Date of this Version



© 1994, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


This NebGuide outlines methods to assess and improve landscape irrigation performance. A properly designed and functioning irrigation system can save water, improve plant appearance, and reduce non-point source pollution. An irrigation system also must apply water uniformly, at a rate that the soil can absorb, and the proper amount to meet the water needs of the landscape plants. Runoff can result when an improperly functioning system applies water faster than the soil can absorb it. This runoff can carry applied fertilizer, such as nitrogen, as well as some pesticides into the streets and eventually into storm drains. Another concern is that excess irrigation water entering the soil can carry in nitrogen and pesticides below the root zone and into the groundwater. Uniform water application helps to assure no portion of the landscape is over- or under-watered.