What does Castle Rock Water recommend I do to stay within my adjusted water budget?
  1. Water between midnight. and 8 am, on your designated watering day. Watering in the evening when temperatures, sun exposure and wind are lower, and humidity is higher, greatly reduces water waste to evaporation. Daytime evaporation can waste up to 50% of irrigation.
  2. Adjust your sprinkler run times according to plant type. Your past budget was based on Kentucky Bluegrass, a high-water use plant. Often irrigation timers are set for a large volume of water to ensure a green landscape. However, overwatering is not only wasteful but the primary cause of poor plant health. Kentucky Bluegrass is no longer allowed in non-residential areas, and as of 2018, no longer allowed on new residential lots. There are turf alternatives that require less water than Kentucky Bluegrass, and most shrubs and trees require even less. Naturalized (native) areas only need an occasional water during dry, hot periods, and not every week. Irrigation times should reflect plant needs.
  3. Ensure irrigation equipment matches the plant type. Only turf should have sprinklers, while trees and plants should be on a more efficient drip system. Turf areas that are less than 10-feet wide shall not have overhead sprinklers due to excessive water waste.
  4. Adjust your irrigation controller for weather conditions. Turf and plants need less water in the spring and fall than they do during the hottest time of the summer, and watering schedules should reflect that. Consider installing a smart controller that makes automatic adjustments for weather conditions. Check that rain sensors are in working order to eliminate watering during rain events.
  5. Avoid overwatering to fix problems. If dry spots appear in turf areas, don't crank up the controller. Instead do a cup test to ensure sprinkler coverage is even. Brown spots usually are a result of ineffective or broken irrigation equipment. Sprinkler heads should all be the same type, and height in a single zone. Misaligned sprinkler heads hit by mowers or people, as well as obstructions such as trees and fences could be causing lack of water to that area. Finally, pests and disease can also cause brown spots.
  6. Use Cycle and Soak method of watering. Break up the total irrigation schedule into shorter cycles. For instance, if an area takes 45 minutes to water, consider breaking up the irrigation schedule into three 15-minute cycles with at least 30 minutes in between. This will allow the water to fully soak into the root zone before adding the next shot of water, creating healthier plants that are more tolerant of dry conditions.
  7. Inspect your irrigation system for leaks, broken sprinkler heads, and over-spray, regularly. Though irrigation takes place at night, it is still critical to continually monitor for a properly functioning system that is devoid of leaks, equipment breaks and overspray. Broken sprinklers, misaligned heads, lack of head to head coverage, and too much pressure are all common conditions that contribute to overwatering and water waste.
  8. Hold your landscape professional accountable. If you have hired a landscape maintenance company to manage your irrigated area, show the landscape professional your water budget and express the need to stay within that budget.
  9. Hire a Water Manager to look at irrigation efficiency. This landscape professional will look at and adjust your irrigation processes according to specific plant and space needs. The cost of hiring this professional could pay for itself in water savings
  10. Use CRconserve.com as a resource. Though geared for residential use, this conservation website has been developed specifically for Castle Rock, with a run-time calculator for irrigation controllers, recommended plant materials, and tips on conservation and irrigation methods. Castle Rock Water provides rebates for efficient rotary sprinkler nozzles, smart controllers and removal of high-water-use plant material.
  11. Apply for a rebate. Castle Rock Water provides several rebates for water efficient irrigation products including smart controllers and rotary nozzles. Additionally, we offer rebates for renovating high-water-use plant material into low- or no-water-use material.
  12. Check indoor water usage. Tier 1 is indoor usage and begins the tiered structure on your budget. If you have excessive use indoors, this could push Tier 2 consumption into Tier 3-Excessive Use rates.
  13. Decipher spikes in usage. If you see a spike in usage, this could indicate a leak. Check the Castle Rock Water Conservation website to identify how to determine if the leak is indoors or out. Create a schedule to periodically check for leaks or abnormally high consumption instead of waiting to see the spike on the bill.

Show All Answers

1. What is a water budget?
2. Why is my water budget changing?
3. What happens if I go over my water budget?
4. What does Castle Rock Water recommend I do to stay within my adjusted water budget?