As North Texas moves into colder temperatures, the Irving Water Utilities Department reminds residents and businesses of the risks to using irrigation systems during the winter. Leaving sprinklers on automatic settings during the winter months means there is a risk that the system will operate during or just before temperatures drop to freezing levels, potentially creating dangerous ice on roads and sidewalks. The best method for ensuring this won’t happen, says Water Utilities staff, is to turn automated sprinklers off until spring brings warmer temperatures back to the region. Not only is it the safest approach, it also keeps water bills to a minimum.
North Texas landscapes are dormant by this time of year. Trees, shrubs and grass no longer require irrigation every week, and recent record rainfall in the DFW area means sprinklers can stay turned off – at least until March. City staff advises sprinklers should be operated manually, no more than once every four to six weeks and only when temperatures will remain well above freezing. Keeping the controller off helps prevent accidental activation that could cause icing.
Irving now has year-round, twice-per-week irrigation limits with odd addresses using Sunday and Wednesday to water and even addresses using Saturday and Tuesday. From Nov. 1 to April 1, it is acceptable to irrigate during daytime hours, when it is typically warmest. If using hose-end sprinklers, it is a good time now to drain and store hoses, sprinklers and nozzles. Those who choose to irrigate lawns and landscaping should choose the appropriate day to avoid a warning or fine.
Remember to check the City of Irving website regularly for updates to irrigation guidelines. It is always a good idea to conduct a checkup on an irrigation system before use, including the rain/freeze sensor, to ensure proper operation. For more information, visit CityofIrving.org/Water-Utilities or call (972) 721-2281.