sprinklers Paula Anderson from the Cascade Water Alliance demonstrates how to look for common automatic sprinkler problems. Make sure to check your sprinkler system at the beginning of each season and then monthly after that. Checking the system frequently can help increase your home's water efficiency. There are 4 main components of a sprinkler system: back flower prevention device, controller, underground lines and sprinkler heads. Use the test function on your controller to check for any sprinkler issues. First, you want to know what kind of sprinkler heads you have: pop-ups or rotor heads. The types will give different amount of water out, so knowing about the heads will help you during your inspections. Some common problems you may encounter during the inspection: 1. Geysers - Turn off the system and call a professional 2. Shrubs blocking sprinklers - Simply trim the plant back or get help from a professional 3. Water hitting the house or pavement - Rotate the head back to the correct position or contact a pro 4. Misting - Lower system pressure 5. Runoff - Use cycle and soak feature on the controller 6. Wet spots - Could be a leak in the underground line (get a professional) Also, be aware of the zones you are watering. Watering grass is very different from watering plants, so you may be over watering. If you need some help or suggestions, you can always call a professional for advice. Automatic Sprinkler System Scheduling Part 1 Paula Anderson from the Cascade Water Alliance shares some tips on scheduling your automatic sprinkler system. First, you need to figure out how much water your sprinklers apply. Put 10 empty tuna cans evenly spaced in the area you are concerned about. Then run the sprinklers for 15 minutes. Take a ruler and measure the depth of water in each can. Calculate the average and then multiply by 4. This is your sprinkler system's hourly watering rate. Knowing this number will help you create a custom schedule. Make sure to fine tune the schedule by looking at your soil. Water should go 4 to 6 inches deep each time your sprinklers run. If water goes too deep though, decrease run time. Increase run time if the water doesn't go deep enough. Don't be afraid to experiment a little. Also, check to see if you have a hard pan or blocking layer under your grass. If you do, you might either need to run the system more frequently, but for shorter periods of time, or do a major lawn renovation. Finally, pay attention to rain fall. If there is a lot of moisture, you may not need sprinklers at all. Let the soil tell you how much to water. Watch the other two 'Waterwise Landscapes' videos from the Cascade Water Alliance for more information on increasing water efficiency:
Length: 11:04


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