The following article list most of the problems with lawn and landscape sprinkler systems that cause excessive use of water or water that is being wasted. Use this article to evaluate your irrigation system and make improvements to improve the efficiency of your system.

System Pressure: Improper pressure at the sprinkler is a big waste of water, sprinklers are designed to operate at a specific pressure the closer your sprinkler is operating at that pressure the better the uniformity of application. What is uniformity of application you ask? That is a great question and I will define uniformity of application as it relates to sprinkler system now because it is one of the key factors in saving water.

Let’s take a look at two illustrations


As you can see in the top illustration the water penetrates the soil in an even pattern to the full depth of the root. Any water that goes deeper than the roots is wasted water and any area that does not penetrate to the full depth of the roots may cause brown spots in the turf or stressed plants in the landscape. So the basis of a uniform application is to apply the irrigation water evenly to the surface being irrigated.

The following are more methods of improving uniformity.

Spacing of sprinklers: Sprinklers should always be positioned so that water from one sprinkler reaches the adjacent sprinkler; this is known as head to head coverage as shown below.

Courtesy of

If your sprinklers do not have head to head coverage you will end up having an area of deficit in the middle of the sprinkler coverage. It is alright to spray over or past an adjacent sprinkler head but having less than head to head coverage will be detrimental and over watering to compensate for this will occur causing more wasted water.


Mixed precipitation rate sprinklers on the same zone: This is a common problem with residential sprinkler system. If you have