Fix my Heads, Austin Tx — Sprinkler Repair


Round Rock Water restrictions by Justin Wilson

These are Round Rock water restrictions and current scheduling information. This information is provided from the City of Round Rocks website.

The summer watering schedule encourages customers to water only twice a week or less on designated days. It is important to water on your days between midnight and 10 a.m. or 7 p.m. and midnight to avoid losing most of your water to wind and evaporation in the heat of the day.

Summer Watering Schedule

Property Type

Watering Day

Commercial/Multifamily/Industrial/Institutional/Municipal

Tuesday and/or Friday

Residential: Odd-numbered address

Wednesday and/or Saturday

Residential: Even-numbered address

Thursday and/or Sunday

Residents are asked not to water on Mondays because it is the designated water plant recharge day. Hand watering can be done on any day at any time.

This schedule is in place to help spread out the amount of water used daily. If everyone watered every day, the demand on the current water system would be enormous. By only watering as needed and watering deeply (1-inch per week or 1/2-inch twice per week), lawns establish deeper, stronger root systems — ultimately both the lawn and the water system benefit.

This schedule is currently voluntary as we are in Stage I water restrictions.

Outdoor Irrigation Tips

Outdoor water use accounts for the majority of Round Rock’s water consumption during the summer months, as a city our water use can easily triple. This is where the majority of our water savings opportunities are, since outdoor use is discretionary.

The most important consideration when watering is simply to use common sense!
Typically, an irrigation system will use between 1,000 – 3,000 gallons of water each time it waters the yard. This translates to 8,000 – 24,000 gallons per month.
If you are concerned about your water usage, you can schedule a free irrigation system evaluation by licensed City staff at 671-2872 or jwoods@round-rock.tx.us. Staff will determine how many gallons your current schedule uses, provide a recommended watering schedule, and recommend any system upgrades that may benefit your yard. Staff will not make repairs.
Irrigate twice per week, if needed, according to the watering schedule during summer months. You may be able to water less if your yard has good, deep soil, is shady, and/or you do not water on a set schedule currently. Meaning: water only when the plants show stress.
The landscape can (and should) tolerate some stress, which will help build up its drought tolerance.
An easy way to see if your turf needs water is to walk across it. If you can still see your footprints after 15 seconds then it needs water.
Water before the sun has risen or after it has set. Evaporation losses are up to 60% higher during the heat of the day.
The most ideal time is early morning, because if there is “extra” water on the plant, it will evaporate once the sun comes up. Foliage left wet for over 8 hours is susceptible to disease.
Avoid watering on windy days, as most of the water will be blown off your property. Wind speeds tend to be lower when the sun is down–another good reason to water at night.
Automatic irrigation systems are a great convenience, unfortunately they are also the reason our city’s water usage increases dramatically in the summer months. The majority (50-60%) of our water is used for irrigation during the summer months! Please be smart when using them, change the schedules with the seasons, turn off during rain events and winter months and check them monthly to ensure they are operating efficiently (i.e. no broken or misaligned heads).
Turn irrigation systems off when it is raining (and prior to a rain event) and leave off several days after a significant (more than 1/2″) rain event.
Click here for recommended runtimes for irrigation systems.
If you’ve lost (or never had) a users manual for your irrigation controller, download it here.
Install a rain shut-off device (at right) and a freeze sensor on automatic irrigation systems. Check them annually to ensure they are working.
Make sure your irrigation system is operating efficiently. Have a FREE irrigation system evaluation by state of Texas licensed irrigator, Water Conservation staff. Contact staff at 671-2872.
Adjust water schedule seasonally. This cannot be stressed enough. Do not simply turn on the system and forget it.
Spring (March-May) and Fall (October) schedules can be 1/2 of the summer schedule.
Turn irrigation system off during winter (December thru February). Water manually if needed. Irrigating during the winter months usually is not necessary, due to the regular rain events and wastewater averaging.
Water your grass thoroughly to a depth of 4-6 inches. This helps make the grass more drought tolerant by allowing roots to grow deeper.
It only takes one inch of water to penetrate to this depth. To determine how long it takes to water one inch, put out several tuna fish cans, cat food cans, jellyroll pan (or any flat-sided container) on the yard and turn on the water. Let the water run for 20 minutes (or whatever time you choose). After this time, measure how much water is in the can. Now you know it takes 20 minutes to water 1/2 inch (or whatever measurement you came up with).
Drip, soaker hoses, or individual spray emitters are ideal for keeping water close to roots of the plant, where the plant needs it, rather than spraying into the air and on the leaves.
Adjust sprinklers to ONLY water the lawn, not sidewalks and driveways.
Purchase a hose timer (pictured) to use for garden hoses, if you are prone to forgetting to turn it off. It works like an egg timer where you set how many minutes you want it to run and it cuts the water off after that time. You will still need to go and shut the water off on the spigot at some point though.
Water Wise Landscaping

