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  2. With the proper setting of your sprinkler timer (also known as the irrigation controller) you can literally save thousands of gallons of water each year in landscape irrigation, while helping to prevent plant loss or diseases caused by over watering.  Just because your sprinkler timer is “automatic” doesn’t mean you can set it and forget it.  You’ll need to change the watering schedules as plants become established, month-by-month, and when it rains.  Here are some basic tips for getting the most water-use ef?ciency out of your sprinkler timer.


    1)  Keep your timer accessible:  Because you be adjusting it monthly, make sure your timer isn’t buried on your garage or basement wall behind large storage boxes or other obstructions.  You will also need to access the back of inside of your timer’s box to regularly replace its back-up battery.


    2)  Set your timer’s key functions:

                a.  Run Time:  This is the station duration time, in minutes, when a specific valve will stay open and therefore water a zone.

                b.  Water Days:  These are the days each week when a specific valve will be activated to water a zone.

                c.  Start Times:  The times at which a specific valve will open to irrigate a zone.  In “cycle and soak” irrigation scheduling, the same zone may be watered two or three times in one day, at one hour apart.  This increases water-use efficiency by allowing the same amount of water to be applied over a longer time period, instead of all at once when it is more likely to pool and run off.

                d.  Water Budget:  Most irrigation controllers have a seasonal percentage adjustment, or water budget feature, which allows the watering run time for all electric valves managed by the timer to be increased or decreased with just one adjustment by percentage.

                e.  Off or Stop Switch:  This will stop all irrigation programs from running until you toggle back to “Run”.  Your previous settings will be saved.  This is great during rainy days.


    `3)  Additional Timer Tips:

                a.  Set run times to avoid runoff:  By setting the sprinkler timer to turn on for the recommended number of minutes an hour or more apart, deeper watering and healthier root growth are gained, while runoff is reduced.

                b.  Set watering days for season and plant needs.  Please refer to Denver Water’s “Watering Your Lawn” tips page for a detailed watering schedule.