Sprinklers & irrigation

Did you know that different types of sprinklers have different watering rates? Check the best setting for your sprinkler system.

Ensuring your irrigation system is not over watering your garden and lawn can save a lot of water!

Use this guide to find the recommended run times for watering your garden, depending on which sprinklers you have. If you have a garden bore, you do get one extra watering day - but don't forget that sprinkler restrictions still apply. Bore water is a precious resource we share with our neighbours, as well as your local schools, parks and ovals. 

Types of sprinklers

Spray sprinkler

Typical watering rate (per hour): 35–45mm

Recommended run time for 10mm (standard drink): 13–16 minutes

Recommended run time for reducing water use: 10 minutes

Rotary sprinkler

Typical watering rate (per hour): 10–15mm

Recommended run time for 10mm (standard drink): 40–60 minutes

Recommended run time for reducing water use: 30–40 minutes

Gear drive sprinkler

Typical watering rate (per hour): 10–20mm

Recommended run time for 10mm (standard drink): 30–40 minutes

Recommended run time for reducing water use: 25–30 minutes

Dripline sprinkler

Typical watering rate (per hour): 15–20mm

Recommended run time for 10mm (standard drink): 30–40 minutes

Recommended run time for reducing water use: 20–30 minutes

Seasonal adjustment setting

As the seasons change, so do the water needs of your lawn and garden. Most irrigation controllers have a ‘Seasonal adjustment’ setting that you can use to avoid over watering in the cooler months. 

These adjustments are most suited to Perth and the South West.

Remember – no matter what the season, your controller should always be turned off when it's raining.

Time of year

Seasonal adjustment

January–February 100% 
March 80%
April 60%
May Use manually as necessary
June–August System turned off (winter sprinkler ban*)
September Use manually as necessary
October 60%
November 80%
December 90%
*A permanent winter sprinkler ban applies to scheme and bore water users in Perth, Mandurah and parts of the South West and Great Southern regions between 1 June and 31 August each year.

Testing your sprinkler application rates

Catch cups (graduated measuring containers) are a valuable tool for testing how efficiently an irrigation system is operating and the sprinkler application rates. 

To test, you should:

  • spread catch cups or indeed any sized containers randomly around the watering zone
  • make sure they are at least 1 metre from the closest sprinkler 
  • time how long it takes the sprinklers to fill the catch cups to the depth of 10mm – this is the standard drink for an area of sandy soil.

Once you have your reading, adjust your irrigation controller to allow for a standard drink of 10mm using the time taken to fill the cups.

Free catch cups!

To help you determine your sprinkler application rates, you can visit the following stockists and receive a free pack of catch cups. Free catch cups are available now until stocks lasts.

Stockist Address & phone number
AG Buffalo Turf Supplies

900 Eighty Road, Baldivis

Phone: (08) 9524 2364

Betta Turf

177 Moylan Road, Wattleup

Phone: (08) 9410 1426

Carabooda Turf Farm

288 Carabooda Road, Carabooda

Phone: (08) 9407 5288

Complete Botanics

13 Rose Street, Manjimup

Phone: (08) 9772 4470

Greenfields & Bullsbrook Turf Farms

108 Franklin Road, Wanneroo

Phone: (08) 9306 1065

Greenacres Turf Group

Lot 503 Henderson Road, Serpentine

Phone: (08) 9525 8800

Lawn Dr (Backyards to Barnyards)

1/1 Dellamarta Road, Wangara

Phone: (08) 9306 1788

Lovegrove Turf

41 Brentwood Road (North), Wattle Grove

Phone: (08) 9453 6222

Ord Valley Turf

75 Coolibah Drive, Kununurra

Phone: (08) 9169 2887

Queensland Blue Turf Farm

Please phone to arrange pick up   

Phone: 0408 922 888

Retic Landscape Shop 

Coles Supermarket, Cnr Ranford Road & Bristle Ave, Southern River

Phone: (08) 9398 4955

Superior Lawns 

775 Gnangara Road, Lexia

Phone: (08) 9303 2627

The Watershed – Cockburn

Cockburn South Central 32/87 Armadale Road, Jandakot

Phone: (08) 9417 8383

The Watershed – Joondalup

2/7 Delage Street, Joondalup

Phone: (08) 9300 9696

The Watershed – Kelmscott

2874 Albany Highway, Kelmscott

Phone: (08) 9495 1495

The Watershed – Midland

146 Great Eastern Highway, Midland

Phone: (08) 9274 3232

The Watershed – Morley

Unit 2, 150 Russell Street, Morley

Phone: (08) 9473 1473

The Watershed – Subiaco

Subiaco Homebase, 20/55 Salvado Road, Subiaco

Phone: (08) 9381 9700

 Total Eden – Balcatta

Unit 8, 39 Erindale Road, Balcatta

Phone: (08) 9244 7532

 Total Eden – Bibra Lake

6 Port Kembla Drive, Bibra Lake

Phone: (08) 9434 7575

Total Eden – Byford

Unit 14, 865 South Western Highway, Byford

Phone: (08) 9525 4800

 Total Eden – Canning Vale

Unit 13 South City, Cnr South St & Bannister Road, Canning Vale

Phone: (08) 9455 3338

 Total Eden – Greenwood

128 Cockman Road, Greenwood

Phone: (08) 9342 1188

 Total Eden – Joondalup

Unit 6/157 Winston Road, Joondalup

Phone: (08) 9300 3833

Total Eden – Malaga

 Unit 4/2 Carson Road, Malaga

Phone: (08) 9249 2373

Total Eden – Mandurah

Cnr Gordon Road and Kulin Way, Mandurah

Phone: (08) 9582 0522

Total Eden – Midland

Unit A, 175 Great Eastern Hwy, Midland, 6056

Phone: (08) 9274 6545

Email: midland@totaleden.com.au

 True Blue Turf

 433 Tuart Drive, Busselton

Phone: (08) 9754 8873

Waterwise Landscaping

U6/11 Caloundra Road, Clarkson

Phone: (08) 9408 5199

Westland Turf & Perth Turf Supplies

25 Shields Crescent, Booragoon

Phone: (08) 9330 2711


155 Watsonia Road, Maida Vale

Phone: (08) 9454 6260


Read a transcript of this video (new window)

Uneven results? 

If there is a significant variation in the depth of water captured by the catch cups then your sprinkler system is not applying the water evenly and should be checked for design or maintenance faults. 

If you need help with this, find your closest Waterwise Garden Irrigator or Waterwise Irrigation Design Shop.

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Once the faults have been corrected run the test again to determine how long to run the sprinklers to deliver the recommended application rate.

Missing a manual?

If you need detailed instructions for your specific irrigation controller, look for the manual on the Watershed Water Systems website. 

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