percent is equal to a rating of “very good” for fixed spray heads, according to
To help ensure consistent uniformity, require that replacement equipment is
compatible with existing equipment and made by the same manufacturer.
In addition to a full audit every few years, the system should be periodically
monitored for effectiveness throughout the year. Ask the irrigation professional
or staff managing the system to ensure certain sprinkler components are placed
and adjusted so that they water the cultivated plants and not the pavement or
other hardscape. Verify that irrigation system pressure is within manufacturer
Request that irrigation professionals or staff managing the system include immedi-
ate reporting and repair of problems in maintenance programs, and require regu-
lar maintenance routines as part of the overall irrigation maintenance program.
Install a dedicated water meter for the irrigation system to measure the amount
of water applied to the landscape. Some water utilities offer an interruptible rate
for the service or will not apply sewer charges to water used for irrigation. The ir-
rigation professional or staff managing the system should keep a record of trends
in irrigation water use as part of the maintenance program.
If retrofitting an irrigation system, consider the follow-
ing options to decrease landscape water use.
Irrigation System Controllers and Sensors
An existing irrigation system can be optimized by the
following retrofits to the controls or components:
Consider replacing existing irrigation system con-
trollers with a more advanced control system that
waters plants only when needed. There are many available technologies using
weather or soil moisture information to schedule irrigation according to plant
needs. The following are a few options to discuss with the service provider, audi-
tor, or consultant/designer:
can be added to an existing system. These prod-
ucts are independently certified to minimize irrigation excess and maximize
irrigation adequacy, while also providing other performance and user fea-
tures. In order to work effectively, these WBICs must be installed and pro-
grammed properly, taking into account facility-specific landscape conditions
and the irrigation system installed.
IA. March 2005.
Landscape Irrigation Scheduling and Water Management
EPA’s WaterSense program. WaterSense Labeled Irrigation Controllers,
Weather-based irrigation controller