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How Long Should Sprinklers Run In Each Zone In Colorado?

How Long Should Sprinklers Run In Each Zone In Colorado

How Long Should Sprinklers Run In Each Zone?

Living in Colorado, it’s important to understand the state’s guidelines on sprinkler usage. To make sure you’re complying with the regulations and getting the most out of your lawn care routine, it’s essential to know how long each zone should be running. In this article, we’ll cover all the details about the type of sprinklers to use in Colorado, when to water your lawn, watering practices for different zones, rules established by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, and the benefits of following those regulations. So let’s get started!

Type of Sprinklers to Use in Colorado

Let’s begin by discussing Spray Irrigation Heads. These sprinklers are designed to distribute water in a variable pattern, with the ability to change the flow and radius depending on the desired area. Next, let’s consider Rotary Sprinkler Heads, which utilize gear-driven arms that can rotate along a circular path and provide uniform coverage over an entire area. Lastly, we need to decide how long each zone should run for; this will depend mainly on climate factors such as temperature and precipitation throughout the season.

Spray Irrigation Heads

Sprinkler heads are designed to deliver water quickly over larger areas of land and come in different sizes. Your size will affect how long sprinklers should run in each zone. Generally speaking, rotary nozzles are better for large areas and can provide even coverage over long distances. Spray nozzles are better suited for smaller areas because they deliver water in a more concentrated area rather than spraying across an entire zone. When determining how long to run your sprinklers, figure out the amount of water needed for a specific area by considering the type of soil, vegetation, and climate. Once you know this information, you can adjust the nozzle size and flow rate to determine how long sprinklers should run per zone.

Rotary Sprinkler Heads

Rotary sprinkler heads spin swiftly, creating a mesmerizing array of droplets that rain down and revitalize your garden. With the right combination of pressure and flow rate, rotary sprinklers are able to cover larger areas with greater uniformity of coverage when compared to standard spray nozzles. The two main factors for determining how long you should run sprinklers in each zone are timing and precipitation rate. Timing will depend on the type of vegetation you have in your particular zone; for example, plants with deeper root systems require longer watering times than those with shallow roots. Knowing the precipitation rate of a given zone will help you determine how much water is being delivered per hour by the rotary head(s) in that area, allowing you to adjust accordingly. If your rotary heads are delivering 1/2 inch per hour, then a 30-minute run time should deliver approximately 0.25 inches of water to that specific zone.

When to Water Your Lawn

It is important to understand how each season affects the water needs of your lawn. In the spring, you should water your lawn for about an hour per zone every 5-7 days. During summer months, increase the watering time to two hours per zone every 3-4 days in order to meet your lawn’s increased needs due to hotter and drier weather.

Rotary Sprinkler Heads

As the seasons come and go, you need to adjust your lawn’s watering schedule for optimal health. In Colorado, each season has its unique challenges when it comes to watering your lawn. When temperatures drop below freezing in the winter, water should not be applied as it can damage plants. In the spring and fall, sprinklers should run a few times a week for short intervals (no more than 15 minutes per zone). During summer months, when temperatures are hot and dry, sprinklers should run longer (up to 30 minutes per zone) depending on how much sun exposure the area receives.

When setting up an irrigation system in Colorado, keep in mind that soil types vary greatly throughout different parts of the state. Soils with high clay content tend to retain moisture better than sandy soils, requiring less frequent watering throughout each season. Additionally, some areas may experience periodic drought conditions, which will require additional watering during those periods. As such, consider installing moisture sensors in order to adjust your irrigation system accordingly based on weather patterns and soil conditions.

Watering Practices for Different Zones

Depending on where you are in Colorado, the watering practices for your area can differ greatly. The Colorado Climate Division Map is a good resource to help you understand the best watering practices for your specific zone. Generally speaking, those in Zone 1 or 2 should water their lawns and gardens more often than others living in drier zones–such as Zones 8 and 9. For those located in Zone 1 or 2, sprinklers should run twice a week during the summer months, with each session lasting around 40 minutes. During the spring and fall months, it’s recommended to water once a week for 20 minutes per session. In Zones 3-7, the recommendation is to water anywhere from one to two times per week depending on weather conditions during that time period, with each session lasting around 30 minutes long. Finally, people living in Zones 8 and 9 should only water once every two weeks during peak summer months, with each session being 15 minutes long, while also reducing watering frequency (duration) during cooler seasons of the year like fall and winter.

Rules Established by the Colorado Department of Agriculture

You must abide by the rules set forth by the Colorado Department of Agriculture to ensure proper water usage according to your region’s climate. The department has established specific regulations for how long sprinklers can run in each zone. For instance, in Zone 1, which covers most of eastern and southern Colorado, sprinkler systems are limited to running at most 20-30 minutes per station at any one time. In Zone 2, which includes western and northern Colorado, sprinkler systems may operate up to 40 minutes per station at a time. The total amount of water allowed is determined based on precipitation levels from the prior year, so it is important to check with local officials or the department website for updated information before starting your irrigation system. Additionally, water runoff into public roads and streets is prohibited under state law unless otherwise specified by county or municipal regulations.

For residential use, outdoor watering must be done between 6 am-10 am or 6 pm-10 pm, regardless of zone location; however, commercial properties may also irrigate between 10 am-6 pm if certain conditions are met. These conditions include using low-pressure nozzles and an underground irrigation system that does not disturb traffic flow or create hazardous conditions while in operation. Commercial properties must also maintain evaporation rates below 0.8 inches per day in order to comply with state regulations for maximum water usage efficiency. Finally, all systems used should have an automatic shutoff function that will prevent overwatering due to weather changes or other unexpected events like power outages that could interfere with normal operations during extended periods of time.

Benefits of Following Colorado Watering Regulations

Following Colorado’s water regulations can lead to significant savings – up to 40% of outdoor water use can be reduced! Many of these rules are focused on how long sprinklers should run in each zone, and the Colorado Department of Agriculture establishes them. Adhering to the recommended watering times for each zone has various benefits, both for your wallet and the environment.

For instance, sticking to the recommended watering times ensures that your lawn is getting enough water but not too much. Too little water can lead to dry spots and brown patches in your lawn, whereas too much will lead to poor root growth or even fungal diseases. Additionally, following the state’s guidelines helps conserve resources and prevent waste. By using water more efficiently with regulated sprinkler run times, you can help reduce stress on local aquifers and other sources while saving money on your bills at home.


Now that you know how long to run your sprinklers in each zone in Colorado, you’re ready to enjoy a beautiful, healthy lawn. With the right amount of water, your grass will stay vibrant and lush. Imagining the beauty of well-maintained landscaping with bright green grass and colorful flowers brings a sense of peace and tranquility. Keeping up with Colorado’s watering regulations is an easy way to ensure your landscape stays beautiful without wasting precious resources. So go ahead, grab the hose, set those sprinklers, and enjoy!

Are you thinking about installing a new sprinkler system for your lawn? JS Enterprise can help! Our experienced landscapers have the expertise and tools needed to expertly install your sprinkler system. Contact us today to get started!