To conserve water outside your home, the first step is understanding the maintenance needs and upgrade opportunities within your landscaping and home’s irrigation system.
The Water Wise Outdoor Survey is a free service offered to single-family and small multi-family sites (under ½-acre) in Santa Clara County. During the outdoor survey, a trained irrigation professional will complete a comprehensive evaluation of your irrigation system. Please be aware that our surveyors do not carry tools to detect underground leaks, but they can help you narrow down whether a leak may be occurring indoors or outdoors.
The survey can help identify and prioritize improvements that may be eligible for rebates through Valley Water's Landscape Rebate Program.
Steps to get a survey
Learn if your property qualifies, how to schedule the survey, and what you can expect to happen during the survey.
Step 1: See if your property qualifies
To be eligible for the Water Wise Outdoor Survey:
- Your property must have at least one valve-operated irrigation zone in order to sign up (see photo).
- Surveys are limited to a ½-acre residential landscapes.
- Single-family residences on larger lots are eligible for a "representative" survey of a portion of their landscaping. The maintenance and upgrade needs in one area of a larger landscape may also be needed elsewhere on the lot.
Properties that are not eligible include:
- Homes that irrigate only with a portable sprinkler or hose attachment.
- Non-residential or larger multi-family properties. Learn more about our Large Landscape Program.
- Don't qualify? Check out these easy watering tips from EPA WaterSense.
Step 2: Schedule your survey
After confirming your eligibility and getting your water account number, schedule your survey today!
Please have your water account number ready to complete the sign-up process. This can be found on your water bill. To finish signing up, you'll be asked for a recent copy of your water bill and a photo of your irrigation controller.
Step 3: What to expect during the survey
During the survey, the surveyor will:
- Evaluate the efficiency of your irrigation system, noting and flagging problems that can be addressed or improved
- Make recommendations for repairs, replacements, and upgrades (some of which may qualify for rebates)
- Send you a detailed written report after the survey is complete
- Pre-inspect the site for the Landscape Rebate Program, if applicable and if there is enough time
- Not make any repairs to your irrigation system
- Not detect underground leaks
Seasonal check-ups on your irrigation system is the best way to ensure it's performing as efficiently as possible. On average, about half of the water used on residential sites goes to landscaping. A well-maintained irrigation system can help you reduce your water use drastically.
To get an indoor survey, order a Do-It-Yourself Water Wise Indoor Survey Kit through our shopping cart.
Video: Water Wise Outdoor Survey
In this video, Valley Water tech Gregg Catanese describes the benefits of the free home water-wise inspection.
Landscape Rebate Program
Our Landscape Rebate Program is designed to encourage residents to convert approved high-water use landscape to low-water use landscape, as well as to retrofit existing irrigation equipment. Completing a survey can help prioritize what projects you should undertake.