Why is Water Efficiency Important?

30 Plus years in the business has given us a PHD in sprinkler system service and repair

10 Ways to Make Your Sprinkler System Effective at Conserving Water & Saving You Money and more water saving tips

You and your family enjoy your yard throughout the year. You plant lawn grass, perennials, shrubs and trees to give your curb appeal the “wow” factor.

The only part of plant health care that gives you pause is the watering component. You have a sprinkler system in place—but is it set up to save you money as well as conserve water?

Conserving Water and Saving Money with Your Sprinkler System
You can conserve water and save money at the same time with a sprinkler system—if you install and program it correctly. Irrigation systems need a water-efficient design to avoid wasting water.

There are 10 ways to make your lawn sprinkler efficient. The common denominator in all of these ideas is you—you’re in control of your irrigation unit—its design, its installment and its programming:

  1. Install a rain/freeze sensor:A rain/freeze sensor turns off your irrigation system when it starts raining or when the air temperature falls below 32°F.


  1. Set up drip irrigation and bubblers for your flower beds, trees, shrubs and small yards:If you live in a city, your lawn is small. Drip irrigation works adequately to irrigate your lawn. No matter the yard size, driplines and bubblers are perfect for flower beds, trees and shrubbery.


  1. Know how much water your lawn needs to survive:Depending on where you live, you can only water your lawn on certain days due to mandated restrictions. Plus, if water is at a premium, you may need to allow your yard grass to get stressed. You can tell when your lawn is stressed when you walk on it and your footprint doesn’t disappear in seconds. Then you know it’s time to start your lawn sprinkler.


  1. Test your sprinkler system to make sure it’s working correctly: If part of your lawn is in full sun, it’ll have different watering needs than your yard grass that’s in the shade.


You can test the effectiveness of your system by having Doctor Sprinkler do a Smart water testing of your lawn Sprinkler system. See our Smart water testing under the Residential drop down; smart water testing.

Keep your irrigation system working efficiently by checking it every month. Sprinkler heads break, pipes burst and leak water, or you have a sprinkler head watering your driveway rather than your lawn.


  1. Direct water to the root zones of trees and shrubs: Don’t direct your sprinkler heads to hit the trunk, or worse yet, the leaves of your woody plants. Instead, go to the furthest point of your tree or shrub’s canopy—that’s the root zone. Adjust your system to hit the ground underneath the canopy.


  1. Use a rain gauge to measure rainfall: You can control the amount of water output when you use a rain gauge. If you get ¾ to an inch of rain on a particular week, you can turn off your lawn sprinklers for that week.


Invest in a smart sprinkler system to save time as well as money and water!


  1. Rearrange your landscape into hydrozones: You can plant a bed of native flowers, shrubbery and trees that don’t need as much water and then, plant another bed with plants that need more water. Next, you design and set your irrigation zones to provide the right amount of water for each zone. You’ll use less water that way.


  1. Adjust your sprinkler’s timer to meet seasonal needs: You don’t need your irrigation system or driplines to go off at the same time at the same amount all year round. Instead, reset the timers based on each season’s watering needs.


  1. Make sure your sprinkler gives your property “head to head” coverage: Design your irrigation system so that one sprinkler head delivers enough water to meet the next spray head. Stick with the same brand of a sprinkler system, like K-Rain, to accurately set up head to head coverage.


  1. Use rotary nozzles: Rotary nozzles emit water more efficiently than spray heads because the nozzles deliver water at a slower rate, allowing water to percolate into the ground. Modern rotary nozzles are now available for smaller yards as well as large ones.


More Helpful hints on conserving water

Replace a timer-based irrigation controller with an advanced control system that waters plants only when needed based on weather or soil conditions. Many available technologies use weather or soil moisture information to schedule irrigation according to plant needs. A few options to discuss with your service provider, auditor, or consultant or designer include:

A weather-based irrigation control system is an irrigation controller or device that can be added to an existing controller. It uses real-time weather information along with landscape parameters entered by the vendor to schedule irrigation only when plants need water. If a weather-based system is installed, make sure the controller has a “deficit irrigation” setting for manual adjustment of the controller to irrigate less than the required amount. Some weather-based irrigation control systems use historical weather data instead of real-time data. These systems are not preferred because real-time data provide much more accurate accounting of the plants’ water requirements and have a larger reduction potential.

A soil-moisture-based irrigation control system uses a soil moisture sensor that is inserted into the soil of each zone to measure moisture content. It can be connected to an existing controller or add-on device, enabling irrigation when only the plants need water.

A central irrigation control system uses demand-based controls and enables a water manager to centrally operate and manage multiple irrigation systems at multiple locations using various means of communication. A centralized control system can use weather-based or soil moisture-based sensors to set the irrigation schedule.

  • Replace trees, shrubs, and landscaped beds irrigation systems with low-flow, low-volume irrigation (also called micro-irrigation or drip irrigation). Many plant beds do not require the spray heads traditionally used to water turf areas. Drip irrigation can be more efficient because water is slowly and directly applied to plant root zones, minimizing evaporation and runoff.
  • Increase the efficiency of the system’s sprinkler heads. Sprinklers with a fine mist are susceptible to water waste from wind drift. Also, some sprinklers don’t apply water evenly over the landscape. Sprinkler heads can often be replaced with more efficient heads designed to minimize water lost to wind and to more uniformly distribute water.
  • Install sensors that provide real-time data to adjust irrigation scheduling based on conditions:
    • Install rain-sensing technology that can automatically shut off the irrigation system during rain events (called rain delay). Many cities and some states require rain-sensing technology by law. Check with your state or city about relevant mandates.
    • Install soil-moisture-sensing technology on your system to prevent irrigation when the soil has sufficient moisture.
    • Install wind-sensing technology to interrupt irrigation cycles in the presence of significant wind.
    • Install freeze-sensing technology to prevent irrigation during freeze conditions.
    • Get information on these “smart” irrigation controls from the Irrigation Association’s Smart Water Applications Technologies Program.



At Doctor Sprinkler, we believe it is our responsibility to research products and technologies that use water efficiently. Our commitment also extends to education, training and services for our customers and our communities.

The need to conserve water has never been greater. We want to do even more, and with your help, we can.



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Omaha, NE 68164

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