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How to Test Your Sprinkler System

A sprinkler watering green grass with visible water jets suspended mid-air, bathed in sunlight.

Before you can conserve water, you need to know how much water your sprinkler system delivers to your lawn areas. You will need to perform a simple catch can test.  This can be done in 4 easy steps. 

First – Set three identical cans at various distances from the sprinklers within its spray pattern. Turn on the sprinkler zone for 15 min. 

Second – Turn off the zone and measure each can with a ruler, and look for differences in the amount of water collected. Note the location of each can on a sheet of paper and the amount of water collected. This will tell you how evenly the water is being applied, or how efficient. Sprinkler heads can be moved or renozzled to improve the efficiency of the zone. 

Third – Pour the water collected from the three cans into just one can. 

Fourth – With a ruler measure the depth of water in the can. Divide the number by three, and now you know how much water your sprinkler zone delivers in 15 minutes. 

Information provided by Denver Water.