Outdoor Water Conservation Tips

  • Water deeply to encourage deep root growth. Aerating your lawn can improve root growth. OrangeCountyhas predominantly heavy clay soils, which absorb water at a slower rate. To get the deep water penetration, try watering for short periods twice or even three times in one day at least an hour apart. This watering pattern produces better root growth than watering a little every day.
  • Water your lawn only when it needs it. Check by stepping on the grass. If it springs back up when you move, it doesn’t need water. If it stays flat, fetch the sprinkler. Trees and shrubs generally require about half (some shrubs even less) of what the lawn needs. If you’re watering every day or every other day, you’re providing more than most plants need. Check the moisture of the soil 3-6” below the surface. With our heavy clay soils, the surface may look dry, but the clay remains moist beneath the surface.
  • Prevent runoff: Landscapers may turn sprinkler controllers up too high. Watch for runoff and check for broken sprinkler heads. Runoff will carry fertilizers into the storm drain and contribute to pollution in our waterways.


Suggested WEEKLY watering schedule for spray-head irrigation systems:

Month             Turfgrass                                Trees, Shrubs, Groundcover             % Option***

         June        3 days, 2 cycles* of 5 minutes       2 days, 3 cycles* of 3 minutes                                  100

*By "cycling" your irrigation timer to turn on for the suggested number of minutes an hour apart, you reduce runoff and gain deeper watering and healthier root growth. Start with this weekly schedule and increase the times only if your plants show signs of stress. If stress occurs only in isolated area, check your irrigation system before increasing the time.

***Some irrigation controllers have a feature by which the watering time can be set by changing the percentage instead of specifically entering the days, cycles and minutes.

Sea and Sage Audubon Society Featured in IRWD's Online Calendar

Want to learn all about bats and even see some of them close up in the wild? Every summer, Sea and Sage Audubon Society holds its popular bat walks at the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary. These twilight excursions, led by bat expert Stephanie Remington, fill up quickly. So register early. Go and download a registration form, or call (949) 261-7963.

Visit and click on “Community Events” to view the entire IRWD Community Calendar online. All online calendar and conservation information is continually updated.