Low Power Arduino

Hello, I am trying to build an arduino sprinkler timer.
For this application I will need the Arduino to be completely idle for many hours and consume little electricity.
My current test code i believe switches into SLEEP_MODE_PWR_DOWN for 8 seconds… which is the maximum sleep time? it then increments a counter.
once it reaches 225 8 second intervals (30 minutes)
it actuates the servo.
I tested this setup and it ran for only about 20 hours on a single 9v battery.
so it idled for 20 hours and switched the servo 40 times.
Is this this maximum idle power efficiency I can achieve?

// Sweep
// by BARRAGAN  

#include <Servo.h> 
#include <avr/sleep.h>
#include <avr/power.h>
#include <avr/wdt.h>

int pos = 0;
volatile int f_wdt=1;
int longCounter = 0;

  if(f_wdt == 0)
    Serial.println("WDT Overrun!!!");

void enterSleep(void)
  set_sleep_mode(SLEEP_MODE_PWR_DOWN);   /* EDIT: could also use SLEEP_MODE_PWR_DOWN for lowest power consumption. */
  /* Now enter sleep mode. */
  /* The program will continue from here after the WDT timeout*/
  sleep_disable(); /* First thing to do is disable sleep. */
  /* Re-enable the peripherals. */


Servo myservo;  // create servo object to control a servo 
                // a maximum of eight servo objects can be created 
void setup() 
  myservo.attach(9);  // attaches the servo on pin 9 to the servo object 
  //Sleep Related Code
  /*** Setup the WDT ***/
  /* Clear the reset flag. */
  MCUSR &= ~(1<<WDRF);
  /* In order to change WDE or the prescaler, we need to
   * set WDCE (This will allow updates for 4 clock cycles).
  WDTCSR |= (1<<WDCE) | (1<<WDE);

  /* set new watchdog timeout prescaler value */
  WDTCSR = 1<<WDP0 | 1<<WDP3; /* 8.0 seconds */
  /* Enable the WD interrupt (note no reset). */
 // Serial.println("Initialisation complete.");
void loop() 
  longCounter ++;
  if (longCounter > 225) {
   longCounter = 0;
    if (pos == 0) {
      pos = 180;
    } else {
      pos = 0;
  f_wdt = 0;

You have full blown arduino?
Sleep only puts the processor to sleep.
5V regulator, 3.3V regulator, Power On LED, USB/Serial adapter, are all still consuming current from the 200-300mAH 9V battery (assuming the little square one).
If you want longer life, need a standalone circuit with few components, perhaps running from 4.5V instead (3 Cs or 3 Ds for example)
or run from 8 MHz on 2 Cs or Ds.

Can the Atmega operate fine with 3 AA batteries and without a voltage regulator?

I suppose I might as well leave the voltage regulator and power indicator on and get an AC-DC Power converter.
its looking like 5.49wH per day.
which is only 0.16kwH per month. at $0.04 per kWH thats only $0.006 per month.. ha ha
Though this does not include inefficiencies of AC to DC power conversion.

Yes, can run on 3 AA batteries and no regulator. I was testing a '2560 based board like that recently.
Or, AC to 7.5VDC would work well.

Arduino's do not cost much money to run from AC power for a year. With a Pro Mini it is easy to bypass the regulator. Scratch off the power LED. Then you are at 1ma sleeping. Next step disconnect the regulator output.

Battery powered option is useful if your sprinkler valves are battery operated too (based on latching solenoids):
You can then run the timer on battery and place it in your garden without external power.

Otherwise I don't see a strong reason to put Arduino to sleep, since your sprinkler valves are probably drawing more power than Arduino.