When installing new plants, they will need to be watered more frequently than established plants. It’s best to water these by hand, as an automatic irrigation system won’t provide enough water during this critical establishment period.
Recommendations for irrigating new landscape
Don’t Cut Grass Too Low If the lawnmower is set higher, the longer grass can help shade the ground, hold moisture longer and help to fight off heat. We recommend cutting grass 1/2 to 3/4 inch at a time.
Ideal heights for grasses are: St. Augustine grass 2-3″, Bermuda 1.5-2″, Zoysia 1.5-2″ and Buffalo 2-3″.
Re-Use Grass Clippings Leaving the grass clippings on the ground can serve as mulch and fertilizer all-in-one. And it’s free. Chemical fertilizers may not be needed during summer months.
Mulch, Mulch, Mulch. Use mulch wherever possible around trees, in shrub beds, even potted plants, mulching to a depth of 3-6 inches. However you do not want to mulch to be mounded next to the trunk of the plant, often called “volcano mulching.” It should be more saucer shaped so water will not run off or away from the plant. A flat mat of mulch allows the water to sink in.

Since mulch breaks down, it should be applied annually. For free mulch, if you are a City of Round Rock water customer, contact our Brush Recycling Center. Mulch also prevents weed growth, retains water, and insulates the soil and plant during cooler months.

Collect Rainwater. Take advantage of rain events as much as possible. It’s free! Rainwater is always better for plants than the treated tap water, mainly due to its nitrogen content.
The City sells 55-gallon repurposed barrels (see picture at right) for use as rain barrels for $25 per barrel. They are available on a limited basis to City of Round Rock water customers. If you are interested in purchasing one, contact Anja Thissen by email or by calling 218-5559.
Rain barrels and tanks can also be purchased from area retailers, such as Tank Town (Dripping Springs), Hwy 290 Supply (Dripping Springs), Timber Tanks (Dripping Springs), and EcoWise (Austin).
Rainwater harvesting components are tax-exempt.
Overwatering or watering turf to its saturation point does not leave space at the top of your soil to be able to take in rain, even when it is unexpected. When it is watered each time to its saturation point, the free, good rainwater will simply runoff your yard.
Use the collected rainwater on gardens, potted plants, beds, refill ponds and birdbaths.
Good links for rainwater harvesting (rwh):
The Texas Manual on Rainwater Harvesting from the Texas Water Development Board to learn how to install your own rainwater harvesting system.
The AgriLife Extension office offers good information on RWH at their website too.
Texas Rainwater Catchment Association
Native landscape. Established shrubs and native plants require less water than turf. Visit the City of Austin’s Grow Green website for fantastic list and photos of plants native and adaptive to the Central Texas area.
Install the right plant in the right location: observe amount of sunlight, drainage issues, slope
If plant becomes sickly, simply pull it out and try again with a different plant, rather than using a lot of chemicals to save it. Chemicals may kill the beneficial insects, as well as cause more problems.
Compost.
Shady areas. Water shady areas less than areas more exposed to the sun.
Some ways the City of Round Rock is conserving water:

Summer Watering Schedule
Utilizing the City’s Water Wise Program
Providing simple, effective water-savings tips
Utilizing a Water Re-Use Program
Tiered Water Rates in the summer months
Rain Barrel sales
Free irrigation system evaluations
Irrigation System Rebates
Rebate Programs for Efficient Fixtures (as of March 18, 2011, toilet rebate has ended)
Drought Management

Drought is a hazard of nature that we can’t prevent. If you have spent any time in Texas, you probably have experienced summer drought conditions. Drought originates from a deficiency of precipitation over an extended period of time and results in water shortages. The impacts on the City result from the interplay between the natural event (no rain), and the demand people place on the water supply. Drought from lack of rainfall is unpreventable, therefore it is vital for the City to plan for the effects it will have on the use and allocation of water in order for the City to meet its ultimate water demand.

