Is Your
Take Control of Your Controller
If your irrigation system runs on a clock
timer, it can be easy to "set it and forget
it." That means you could be watering
unnecessarily during rain storms,
missing your plants entirely during
windy weather, or letting the sun soak
up plants' water. Here are some tips to
get your controller under control and
reduce outdoor water waste:

Many controllers allow users to set
up different watering schedules for
different hydrozones; use the zone
features of your controller to water
more efficiently.
Schedule clock timers to avoid the
hottest time of day so your water
doesn't evaporate away
drop, it's time
to update
your irrigation
• Just like your wardrobe, when
the seasons change, so should
your irrigation schedule. Summer
might require two to three watering
sessions per week. In fall or winter,
even weekly irrigation could waste
water in some areas.
•	If you live in a colder climate where
pipes can freeze, it's a good idea to
drain and shut down your irrigation
•	Install a rain sensor to turn off the
system when the weather turns wet.
•	Don't forget to check with your local
utility to see if there are any outdoor
watering restrictions due to water
shortages, and for tips about how
often to water.
For additional tips on preventing
outdoor water waste, visit www.epa.

As much as 50 percent of the
water we use outdoors is lost
due to wind, evaporation, and
runoff caused by inefficient
irrigation methods and
If you have an automatic irrigation
system, it probably has a controller you
can program to water your landscape
regularly But if that controller is not
programmed to adjust during seasonal
or weather changes, you could waste
water or damage your plants. Get your
watering under control and maintain
curb appeal with a few simple steps to
manage your controller!
Plant the Seeds of Savings
Good watering habits start when
designing a landscape; group plants
that have similar watering needs
together in "hydrozones." It's important
to know what your soil type and plant
needs are before you set a watering
schedule. New plants need more water,
but once your landscape is established,
you can reduce watering frequency.
If you notice water pooling or running
off your site, because you have slopes
or tightly packed clay soil, you might
want to use the "cycle and soak"
method, because it allows water to
soak in the soil between irrigation
Get Smart When It Comes
to Watering
An irrigation controller turns your
system on and off, and there are many
different types of controllers that will
help you save water when programmed
Clock-timed controllers allow you to
manually program a weekly watering
schedule, but you must remember to
change the schedule when the seasons

Smart controllers tailor watering
schedules to actual site conditions,
based on local weather data; some
use sensors that can detect rain or soil
moisture to avoid unnecessary watering.
Some clock-timers can be connected to a
plug-in device that enables it to function
as a smart controller.
Wi-fi or Bluetooth®-enabled controllers
are clock-timed or smart controllers that
connect to your mobile device. Some
provide wi-fi
upgrades to older
controller models.
No matter how your irrigation system
is controlled, it's important to perform
regular maintenance. Check for leaking
pipes or broken sprinkler heads before
the weather turns warmer and make
sure sprinklers are not spraying the
pavement. If you need help installing,
maintaining, or auditing your system,
look for an irrigation professional certified
by a WaterSense labeled program, who
has demonstrated knowledge on water-
saving techniques, at www.epa.aov/
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Image courtesy of Rachio
Don't Want to Worry?
Get a WaterSense
Labeled Controller
certified for efficiency and
performance. Replacing a
standard clock timer with a
WaterSense labeled model can save
homeowners and businesses nearly
7,600 gallons of water annually.
For more information about
WaterSense labeled weather-based
irrigation controllers, visit
www. epa. gov/watersense/