It’s that time of the year again—time to “spring forward” and move your clocks up an hour. On Sunday, March 10, Daylight Saving Time will begin and the Save Our Water program is calling on Californians to check their sprinklers when they change their clocks for Daylight Saving Time.
You may lose an hour of sleep of that weekend, but you can save significant amounts of water by using Daylight Saving Time as a reminder to check your sprinkler systems for leaks and to reset your timer.
Most people use more water outdoors than indoors and sprinkler systems are the biggest culprit. Stopping leaks and setting sprinkler timers correctly will save water and protect lawns and plants from the damage caused by overwatering.
Following are some steps for checking your sprinkler system:
· Replace the battery, if there is one, in the sprinkler timer and reset the sprinkler timer, if needed, to adjust for Daylight Saving Time.
· Check the timer settings to determine the number of days and minutes the system is watering the lawn and gardens. Compare these times with the recommendations of your local water agency to determine if the sprinkler system is overwatering landscape or not providing sufficient water for plants to thrive. Chances are, your landscape may not need more than rain at this time of year.
· Take advantage of the lower evaporation rates by watering in the early morning or in the evening when temperatures are cooler. Watering during the cooler parts of the day can save 25 gallons each time you water.
· Run the sprinkler system to ensure all the sprinkler heads are working and spraying the lawn – not the house, sidewalk, driveway or street. Resetting the sprinkler heads to deliver the water where it is needed can save 12 to 15 gallons each watering cycle.
· Look for perpetually damp spots in the yard or places where water pools because these could be a sign of a leak in the sprinkler system.
· If a leak is suspected, check the water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, a leak is likely the cause for the change.
Small changes in your sprinkler settings can make big differences in your water usage and water bills. For more ideas on saving water, visit the “What We Can Do” page.