City of Round Rock Drought Contingency Plan (PDF)

City of Round Rock Water Conservation Plan (PDF)

City of Round Rock is a WaterSense Partner

The City of Round Rock is committed to protecting the future of our regional and local water supply through water efficient practices, products, and services. That is why we have partnered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to bring you WaterSense, a national program that offers people a simple way to make product choices to use less water—and perform as well or better than existing products.

Why Should You Care?

Using water efficiently will prolong current supplies for future generations.

Protecting and preserving the nation’s water supply is critical to our economic future and human health.
WaterSense labeled products and services perform as well as or better than their less efficient counterparts.
Purchasing WaterSense labeled products can help you protect the environment and help you save money on utility bills.
WaterSense labeled toilets, showerheads, and bathroom and kitchen faucets are available at a store near you! At the store, look for the WaterSense label on the product box and/or display. EPA maintains a comprehensive online directory of labeled products on the WaterSense web site.

Indoor Water Tips

Indoor water use is considered essential for health, so while you cannot stop using water altogether, you can use it more efficiently though your appliances and behavior changes.

Install Water Efficient Appliances

Toilets are the main source of water use inside, around 30% of household water usage. High-efficiency toilets (HETs) use 1.28 gallons per flush (gpf) or less, and can save 4,000 gallons per year. Look for WaterSense labeled models when replacing yours. Toilets purchased and installed since 1996 are already efficient toilets, using 1.6 gpf, which is the current standard set by the EPA.

Showerheads installed in the 1980’s use 3-4 gallons per minute (gpm) Some newer models are available that only use 1.5 gpm! Current standards require that showerheads use 2.5 gpm.

High-efficiency, front-loading clothes washers use 35 to 55% less water, 50% less energy, and less detergent and are gentler on clothes.

Hot water on demand systems are growing in popularity. While they do not actually save much water, they do reduce energy costs, as the hot water is not heated 24-hours a day, but only when it is needed. Look for an Energy Star model if you opt to install one at your property.

In the bathroom

Install efficient showerheads that use less than 2.5 gpm. Look for models that have the WaterSense label.
Install faucet aerators that use 1.0 gpm or less. Again, look for WaterSense labeled models.
Turn water off while brushing and washing your hands.
Take shorter showers and take a shower instead of a bath.
Toilets are often the cause of high water usage due to flapper leaks. If you suspect yours is leaking, put a few drops of food coloring in the tank (back part) of the toilet. Do not flush. Let sit for at least 10 minutes. Look at the water in the bowl (part you sit on), if the food color has appeared here then your flapper is leaking. The easiest way to fix this is to replace the flapper–be sure to note the brand and model of your toilet when you go to purchase a new flapper to ensure a proper fit.
In the kitchen

Wash dishes in the dishwasher, rather than hand washing, even if not completely full. New models use less water and energy than hand washing.
Fill the sink with soapy water instead of letting water run continuously, if hand washing.
Install an efficient aerator on kitchen faucet that uses 2.5 gpm or less.
When thawing out frozen food, plan ahead and put food in the refrigerator the day before to thaw or set food in a bowl or sink full of warm water, rather than under a running faucet.
Water softeners

Save water and salt by running the minimum amount of regenerations necessary
Turn off while on vacation
Ensure you have the proper size for your household.

Leaks

If you suspect you have a leak, make sure no water is running inside (washers are off, etc.). Go outside and locate your water meter, typically it’s on the edge of your property in a box with a metal lid. There are usually two meters inside, yours and your neighbors. Yours is the one closest to your property. If you are able to open the lid, look at the face of the meter, it is similar to a car’s odometer. Watch it for five minutes. If the red, orange, or black triangle, or silver star (depending on the brand of meter you have, see picture to right) moves during this time, then water is going through the meter, which means something is using water on your property. You will need to call a plumber to locate the leak and repair it.

You can call the City at 218-5555 to request a leak check on your meter.

For more information on Water Conservation please contact
Jessica Woods at (512) 671-2872 or via email

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