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Shushka 04-15-2012 05:49 PM

Irrigation system - normal?
Our lawn is about 15,000 sq. ft. We have an irrigation system that runs every other morning. My husband monitored our water meter yesterday and determined that the system sprays about 72 cubic feet of water per application - he thought this sounded like a lot and wondered if we could possibly have a leak somewhere.

Does this sound like a normal amount of water?

The sprinkler runs in 6 zones for a total of 74min.

user1007 04-16-2012 04:20 AM

I am trying to figure out a conversion for you. I am not sure how to get to cubic feet of water, a volume calculation when turf irrigation output and components are rated by flow rate and the gallons per minute of water they use. And to further confuse things, one common target is to deliver the equivalent of 1" of rainfall per week to the the turf with irrigation.

My first reaction is that it sounds like you might be watering too frequently if you are cycling through six stations in 74 minutes. You might be better off watering longer and less frequently to encourage deeper root growth. Depends on where you are though.

Have you noticed any signs of a leak other than being suspicious of the water meter reading? All the sprinkler heads are acting normal? Valves are not bubbling over when on?

user1007 04-16-2012 04:52 AM

Looks like this formula will do the trick for you:

US Gallons per Minute x .1337 = cubic feet per minute

You will need to determine the Gallons per Minute (GPM) output of your sprinkler heads. This information should be readily available on the packaging if you still have it, in a catalog or online for your model of sprinklers.

Total the output for all the sprinklers on each circuit and finally for the whole system to get the total number of gallons per minute the system should be drawing.

Convert to cubic feet per minute using the formula above. Multiply this number by the 74 minutes the system operates to get the total number of cubic feet the system should be using every other day as your timer is currently set. Compare to what your husband read at the meter. If the numbers are way off, you probably have a leak somewhere.

Lighting Retro 04-17-2012 04:09 PM

That's an interesting question. Most irrigation formulas have to do with gpm or gph. All sprinkler head nozzles have paperwork on information on them that describe their flow rates. In order for someone to truly tell you if it's "too much", you'd have to provide information on type of grass, area of the country, ambient temp outside, turf and shrubs/turf only, etc, etc. You may have a terrible design that is overwatering certain areas. You may have a leak. Does your meter still run if all water appears to be off? Does water pool anywhere when the sprinklers are running indicating broken pipes? There are so many things that could affect that number.....

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