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Irrigation Evaluation Dotty Woodson Extension Program Specialist Water Resources Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Dallas Research and Extension Center.

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Presentation on theme: "Irrigation Evaluation Dotty Woodson Extension Program Specialist Water Resources Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Dallas Research and Extension Center."— Presentation transcript:

1 Irrigation Evaluation Dotty Woodson Extension Program Specialist Water Resources Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Dallas Research and Extension Center

2 Water Issue – Is there Enough? Population and development will more than double by 2060 Most of this growth will go to urban areas New water resources will cost billions of dollars Conservation is the easiest and least expensive way to make our water resources sustainable

3 Efficient Irrigation Future landscapes must use water as efficiently as possible to be sustainable Earth-Kind program will provide the guidance to achieve this goal

4 Current Situation Water usage increases 35 to 70% during the summer An Earth-Kind landscape can reduce water uses from 30 to 60%

5 Most homeowners over water How Often How Long Time of Day Seasonally Efficient Irrigation

6 According to EPA Inefficient Irrigation Waste Water

7 How Many Gallons How Much Money Saving Money is not the only Incentive ▪ Every time you apply one inch of water to your landscape, you apply 0.623 gallons of water per square foot 2,000 square feet X 1 inch X 0.623 = 1246 gallons Cost of water $190.00/CCF CCF = 100 cubic feet =748.1 gallons 1246 gallons/1.66 CCF X $1.90 = $3.15 $3.15 X 36 = $ 113.40

8 Water Conserving PracticeWater Saving Landscape with low water requiring plants50 to 60% Maintain 2 to 4 inches of mulch in planted areas10% Utilize irrigation evaluation/checkup to improve efficiency10 to 30% Convert spray nozzles to multi-stream nozzles25 to 30% Convert spray irrigation to drip irrigation50% Harvest rainwater for irrigation90% Install/retrofit WaterSense Labeled Smart Controller20% Install Rain and Freeze Sensor10% Use ‘Cycle and Soak’ irrigation schedule20% Aerate lawn and apply ½ inch compost20% Potential Water Savings

9 Efficient Irrigation Applies water evenly through landscape Applies water to potential root zone Over watering No runoff

10 Even Distribution of Water


12 Irrigation System Evaluation vs Irrigation System Audits

13 Irrigation Evaluation Identify problems Distribution Precipitation rate Irrigation schedule Irrigation Audit More in-depth Software available Certified Irrigation Auditor – Texas AgriLife School of Irrigation – Irrigation Association Identify problems Distribution Precipitation rate Irrigation schedule

14 Irrigation Evaluation 10 to 30% water Saving Most irrigation systems are not efficient – 30 to 60% efficient Poorly maintained – Leaks, Misaligned heads, etc – Rain and Freeze senor – Adjust controller each season Out-of-date controller Conserve water Save money

15 Irrigation Evaluation Purpose: Check Irrigation Efficiency Create an Efficient Irrigation Schedule Identify Problems with Irrigation System Potential Water Savings Potential Dollar Savings Improve Water Distribution Increase Quality of Landscape Excellent Neighbor Relations Most Accurate Method to Determine Run Times

16 Irrigation Evaluation ▪ Site Inspection with Homeowner Run each Zone/Station Flag each sprinkler Identify Problems Catch Can Test Irrigation Scheduling – Time and Date – Days of Week – Start Time – Runtime per zone

17 Most Common Problems Clogged nozzles Misaligned heads Misdirected heads Mismatched heads Leaking or Broken pipes/heads/valves Too high or too low water pressure Irrigation head too low Grass too high Tree, shrubs, groundcover grown to block irrigation Bad Design Poor coverage Water bubbling, dripping or gushing all the time or just during run time Runoff occurs before adequate water applied Area along road, driveway or sidewalk stays too dry

18 Clogged Nozzle

19 Pressure too Low/High

20 Runoff

21 Overwatering



24 Catch Can Test To identify coverage and runtime Place 5 to 9 catch cans in each irrigation zone or station. Run each zone for 5 to 10 minutes To determine run time Some irrigation systems apply water faster than the ground will absorb 1 inch of the water so water run off. To this, you may need to run these stations several short times instead of one long time. If the water level in each catch can varies greatly, go through the Irrigation Check to help identify problems Test each zone. Water application and distribution can vary by zone.

25 New Irrigation Technology 20 to 30% water saving Replace wasteful spray nozzles with water saving multi-stream nozzles Hunter Industries – MP Rotator Toro – Precision Rain Bird – Rotary Nozzle

26 Smart Controllers 20% water Savings ET Controller Moisture Sensor

27 Convert to Drip Irrigation 50% Water Savings

28 Cycle and Soak 20% Water Savings Determine how long to run each zone (see ‘Catch Can Test’) Water these areas in 2 or 3 short cycles or 4 cycles if on a slope instead of 1 long cycle. Wait 20 to 30 minutes between cycles. Most irrigation controllers have a way to set different start times. If you have trouble programing your controller, visit the irrigation controller company’s web site or contact their customer service for instructions. Some newer controllers have a soak and cycle settings, so this may be a good time to upgrade your irrigation controller.


30 Resources

31 For More Information Dotty Woodson Extension Program Specialist- Water Resources Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department Texas A&M AgriLife Extension 17360 Coit Road Dallas, Texas 75252 972-952-9688

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