Managing Irrigation Systems


Sensors are required on all irrigation systems in Woodbury per Minnesota Statute and City Code. Your system must have at least one of the following:

  • Rain Sensor: detects when it's raining and shuts off the sprinkler system. They also reduce wear on your irrigation system because it runs only when necessary.
  • Soil Sensor: detects when enough water is being held in the soil and tells your system not to run. This prevents unnecessary runoff and promotes deep rooting from your plants.
  • Weather-based Controller: uses weather reports and forecasts to tell your system no to run if it already rained enough for your plant and soil type, or if rain is forecasted before your next scheduled run time.

The savings in water charges from the use of a sensor can pay for its cost in the first season. Batteries in your sensor should be replaced regularly to ensure proper operation. If you would like more information about sensors, contact your sprinkler supplier, home improvement store, or the Woodbury Public Works Department.

Smart Irrigation Controllers

Consider installation of a smart irrigation control system which when properly installed and maintained can automatically adjust watering frequency and amounts based on weather and site conditions. The city has a program that allows residents to purchase discount smart irrigation controllers for only $35 (retail value $250).

Learn more about the Smart Irrigation Controller Program.

Pressure-Regulated Sprinkler Heads

If you have an automatic irrigation system, check the heads periodically. Be sure they haven't shifted direction to spray water on the side of the house, driveway, or sidewalk instead of the lawn.

Learn more about pressure-regulated sprinkler heads.

Consult an Irrigation Contractor

Grassy areas on sunny southern sides of buildings or on slopes and areas near sidewalks and driveways may need to be watered more often. Shady areas and northern exposures need water less frequently. Have your irrigation contractor complete an assessment on your irrigation system and adjust the irrigation zones accordingly.

When selecting an irrigation vendor/contractor to install or inspect your irrigation system, be sure that they are licensed, bonded, have appropriate plumbing and electrical qualifications, and carry one or more of the following credentials:

  • Certified Irrigation Contractor (CIC)
  • Certified Landscape Auditor (CLA)
  • Certified Irrigation Designer (CID)
  • Member of the Minnesota Irrigation Landscape Association (MILA)

You can use the Environmental Protection Agency's Find a Pro online tool to find a professional near you.

Backflow Preventers

The Minnesota State Plumbing Code requires that a backflow preventer be installed on each lawn irrigation system. This is to prevent lawn fertilizers, weed killers and other contaminants from being drawn back into the drinking water system.

Learn more about requirements.