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Using Water Wisely

Landscape irrigation makes up a large portion of water consumption, particularly during the warmer months of the year. There are many sophisticated automated, in-ground lawn sprinkler systems in use today; however, these systems require regular maintenance to operate efficiently. Even the most properly maintained system can be operated unwisely. 

Des Moines Water Works encourages central Iowa businesses and homeowners to Use Water Wisely, a recommended program aimed at smart summer irrigation. By improving the efficiency of irrigation practices, businesses and homeowners can reduce consumption, save money, and reduce the peak load on water facilities.

Recommended Lawn Watering Schedule
The recommended outdoor irrigation schedule applies to all spray irrigation systems for businesses and homes:
daily schedule

  • Watering is not recommended on Mondays
  • Even-numbered addresses are encouraged to water on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, before 10:00 am or after 5:00 pm
  • Odd-numbered addresses are encouraged to water on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, before 10:00 am or after 5:00 pm
  • Watering is not recommended during the hottest part of the days hours of 10:00 am. and 5:00 pm

For example:

  • My home address is 5018 1st Street. My recommended lawn watering schedule is Sunday, Wednesday, Friday, before 10:00 am or after 5:00 pm  
  • My business address is: 1355 Main Street. My recommended irrigation schedule is Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, before 10:00 am or after 5:00 pm

In addition, it is important to:

  • Test irrigation systems each spring to ensure there are no leaking sprinkler heads and that each head is properly directing its spray onto the turf and landscape.
  • For in-ground irrigation systems, install a moisture sensor that will turn off the irrigation system during its normal run cycle when there has been sufficient rainfall.
  • When possible, avoid laying sod or grass seed during the month of July and the first three weeks of August. These typically are the hottest months of the year.  New sod has no established root system and therefore requires daily watering during hot summer days to keep it alive.  Grass seed is also best used during the fall.
  • Consult your preferred garden center, lawn or landscape professional for tips and consultation for your specific lawn and landscape care and watering needs.


Des Moines Water Works Water Shortage Plan

Wise Water Use Information

Water Drip Calculator
Just a Little Drip...
Where Your Water Goes

Wise Water Tips for Indoors

How to Fix Your Leaking Toilet
Indoor Self Audit to Save Water

Wise Water Tips for Outdoors

Testing Your Sprinkler System
Reduce Your Water Use with Compost

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