Ways to Save Water in Your Yard

Water Saving Tips

  • Water LessUse mulch to retain moisture and prevent erosion in your yard. Grass clippings, leaves, and yard trimmings can also be added to plant beds to retain moisture and add nutrients.
  • Never put different types of irrigation heads in the same irrigation zone. Different heads deliver different amounts of water, so don’t mix them.
  • Water early in the morning to avoid losing your water to evaporation. Watering in the evening may cause fungus and disease. Irrigation is prohibited between 10 am and 4 pm.
  • Check your irrigation system monthly. Fix broken or misdirected sprinklers and make sure your timer is reset after power outages.
  • Turn off sprinklers when it’s raining or windy. State law requires rain sensors on all automatic irrigation systems installed after 1991.
  • Use a rain gauge or small wide-mouth can to measure how much water your sprinkler delivers in an hour. Only 3/4-inch of water per area is needed for a healthy lawn.
  • Use native plants and groundcovers and reduce the amount of turf in your yard. Natives require little water, no fertilizers, have few pests and diseases, and tolerate poor soils.

Rain Gauge

A rain gauge to measure rainfall and/or output from an irrigation system.Use a rain gauge or small wide-mouth can to determine how long to run your sprinklers. By checking it after each rainfall, you can determine the amount of rain and adjust your irrigation system’s watering time. A rain gauge can also be used to measure how much water your sprinkler delivers in an hour. Only 1/2 - to 3/4-inch of water per irrigation zone is needed for a healthy lawn.

Rain Sensor

A rain sensor prevents irrigation system operating during and after rainfall. Use a rain sensor to prevent your irrigation system from running during a rainfall or immediately after a rainfall. Rain causes the sensor to keep the irrigation system turned off during or after sufficient rainfall is measured. Most rain sensors have settings that allow some sort of rain measurement to take place. Settings can usually be adjusted so that a light shower will not effect the system operation. Sensors should be set to shut off the irrigation system when ½- to ¾- inch of rain is received.

Sensors should be mounted high off of the ground in a location that allows the device to collect rainfall without any obstructions from overhangs or trees. Place sensors out of the path of sprinkler spray and never place in full sun or full shade.

Florida law requires any automatic lawn sprinkler system installed after May 1, 1991 to have a rain sensor or switch that will override the irrigation system when adequate rainfall occurs. FAC 40C-2.042(2)(a)(5)