With the extended drought that we are currently experiencing in the Bay Area, we are now also seeing quite an increase in damage to water systems as a result of small outdoor animals (critters, rodents, etc.) looking for water.
Even as we are diligently practicing minimal watering, we might actually be using more water than we realize due to sprinkler systems not operating efficiently. These inefficiencies are primarily because of critter damage, and even the heavy duty brown drip tubing is getting destroyed! (see photo) These thirsty creatures are looking for a drink of water which forces them to chew through irrigation sprinkler nozzles, heads and drip tubing. We have been seeing geysers springing up all over!
We highly recommend that you check your sprinkler systems zone by zone every 2-3 weeks to make sure the proper water is being distributed to your plants. And don’t forget to also check the visible portion of your sprinkler system (the heads and nozzles), as evidence of creature damage can clearly be seen by the actual tooth marks in the plastic. Damage to a drip system is a little more difficult to find without turning on the sprinklers and looking for geysers or listening for water leaking.
As this record drought continues, we hope this little tip will offer you another way to make sure that you are saving as much water as possible.