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Rainfall is Here: Don't Forget to Turn Off Your Sprinklers

Rain drops with fall leaves.

Published: 10 December 2021

With a major winter storm headed to California,  now is the time to turn off sprinklers and other outdoor irrigation systems. On average, Californians use 30-60% of their water on outdoor irrigation, and letting Mother Nature do the watering when it rains is an important way to save water.

Keep your irrigation turned off for at least two days after it rains and, depending on the amount of rain, you may be able to keep your systems off for much longer.

In fact, you don’t need to begin watering again until the top two inches of soil are dry. An easy way to check if the soil is still moist is the screwdriver test – stick a screwdriver into a patch of soil, if it goes in all the way then there is enough water in the soil and sprinklers can stay off.

Additional steps to take include harvesting rainwater for outdoor watering, adjusting lawnmower blades to three inches to encourage deeper roots, and installing automatic shutoffs to save hundreds of gallons of water per year.

Check out more tips for saving water when rain is in the forecast.