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Give Your Irrigation System a Holiday

Automatic sprinkler systems make it easy to set it and forget it, but this time of year it can be a wasteful and costly convenience. The solution: Turn it off. Your landscape and wallet will thank you.

Know when to turn it off — that’s the mantra often heard from SAWS encouraging customers to be aware of their irrigation system running when no watering is needed.

In fact, during the winter months it’s best to turn off the irrigation system for the whole season. Here’s why:

  • Seasonal variability– Most plants are dormant and need very little to no water to survive the winter. Even evergreen plants are essentially dormant and need minimal, if any, water this time of year. The rain we usually get during the winter should suffice.
  • Winter averaging– SAWS bases its residential sewer fee on average water use in the winter months when outdoor watering needs are at their lowest. Using less water this winter may actually lower your water bill next year.
  • Community conservation– Water conservation involves everyone. Reducing water use in the winter when it’s not necessary can help avoid drought restrictions and possibly delay them the following summer.

In-ground sprinkler systems make it easy to set it and forget it, but this time of year they can be wasteful and costly convenience. So, turn off your system and use it manually on the rare occasions when watering is recommended. Remember, your weekly Garden Style San Antonio newsletter will let you know when you need to water.

Juan Soulas
Juan Soulas
Juan Soulas is a conservation planner for San Antonio Water System. Since joining SAWS in 2007 his duties have focused on residential water use. He works with his Conservation colleagues to help customers find ways to reduce outdoor usage without compromising the health and aesthetic quality of their landscapes. Juan also coordinates engaging outreach efforts with SAWS’ conservation partners -- Bexar County Master Gardeners, Gardening Volunteers of South Texas, San Antonio Botanical Garden and Mitchell Lake Audubon Center – to increase community access to vital conservation information.
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