It’s been a long, hard winter for your yard. While your plants go dormant to cope with the colder weather, your sprinkler system can feel the effects of winter, too. Cracks in the pipes can lead to costly leaks, and broken sprinkler heads can waste water and money. You could be losing up to 25,000 gallons of water and more than $90 over a six-month irrigation season—the cost of about 300 daffodil bulbs!

Now is the perfect time to spruce up your irrigation system before you ramp up your watering efforts this spring and summer. To get started, follow these four simple steps—inspect, connect, direct, and select:

  • 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 irrigation program.
  • Connect.      Examine points where the sprinkler heads connect to pipes/hoses. If water      is pooling in your landscape or you have large wet areas, you could have a      leak in your system. A leak as small as the tip of a ballpoint pen (1/32nd      of an inch) can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month.
  • Direct.      Are you watering the driveway, house, or sidewalk instead of your yard?      Redirect sprinklers to apply water only to your lawn or prized plants.
  • 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. You can      always get a smart controller at scvh2oprograms.com      for free as well.

Don’t forget to add “sprinkler spruce-up” to your spring cleaning list this year. Learn more about maintaining a water-smart yard by visiting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense website at www.epa.gov/watersense/outdoor.