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  1. 8/21/2015 ADJUST YOUR SPRINKLERS TO AVOID WATER WASTE
  2. Did you know that your sprinkler system can use more than half the water at your home during the hot months of the year? This makes it vitally important that your system is in good working order and not leaking, clogged, spraying water into the street or exhibiting any number of problems that can waste water and lead to higher water bills.
     
    These problems can be easily overlooked because the best time to water your yard is at night or in the morning, meaning you could be sending water and money literally down the drain when you sleep. But there are easy solutions if you’re willing to spend a little time checking and fixing your system.
     
    To prepare, get a notebook and a pen or pencil to write down any problems you find. You’ll also need the correct tool to adjust your sprinkler heads (more on this later) and a sharp, disinfected trimming tool to clip any landscaping that might be interfering with the sprinkler system. You’ll probably want to get something to mark problem spots so you’ll be able to find and repair them later. There are marking flags for this purpose, but you can use bamboo shish kebab skewers or other items that you might have around the house. Just make sure you don’t step on the skewers.
     
    To do a self-checkup you will have to run your system on manual operation and walk through each zone to see how each head is performing. Look for heads that are spraying water on the driveway, house or road, or those that may be leaking or clogged. You can adjust rotor and nozzle sprayheads while they are running, but you should turn the sprinkler system off to clean or replace a nozzle.
     
    If you have a spray head that isn’t working properly, it might mean that the screen inside the spray head needs to be cleaned. To get to the screen, pull the pop up riser out of the valve body and unscrew the nozzle to expose the top lip of the screen. Remove the screen and clean with a soft-bristled brush, pressurized water or pressurized air.
     
    If you have a rotor head sprinkler that is spraying water on the road, driveway or other places where it is only being wasted, you will need to adjust the head. Some rotor heads come with a white plastic adjustment tool and others can be adjusted with a small, flat blade screw driver. There’s generally a slot marked -/+ on top of the sprinkler head. Turn clockwise to increase the arc of the water and counter clockwise to decrease.
     
    While you’re checking your system, you should trim any landscaping that is interfering with the sprinkler system. Use a sharp, disinfected tool to do the trimming so that no infections are transferred from plant to plant. You can disinfect a tool with a solution of one part bleach to four parts water. You can dip the cutters in the solution before each plant cutting or simply wipe the blade (carefully) with Clorox wipes.
     
    And remember to follow your approved watering schedule and never water during the heat of the day, when as much as 60 percent of the water can be lost to evaporation.
     
    If you have any questions about how to perform an irrigation check-up or other water conserving issues, please Denver Water’s Conservation Tips Page by clicking here.