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The original item was published from 7/15/2021 2:28:00 PM to 7/16/2021 7:34:51 AM.

News Flash

Water Utilities

Posted on: July 15, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Cycle and Soak Watering for Clay Soil

irrigation system (1)

One of the unique characteristics of Pueblo West is the foundation upon which our community rests. The majority of Pueblo West’s acreage sits on clay soil,  which is particularly dense. While water moves relatively slowly through clay soil, it does have a higher water holding capacity. 

What does this mean for a homeowner who wants to maintain a beautiful yard and participate in Pueblo West’s voluntary water restrictions?  How about an irrigation strategy that works?  By using the Cycle & Soak method, or breaking up your watering into multiple cycles, you will have better absorption and retention of water.  Having two or three cycles per watering day gives the water time to move through the root zones and allow air to return to the soil. This method also helps to prevent runoff. 

To determine how long to run your timers per zone and cycle, try this: Run each zone independently and when you see run-off or pooling, stop the cycle. This is the amount of water your grass will absorb during one run cycle (x-min).

Now set your timers.  Example: On any two days in a week, program each zone to run (x min = 8), 8 minute cycles at 11 p.m., 1 a.m. and 3 a.m.  You also might choose to run each zone 12 minutes at 1 a.m. and 3  a.m. Your total run time is 24 minutes per zone.

  • The first  cycle = Breaks the soil’s surface tension, allowing water to penetrate.

  • The second cycle = Absorbs deeper into the soil, reaching the roots.

  • If you do a third cycle = Additional absorption fills the root zone and promotes a healthier landscape.

Don’t forget, when Mother Nature brings some substantial rain, hit your rain delay button or turn off your system. Your grass should not need water for at least 24 hours after the rain has stopped. 

If you are unable to do this type of program on your irrigation timer, the Pueblo West Metro District has a Smart Controller Rebate Program. Smart controllers adjust your irrigation schedule based on the conditions of your landscape. A controller will automatically adjust sprinkler run times based on weather, soil type, sprinkler type, and plant types. The rebate is for up to $50 or the cost of the controller, whichever is the lower amount. Single family properties are eligible for one smart controller every 10 years. The program is offered by the Metro District on a first come, first served basis with limited funds available. For an application, visit: 

To find more details and tips about our water department, visit or call us 719.547.5000. Katherine Kallenbach can be reached at 

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