What Days and Times Can I Water?

In the San Antonio area we are often in water restrictions. In fact for the last several years we have almost exclusively remained in stage 2 water restrictions. This article will address watering days and allowable times for the greater San Antonio area supplied by SAWS. The first thing to figure out is what day can I water? Allowable water days are Monday thru Friday and are based off of the last number of your address.

For addresses ending in:

  • 0 or 1 your day is Monday
  • 2 or 3 your day is Tuesday
  • 4 or 5 your day is Wednesday
  • 6 or 7 your day is Thursday
  • 8 or 9 your day is Friday

On your assigned watering day you are allowed to water from 7am to 11am or 7pm to 11pm.

Surrounding areas not supplied by SAWS typically have the same watering day but may have a different watering window. Check with your local provider for current restrictions.

How to manually shut off a leaking sprinkler system

Automatic sprinkler systems can be very reliable, but just like anything else from time to time something can go wrong. If you find a leak in your sprinkler system or have a zone on your system that won't shut off this article is for you. First, try and turn off the system at the controller by moving the dial or sliding a switch to off. If this doesn't work then your problem is mechanical and not electrical. Next, we want to identify the location of your backflow preventer and/or shut off valve. Usually, these items can be found within a few feet of your water meter.

The first choice and probably the easiest to shutoff is the isolation ball valve pictured on the left. Turn the handle 1/4 turn clockwise to shut off as shown. If you can't find the isolation valve, try to find your backflow preventer. There are 2 main types used in our area: double check(middle), and RP(right). Both of these have 2 shut offs, usually blue handles. Turn one or both of these handles 1/4 turn(perpendicular to the valve/pipe) to shut off water into the sprinkler system. Sometimes you might need to use bent pliers(channel locks) to grab and turn the handles as they become stiff over time. After shutting off the sprinkler water make sure that you still have water to the house.

Give us a call to schedule repairs to your system.

How long should I run each zone?

Every landscape is different, soil conditions, sun/shade, slope, water pressure all play a role in determining how long and often to water. Typically, we are trying to put down 1" of water per week for grass. We normally don't want to put down all 1" of water at one time because of runoff, so we typically divide it into 2 or 3 different waterings. We put down as much water as the soil can hold per zone and move on to the next zone allowing water to absorb into the soil. This is known as cycle and soak. Now that you are familiar with how much water to put down, let's try and give you a guide for how long to water each zone. (Remember there are multiple conditions as stated above that make each system unique.)

There are 2 main types of sprinklers: Spray & Rotary (Rotor & Rotator)

black sprinkler green grass

Spray sprinkler

MP rotator

Rotary sprinkler (MP rotator)

rotor sprinkler

Rotary sprinkler (rotor)

Spray sprinklers depending on water pressure will reach an inch of water after 30-40 minutes total per week.

Rotary sprinklers depending on water pressure will reach an inch of water after 90-120 minutes total per week.

This information serves as a guide only, each system will vary due to reasons stated at the beginning of the article.