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WaterSaver newsletter
Monday, October 5, 2009 Back to Issue Archive
Do You Drip?
By Adolph M. Garcia

If you're considering drip irrigation, SAWS recommends using a licensed irrigation company to install your system.

With water restrictions becoming commonplace in many cities across the country, both municipalities and homeowners are discovering that efficient landscape irrigation plays a significant role in water conservation.

Low volume irrigation, better known as drip irrigation, delivers water slowly at low pressure directly to the root zone of plants. Because of its slow and direct application, very little water is lost to evaporation or run-off.

Drip irrigation consists of two different systems that can be used separately or together. One component uses an array of emitters that deliver water to specific plants using flexible quarter-inch tubing with an emitter at the end. These emitters come in various flow rates depending on size and type of plant.

The other system is designed to water a larger area where plants are not as widely spaced. This tubing has emitters molded directly onto the tubing at set intervals (usually 12 and 18 inches). This tubing is buried just below the soil or beneath the mulch.

Considering drip irrigation? Keep these things in mind:

  • The inline filter and pressure valve need to be checked periodically.
  • All emitters are self-flushing and most systems have an automatic flush valve designed into the end of the system.
  • SAWS recommends using a licensed irrigation company to install your system.

Adolph M. Garcia is a senior conservation consultant for San Antonio Water System.

Last Digit
of Street
0 or 1 Monday
2 or 3 Tuesday
4 or 5 Wednesday
6 or 7 Thursday
8 or 9 Friday
No watering on weekends with a sprinkler, soaker hose or irrigation system. Areas without a street address, such as medians and neighborhood entryways, water on Wednesday.
Watering with an irrigation system or sprinkler is allowed only once a week from 7-11 a.m. and 7-11 p.m. on your designated watering day as determined by your address.
Friday, May 23, 2014
0 in. Bermuda (Full Sun)
0 in. Buffalo (Full Sun)
0 in. St. Augustine (Full Sun)
0 in. St. Augustine (Shade)
0 in. Zoysia (Full Sun)
0 in. Zoysia (Shade)
Rain benefits continue this week with established plants. No water necessary. Hand water newly planted plants. Donna Fossum, SAWS Conservation Planner.

Ask A Garden Geek
Where is the best place to put drip tubing?
The Geekster admits that, in the past, he placed drip tubing on top of mulch to make sure it was working properly. But the correct placement is actually below the mulch and above the soil. Modern drip systems have smart built-in devices that indicate the drip is working.
E-mail your question to
Good Gardening Tip
Drip Drop
Ever wonder how much water your drip irrigation puts out per hour? Go to your kitchen drawer and grab a tablespoon. Then, turn on your drip system and place the spoon underneath the drip to see how long it takes to fill the spoon. If it fills up in 14 seconds, output is roughly 1 gallon per hour; 7 seconds equals about 2 gallons per hour.
Wildlife Watch
Wild Color
Fall is the perfect time to plant wildflower seeds for a beautiful show next spring. Not only will the wildflowers look beautiful, but the butterflies will love them, too. Plant the seeds in a sunny area and use only locally produced seeds for best results. Consider areas where the grass died during our extended drought. Just rake the area, throw down the seeds and let them do their thing!
Event Calendar
Live Green Fest
October 10, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Olmos Basin Park
Learn about alternative energy sources, earth-friendly products, and recycling, and water conservation tips. CPS Energy representatives will be on hand to provide details about power-efficiency rebates. Admission is free.
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