When it comes to watering, we practice what we preach

We say to check your sprinkler system regularly for a reason. One of our employees can testify why.

September 4, 2018 | By: Steve Snyder

There’s a reason we produce videos like this. Sure we have some fun, but the message is still important. You need to keep an eye on your sprinkler system all year long. Things can happen.

I nearly found out the hard way.

Since I work at Denver Water, I believe it’s important to practice what we preach. So, each week after I mow my lawn I do a quick check of my irrigation system to make sure everything is working correctly.

Last week, I found a big problem.

We had a power bump in my neighborhood and I had to reset all the clocks in my house. But, at the time I didn’t think about the clock on my irrigation system. It hadn’t been impacted by previous power bumps.

But, this time was different.

My irrigation timer was reset to start watering at noon, every day, for 20 minutes per zone.

That’s just wrong in so many ways.

  • First, our watering rules clearly say you shouldn’t water between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. You lose too much water to evaporation during the heat of the day.
  • Next, you should never water more than three days per week.
  • Finally, you don’t want to overwater a section of your lawn. We recommend the cycle and soak method instead, where you dial back the amount of time you water in each zone, but cycle through that zone twice in a watering session.

Normally, I do all of the above. But a little power bump changed that. It was set that way for two days, but only because I check my system weekly.

Can you imagine the amount of water I would have wasted, and the money I might have spent if I didn’t check my system regularly? Oh, and my neighbors know I work for Denver Water. Not a great message to be putting out there either.

Now is actually a really good time to check your system again. The daylight hours are getting shorter and the temperatures are getting cooler, so your lawn doesn’t need as much water as it did back in June. Adjust those sprinkler zone times down a little bit.

Consider this a public service reminder from a loyal Denver Water employee and a big believer in efficient water use. Check your sprinkler system regularly. You never know what you might find.

Minutes to water per zone(For lawns, based on three days per week) by watering months chart.

1 thought on “When it comes to watering, we practice what we preach”

  1. Steve, with water rates for Tier 2 and Tier 3 inching upward every year, along with the Fixed Monthly Charge for 3/4″ meter, my belief is that keeping the sprinkler system timer OFF is better. Setting it to Manual operation allows you to control not only how many minutes (cycle and soak) to water each zone but keeps you aware of where your lawn needs water most. All it takes is 3 days a week. Another factor is that Denver is in drought mode-one never knows when it will rain nor how much rain will fall. But hail is a sure bet. The trees are already suffering drought stress. So along with having to put in the extra effort to control how much water to use one must now re-think “Use Only What You Need” to “Use Only What You Can Afford.”
    If the drought conditions continue we may have to re-think having nice lawns and automatic sprinkler timers. Should Denver Water impose watering restrictions in the future along with higher rates that will be a double whammy. Keeping up a nice lawn is hard work and high water rates aren’t making it any easier.

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