San Diego County Water Authority urges home owners to adjust irrigation as daylight saving time ends

Between Saturday and Sunday nights most Californians will remember to adjust their clocks (it’s time to “fall back” one hour) as daylight saving time ends. For those who forget to make this annual adjust they will show up to work, school, church or other commitments an hour early on either Sunday or Monday morning.

The San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) is encouraging the county’s residents to use the time when adjusting their clocks as a reminder to also adjust irrigation systems. The suggestion is sound advice for all home owners as temperatures drop and the daylight hours are shortened.

“Adjusting irrigation is an easy way to Live WaterSmart, since landscapes need less water as the days get shorter and cooler,” said Dana Friehauf, a water resources manager for the SDCWA. “Residents also should make sure their irrigation systems are working correctly and are free of broken sprinkler heads or other leaks that waste water.”

SDCWA states that seasonal adjustments to irrigation controllers in preparation for winter weather not only reduce water waste, they are beneficial to landscape health. Landscapers say it can help prevent over-watering of plants while also saving water. Another option is to invest in installing a weather-based irrigation controller. Estimates are that about half of a typical California household’s water use goes to outdoor watering.

The San Diego water authority also shares that other fall/winter water-saving practices to keep in mind are to turn off irrigation systems when rainstorms are predicted and leave them off for at least a week after significant rainfall. Homeowners may also want to install rain barrels or cisterns to help capture stormwater from roofs and store it for future irrigation use.

Other recommendations from SDCWA include periodically checking your irrigation system for leaks, over-sprayed areas or other problem. Conversely, checking the batteries in your irrigation controller can save your landscaping from drying out when the batteries ceasing powering the controller. The SDCWA suggests using the beginning and end of daylight savings time to check the batteries and consider changing them out.

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