A sprinkler system that is not working as efficiently as possible impacts water usage and bills. In a hot, dry summer – like North Texas experienced in 2018 – sprinkler maintenance or operating issues can become even more costly.To help Arlington residents use water efficiently, Arlington Water Utilities and Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD), the City’s water supplier, offer residents free evaluations each year as part of the Residential Sprinkler System Evaluation Program. Between October 2017 and September 2018, participation in the program doubled from the previous year, with 213 Arlington households receiving free sprinkler evaluations.With the program, customers receive a comprehensive look into their sprinkler system. This includes a visual inspection of the backflow prevention device, sprinkler heads, and current controller watering schedule. The results are provided in a detailed report with notes and recommendations to help improve the system’s efficiency and reduce water waste.Some findings from the past year included:
- 114 customers had at least one broken spray body and 56 had at least one broken nozzle. Both are parts of a sprinkler head. The EPA estimates just one broken sprinkler head can waste up to 25,000 gallons of water during a 6-month watering season.
- 122 homes required sprinkler head raising, while 110 homes required head straightening. Sixty systems examined had at least one obstruction contributing to water waste.
- Specialists found that 59 customer systems required cleaning with at least one nozzle and/or filter to maximize efficiency.
In the summer months, experts estimate that the average family can use as much as 1,000 gallons of water each day, or about 30,000 a month, and as much as 60 percent of total household use can be for outdoor watering.Sprinkler specialists note that even the smallest obstructions or incorrect head angles can create a 30 percent water loss. That 30 percent water loss can waste thousands of gallons of water a month. This significant loss can be relatively simple to avoid. In addition to the free evaluation, resources for making repairs and adjustments are available online at www.SaveTarrantWater.com.In September, Arlington Water Utilities surveyed residents who attended a series of public meetings about high water use during the summer. Among those who responded to the survey, a majority said they planned to take advantage of the free sprinkler evaluation program. One resident noted that the results from their home had already been shared with them. The resident wrote: “Free sprinkler evaluation found a leak! Great program!”TRWD created the sprinkler evaluation program to embrace and enhance water efficiency. TRWD reservoirs currently serve over two million citizens across an 11-county area and the population is expected to double over the next 50 years.Arlington Water residents can request a sprinkler evaluation by visiting www.SaveArlingtonWater.com. For further information regarding tips on water conservation and managing water bills, please visit www.savetarrantwater.com or www.arlington-tx.gov/water/.