Prairie-Smart Watering: Rules & Tips

Peak Season Watering Rules

Are in effect from April 15 – October 15th 


Water resources dwindle quickly during the summer in our arid climate.

By practicing responsible water conservation habits, we can lower the possibility that we will enter Stage One Water Restrictions – and homeowners can save money on their water bills.


Residents must follow these rules below every year during the Peak Season: 


o            Water your lawns no more than three (3) days per week. 
o            Do not water between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Water loss is great due to evaporation from heat and drying winds.
o            Use the 'Cycle and Soak' method when watering.   This allows you to water less, and yet have a healthier lawn!
o            Learn more about the 'Cycle and Soak' method below, and how you can employ it when watering your lawn.
o            Use of a handheld garden hose with a shut off nozzle, soaker hose, or drip system to plants, shrubs, trees, and vegetable gardens is allowed anytime. 
o            Do not run sprinklers while it is raining or during high winds.
o            No watering within 24 hours of a substantial rain event.
o            Repair leaking sprinkler systems within 10 days.
o            Don’t waste water by allowing it to spray concrete, asphalt or let it flow down the road.
o            Report water waste sightings to water 

The Benefits of Cycle & Soak


This method will ensure your grass will thrive even at two or three days a week. It helps to eliminates runoff,

and short, repeated watering times, delivers water at a rate clay soil can absorb.

o            Don't Over-water! This will deprive roots of oxygen by basically suffocating the roots.

o            Soggy Roots, cause a shallow root system. Too much water at the surface and roots will never run deep. Too close to surface and they can burn.

o            Longer Roots, reach down for their moisture, are stronger and better protected from the scorching summer temperatures.

o            Brown Spots: Hand water those spots directly with water in the cooler time of the day. Water is wasted trying to over-water with sprinklers.

webCycle Soak

The Cycle:

Evaluate a zone; turn sprinklers on in a zone and begin timing. When you begin to see excess water pooling or running off, turn sprinklers off and take note of how long the sprinklers ran. *This determines the Maximum length of time to water in one cycle for that zone. Repeat for each zone.


The Soak:

Waiting 30 mins between cycles gives water time to sink into the ground and be absorbed. Break up your total run-time into two or more of these shorter cycles.

*Example: Run off at 16 min. Program the zone for 8 minutes, wait 30 mins and set next start time for 8 min. Or a three-cycle run of 6 min for each watering time.


First Cycle – Breaks the soil’s surface tension, allowing water to penetrate.

Second Cycle – Water is now able to be absorbed deeper into the soil, reaching the roots.

Third Cycle – Additional absorption fills the root zone and beyond, promoting strong roots.