Here are tips for reducing the cost of operating and maintaining an automatic irrigation system:
Know how to run your irrigation controller and change watering times.
Adjust the watering times (number of minutes) and the frequency of watering (daily, twice a week, etc.) based on weather conditions.
Change your settings to adjust for seasonal differences and reset the timer when needed.
Regularly have a certified irrigation auditor check for leaks, broken heads and other problems.
Only water after the sun has gone down or in the early morning.
Make sure your spray and sprinkler heads are properly adjusted to avoid watering pavements and other non-landscape areas.
Water areas in the shade about 30 percent less than sunny areas.
If possible use drip irrigation to water trees and shrubs.
To eliminate runoff, set your clock to cycle 2-4 start times (no longer than 5 minutes each), 1 to 2 hours apart to allow water to soak into the soil. For example: water three times for 5 minutes, instead of 15 minutes all at once.
Develop a separate drip watering schedule for trees, shrubs and flower beds.
Power Aerate and Seed in the spring and fall to loosen soil and reduce runoff.