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Take Spring Cleaning Outdoors and Spruce Up Your Sprinklers

Spring is often a time for tackling those tough indoor chores - the ones left over from the Winter. Once you complete those tasks you should also add some outdoor chores that can save water and money, such as sprucing up your sprinkler system. If you have an irrigation system, chances are it has been dormant for the past several months even with the current drought. Sprinkler systems should be more off than on during the Winter (November - March).  Please take a few minutes to check your system for common problems, such as leaks or malfunctioning sprinkler heads.  Just one broken sprinkler head could waste as much as 25,000 gallons of water and cost more than $90 over a six–month irrigation season. The Environmental Protection Agency's Watersense Programs ask us to do the following: Before you ramp up your watering this spring, spruce up your irrigation system by remembering four simple steps — inspect, connect, direct, and select:

  1. 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 (such as Gardenworks Inc) to help you maintain your system.

  2. Connect. Examine points where the sprinkler heads connect to pipes or 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 (1/32nd of an inch) can waste as much as 6,300 gallons of water per month.

  3. Direct. Are you watering the driveway, house, or sidewalk instead of your yard? Redirect sprinklers to apply water only to the landscape.

  4. 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. Don't forget to add "sprinkler spruce-up" to your spring cleaning list this year and please join your community in the EPA's national "Spruce up Your Sprinkler Days" on May 3rd and 4th! Learn more about maintaining a waterwise landscape and garden by contacting Gardenworks. We can also help with other Outdoor Spring Cleaning Chores such as adding mulch, pruning and tending tree and shrubs, and organic fertilizing.

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