Using Your System
While underground sprinkler systems are more water efficient and allow the homeowner to make better use of their free time than holding a hose, some attention still needs to be paid to them. Most systems come with manually programmed clocks, whose watering schedule needs to be monitored by the homeowner. A lawn’s moisture requirements will differ from season to season and also varies with the amount of rainfall received each month.
Weather based controllers will reduce the amount of time spent on checking a system by automatically altering the amount and length of time that the sprinklers are running. A manually controlled clock requires the homeowner to make these adjustments; when forgotten the impact on a landscape can be severe. Generally, manually operated clocks should be:
- Accompanied by a schedule that is posted nearby or is easily accessible and reflects various options for different seasons and watering requirements.
- Checked bi-weekly to ensure the schedule is consistent with the current weather conditions.
- Changed as needed when months are warmer or cooler OR there is a significant change in the amount of humidity, rainfall and wind.
- Reviewed and adjusted to ensure that the watering times follow the rules and guidelines set by the municipality where the homeowner lives to be complaint with restrictions.
The Environmental Protections Agency’s Water Sense Program encourages the use of weather based controllers. For more information on their viewpoint, click on the Water Sense Logo in the sidebar.
For homeowners without these controllers who are concerned about water use, but do not have the time or availability to regularly check their clock’s schedule, Naturescape has developed a Monitoring Program to watch and adjust systems to ensure correct watering guidelines are in place. To monitor, correct and repair system damage or issues, Naturescape’s service contract also offers the option for regular inspections to adjust or fix system flaws. Of course, if a homeowner notices something such as a broken line or a damaged sprinkler head, they can call our office at 847-639-6900 to have a technician come out to make repairs.
Naturescape’s technicians are also adept at starting up systems in the spring and shutting them down for the winter. It is critical that a system is properly winterized each year to protect it from freeze damage.