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Green Lawn Care: Drip Systems Save Water

by Gabby Hyman, All About Lawns Columnist

Typical estimates for water distribution efficiency for drip systems are 90 percent or better, while sprinkling systems have estimated efficiency rates of 75 to 85 percent. Common complaints with drip systems include clogs and problems with distribution lines. Here are some tips for getting maximum results from drip systems.

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Coordinate Your Drip System with Climate Conditions
Set your drip system's timer to water at night or very early morning. This can provide maximum benefits to your plants, as they can absorb the water before the hottest time of day. Your lawn care regimen may change with weather conditions, and so should your watering schedule. Adjust your system's timer according to climate conditions.

Tips for Keeping Drip Systems Working
The most frequent problems with drip systems are clogged lines and emitters. It's typically a good idea to test for clogs regularly. These tips can help you keep your drip system running well:

  • Inspecting your yard every few days can help ensure that all of your lawn and plants are receiving enough water. Regularly check drip systems for clogs and malfunctions--this can keep a small problem from escalating and can also prevent plants from dying of thirst if there's a problem.
  • Don't bury drip lines or emitters. This invites clogging with dirt and debris. Also, rodents often gnaw on buried drip lines and emitters. They can destroy drip lines in very little time!
  • You can lightly cover exposed lines with mulch or groundcover plants, but make sure you can easily inspect lines and emitters for problems.
  • Length of drip lines from where water enters to the end of the drip line should not exceed 200 feet. This should lessen the probability of trouble with clogs and water pressure.


Regular inspection and maintenance of drip systems can help save water and reduce the amount of time you spend on lawn care.

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About the Author
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for Fortune 500 companies including eToys,, Siebel Systems, Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.

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