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Sprinkler systemEffective Irrigation 
Depending on the landscape design and particular plants, irrigation systems may vary greatly in detail, but they operate under similar principles, which are simple and straight forward. Some of the principles to keep in mind include: 
  • In seeking a low point, water may cause ponding or runoff onto adjacent property.
  • Regular and moderate watering is more effective than infrequent flooding or light spraying.
  • Irrigation can lead to salt buildup, unless steps are taken to minimize it.

Designed properly and used wisely, an automatic irrigation system can go a long way toward producing healthy, good-looking plants. Conversely, a poorly designed and inappropriately used irrigation system can result in unhealthy plants and a lot of wasted water.

Before converting to recycled water use, you should evaluate your existing irrigation system for:
  • Available water pressure throughout the system, as sprinkler heads perform most effectively within their designed pressure range
  • Poor coverage or a lack of uniformity in water distribution as a result of poor design, installation or maintenance
  • Problems with over spray and runoff; broken or damaged sprinkler heads
  • Operational problems, such as controllers with too few stations or inflexible run times, or controllers that lack the ability to set multiple run times, test the program, or turn the system off during rainy periods
  • Hydro-zoning or planting so that plants with similar soil and water needs are located in areas served by the same valve(s)

Monitoring Plant Health & Tolerance
Remember that over-watering, under-watering, and excess salt levels may all cause the same or similar plant damage symptoms. Check the overall appearance of your plants while using potable water. In many cases, plant decline can be traced to excess water in combination with poor drainage, rather than the quality of your irrigation water.

Plants vary widely in their ability to tolerate overwatering, but overwatering of landscapes remains common place, particularly for established plantings and turf. When using recycled water, anticipate a period of transition before achieving the optimum amount necessary to meet plant requirements.