There are many ways to conserve water while still having a beautiful landscape. Hunter Irrigation products offer many different heads and rotators to help conserve water. There are rain & freeze sensors which tell your irrigation system to shut off when temperatures are approaching freezing or if its raining, and ET sensors that actually use the soil conditions to determine if your plants/grass need watering.
However there are other ways to conserve water without adding anything to your system, just by shaving 1 minute off your current run time on your irrigation system. The average home system has 7 zones (pop-up spray zones for flower gardens, and rotators zones for the grass). Most spray zones run an average of 10 - 12 minutes/zone using 1 gallon/minute/head. Most rotator zones run an average of 20 - 25 minutes/zone using 3 gallons/minute/head. If you take a minute off all zones you would save an average of 93 gallons/watering. This works out to be an average of 2,790 gallons of water/month and 19,530 gallons/7 months - avg watering months in zone 7 (assuming your system has 4 spray zones and 3 rotator zones). Yes, this is an average on a typical system, yours may be somewhat different, but you get the idea.
Water in Oklahoma is actually pretty cheap, and we don't have a lot of customers who are overly concerned with water conservation, however as we become more and more aware of conserving our resources many people are motivated to do these things as a service to mother nature. However, if you are interested in the money savings (I'm always eager to find ways to save money) I did the math for you based on my water bill. In the City of Tulsa There is a charge of $6.45/1000 gallons of water used (this is water and sewer together, as most homeowners do not have a separate water meter for their irrigation. It's 2.53/1000 gallons for water alone). So if you were to save 19,530 gallons/7 months you would save $125.97 on your water bills over 7 months. No, that is not a lot of money stretched out over 7 months, but its always good to know that you are actually saving money while doing something you can feel good about.
More than likely you will not see a difference in your landscaping shaving 1 minute off your watering time, especially in the spring and early summer. However some summers here in Oklahoma we don't see rain for 3 months (with the exception of maybe a drop or 2). During those times just watch your plantings, if they are beginning to wilt or seem to be burning up you may have to up the running time a few minutes, but its common to have to water a little more during extreme weather.
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