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Southern Nevada Water Authority

Prevent Water Waste

Prevent Water Waste

Water waste investigator truck.

Most water waste is caused by improper or inefficient landscape irrigation. By taking a few simple steps, you can improve the efficiency of your irrigation system and prevent water waste in your yard.


Because our dry desert soil cannot absorb large amounts of water at one time, the best method of watering your landscape is known as "cycle and soak." This gives your yard several shorter drinks of water and allows maximum water absorption so the water stays in your yard and doesn't flow down the street.

Aerating your lawn at least twice a year also allows water to soak more completely into the root zone.

Over Spray

Sprinklers can easily become turned the wrong direction, causing over spray. To find problem spots, briefly turn on your system after each mowing and observe. Most sprinkler heads can be fixed by turning the sprinkler with a firm grip of your hand or with pliers.

Sprinkler nozzles come in many shapes and sizes you may not be using the right ones. An area that has a nozzle that sprays out 12 feet may be better suited by one that sprays a shorter distance.


Sprinklers that shoot onto a fence, tree or something other than the grass could be the result of an inappropriate design for the area or heads that don't reach up high enough. Sometimes the solution is as simple as installing a nozzle with a different reach, angle or spray pattern.


One indication of a leak is an area of your landscape that's more green or wet than other areas. However, many times a leak is a slow, but consistent trickle of water. These types of leaks usually require digging into the area to learn where the leak is located. You could have a broken sprinkler head or even a break in the irrigation line. Other indications of a leak in your irrigation system are pooling water or bubbles in your grass where water is trapped beneath the surface. You may want to consult a professional.

Another problem in the system could be a stuck valve. Normally, an irrigation valve opens when the system turns on and closes when the run cycle is complete. When the valve sticks, the system can run endlessly. To stop this problem, immediately turn off the system at your backflow device and then repair the faulty valve.


Your landscape design also can impact water waste. Narrow strips of lawn less than 10 feet by 10 feet, grass in curving areas, and grass on slopes are difficult to water efficiently. A possible solution is to remove turf from the edges of slopes and replace it with shrubs or groundcover to buffer run-off.

Replacing your lawn with water-smart landscaping or installing subsurface irrigation are two other solutions to water-wasting landscape designs.

Curbing Water Waste

The Las Vegas Valley Water District (LVVWD) offers a rebate on first-time fees for LVVWD customers who attend a free water conservation class or complete and return a "Curbing Water Waste" written test. To register for a class or request a copy of the written test, please call (702) 822-8571.


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