Three ways to stop being 'irrigated' by water waste

Blog Post
Image of a sprinkler spraying green grass with text reading "do your part to water wisely."
Celebrate Smart Irrigation Month this July by using smart, water-efficient technologies that help save money and reduce water waste.
In this article

1. Start smart watering with a WaterSense-labeled controller

Example of the WaterSense logo: a white circle reading WaterSense Meets EPA Criteria around a blue and green water drop.

Do you have an in-ground irrigation system? Consider replacing your clock timer controller with a WaterSense-labeled smart controller. Smart controllers act like a thermostat for your irrigation system. They can automatically adjust watering schedules based on your local weather or soil conditions. Portland Water Bureau customers who install an approved WaterSense-labeled irrigation controller are eligible for rebates up to $100 for residential accounts and up to $500 for commercial or multifamily accounts. Limit one rebate per account.

Two types of smart controller have earned the WaterSense label

Do it yourself or work with a pro

  • A new smart controller must be programmed carefully and wired correctly to achieve water savings. If you’d rather hire a pro than do it yourself, the EPA’s WaterSense program certifies irrigation professionals who practice water‐efficient techniques. Find a WaterSense-certified irrigation professional in the Portland metro area.

2. Use efficient sprinklers to avoid water waste

Reduce water waste by reducing pressure

Infographic that reads "Save outdoors with WaterSense. Combining a smart irrigation controller and spray sprinkler bodies that have earned the WaterSense label can save water, time, and money on water and sewer bills.
  • Water pressure in most homes is between 40 and 80 pounds per square inch (psi), yet most pop-up sprinklers are designed to operate at 30 psi. If your irrigation pressure is too high, consider lowering it to reduce misting and runoff. You can reduce pressure at each sprinkler using WaterSense-labeled sprinkler bodies. Another option is installing pressure regulators, either near each system valve or one for the whole system.

Multi-stream rotating sprinklers

  • Reduce your water use and apply for a rebate when you purchase qualifying multi-stream rotating sprinklers. These sprinklers have thin, rotating streams that apply water to a landscape more slowly and evenly. This allows soil more time to absorb water, resulting in less water runoff from sloped landscapes.

3. Sign up for the Weekly Watering Number

text from a text message that reads: June 9-June 15: Your WWN is 0 inches this week. Different plants have different water needs. Here's what you need to do:

Take the guesswork out of watering and sign up to receive a personalized weekly watering number each week. The watering number can be used with any type of watering system you have. It just takes 15 minutes to measure how much water your system uses (don’t worry, this is a one-time thing!) and you'll be set to water efficiently all summer long.

Learn more about our irrigation rebates and maintaining a water-smart yard.