Lawn Watering Guide
More than half of the water used by Mansfield households goes into lawns. Most people either water too much or too often. Learn how to save time, water and money with these tips:
- Determine the precipitation rate of each zone in your irrigation system. Precipitation rate is the rate at which water is applied to the soil, usually measured in inches per hour.
- Determine the infiltration rate of the soil in each zone. The infiltration rate is the rate at which water enters the soil, again, usually measured in inches per hour. Applying water to the soil faster than it can be taken in will result in runoff, which not only wastes water but can also pollute surface water flowing into lakes and streams.
- Determine the water requirements of your lawn and plants. A licensed irrigator or certified landscape irrigation auditor/manager should be able to assist you.
- Knowing how much water your system applies, the rate at which the soil can accept water, and the amount of water your turf and plants require can help you to make educated decisions about your outdoor watering.
When Can I Water?
Sign up to receive weekly watering advice provided by the Tarrant Regional Water District. Watering advice is based on your sprinkler type, and recent precipitation levels in your area.
The City of Mansfield’s Water Conservation Plan prohibits outdoor watering with an irrigation system between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., year-round.
According to the Texas A&M University School of Irrigation, the optimum time to water is between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m.
Check Your Precipitation Rate
- Set 3 to 5 empty cans at different distances from your sprinkler. Tuna cans work best.
- Run sprinklers for 30 minutes.
- Add the inches of water in all cans. Divide total inches by the number of cans. Now you know how many inches of water your sprinkler applies per hour.
- Adjust that time to determine how long you'll need to run your sprinkler to apply one inch of water.
Check Your Infiltration Rate
- Take any empty coffee can and open it on both ends. You may also use a wide diameter pipe or other solid cylindrical device.
- Push one end of the can into the soil in your yard or flowerbed.
- Using a watch, pitcher of water, and tape measure, fill the can to a depth of four inches.
- Allow the water to soak into the soil for 30 minutes.
- Using the tape measure, determine the amount of water remaining and subtract it from the four inches you started with. Now you know the infiltration rate of your soil in inches per hour.
- Adjust that time to determine how many inches your soil can accept per hour. This number is important because you don't want to apply water faster than your soil can accept it.
Using low output sprinkler heads, bubblers or drip irrigation systems can help prevent runoff and are efficient ways to apply water.
Request an Irrigation Evaluation
For help understanding the information above, or to , contact:
Email Stephen Olinski
You may also contact the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) to schedule a free irrigation evaluation. Mansfield has partnered with TRWD to offer this free service for residents.
Got irrigation system questions?
Download a copy of our lawn irrigation handbook that covers topics such as:
- Drip irrigation
- Sprinkler heads and nozzles
- Irrigation system controllers
- Backflow devices
- And more