Facts and Tips to Reduce Water Waste

Sprinkler Spruce-Up!

By encouraging properly maintained irrigation systems, you will promote healthy landscapes and reduce water waste.

Irrigation Water Use Facts

  • Residential outdoor water use across the United States accounts for nearly 9 billion gallons of water each day, mainly for landscape irrigation.
  • Experts estimate that as much as half of the water we use outdoors is being wasted due to evaporation, wind, or runoff caused by inefficient irrigation methods and systems.
  • Homes with automatically timed irrigation systems use about 50 percent more water outdoors than those without. Your system can waste even more if it’s programmed incorrectly, a sprinkler head is pointed in the wrong direction, or you have a leak.
  • A home with an automatic irrigation system that isn’t properly programmed or maintained can waste as much as 30,000 gallons of water annually.
  • A broken or missing sprinkler head could waste as much as 25,000 gallons of water and more than $90 over a six-month irrigation season.

Simple Tips for Sprucing Up Your Sprinkler

Before you ramp up your watering this spring, spruce up your irrigation system by remembering four simple steps: inspect, connect, direct, and select:

  • Inspect. Check your system for clogged, broken or missing sprinkler heads. If you’re not the do-it-yourself type, go with a pro—look for an irrigation professional certified through a WaterSense labeled program.
  • Connect.  Examine points where the sprinkler heads connect to pipes/hoses. If water pools in your landscape or you have large wet areas, you could have a leak in your system. A leak about as small as the tip of a ballpoint pen (or 1/32nd of an inch) can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month.
  • Direct. Are you watering the driveway, house, or sidewalk instead of your yard? Redirect sprinklers to apply water only to the landscape.
  • Select. An improperly scheduled irrigation controller can waste a lot of water and money. Update your system’s schedule with the seasons, or select a WaterSense labeled controller to take the guesswork out of scheduling.

For more tips, visit the WaterSense website at www.epa.gov/watersense/outdoor.