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If You Have An Irrigation System, You'll Want To Read This

Updated: Mar 27, 2023

Irrigation system sprinkler head spraying water in lawn of green grass

The average American family uses 320 gallons of water per day. For perspective, think about that 1-gallon water bottle you carry around with you to get your daily water intake and multiply that by 320. That's quite a bit of water.

Seventy percent of daily water usage is indoors for showers, dishwashers, toilets, and laundry. Thirty percent is for outdoor use, with 60% of this going to watering lawns and gardens. Nationwide, landscape irrigation totals nearly 9 billion gallons per day.

While irrigation systems and sprinklers are convenient, unfortunately half of the water used is lost through evaporation and other factors. In fact, forty percent of water from sprinklers typically evaporates before it even reaches the ground or is absorbed into the soil. Runoff and watering where it isn't needed are some other reasons this ever-growing precious commodity is wasted.

Leaks in irrigation systems are an entirely different category of water waste and can wreak havoc on water bills, landscaping, and building foundations. An irrigation system with a leak 1/32nd of an inch in diameter (about the thickness of a dime) can waste 6,300 gallons of water per month. That's a 60% increase over a household's everyday consumption.

All told, more than two trillion gallons of water are wasted every year, and a significant portion of this loss comes from undetected leaks in irrigation systems.

There's An Easy Solution

Did you know you can use a water shut-off device (like Flo by Moen or Phyn) on your irrigation system alone? Several of our members have done just that.

While you may have already purchased one shut off on your water main inside your home, it may not cover your irrigation system. Shut-ff devices are designed and intended to protect the plumbing inside your home, so a typical recommended installation will not monitor irrigation. However, you may choose to monitor all the water entering the property by either installing the device before the irrigation branches off from the main supply line or by installing a separate device for irrigation alone.

With most devices, you can have multiple units on one app, so you don't have to shuffle between apps to get readings. A bonus to having a separate device on your irrigation is that your inside water won't be turned off or interrupted if a leak is detected outside. Your home will also continue to be protected with an active device while you are waiting to get the irrigation system repaired.

Signs You Have An Irrigation Leak

Here are the most common signs of a leak:

  • A surprising increase in water usage – even though water use routines haven't changed – and an equal increase in water costs.

  • Intervals of low water pressure.

  • Standing water or soggy areas in your landscape.

It is important to quickly address leaks in an irrigation system as if close to your home, they can cause foundation issues, mold, and mildew.


Source: Photo by Q. Hung Pham, Flo By Moen, Tech Hive,,


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