Qualified Irrigation Professionals
Select an irrigation installation and maintenance professional that has been certified
by a WaterSense labeled program
or otherwise has experience in water efficiency.
In addition, consider the following:
If using onsite staff, encourage them to become certified through a WaterSense
labeled certification program that focuses on water efficiency.
Upon completion of new irrigation systems, use a qualified irrigation auditor,
such as one certified by a WaterSense labeled program,
to audit the system and
ensure the installed system’s performance meets the design intent. The auditor
can then make minor adjustment recommendations as needed.
System Design Considerations
When replacing an irrigation system, recommend that the system be designed,
installed, and maintained according to technical guidance published by local co-
operative extensions or IA. Following industry best practices helps the irrigation
professional address water-efficient techniques from design through installation and
proper maintenance. Visit IA’s website for further technical guidance and information
related to the most widely known irrigation best practices.
In addition, consider the
Design the system for maximum water application uniformity (i.e., distribution
uniformity). As noted above, aim for a distribution uniformity of at least 65 per-
cent. Request the following of the designer:
Ensure no direct distribution of water over impermeable surfaces or non-
Maximize sprinkler distribution uniformity by following manufacturer rec-
ommendations for head spacing and design the system with head-to-head
Create irrigation hydrozones by placing plants with similar water needs together.
Also consider varying soil conditions, sun/shade/wind exposure, slope, and other
site specifics that could impact watering needs.
Consider installing the following components for optimal water efficiency:
Drip/micro-irrigation for all areas suitable for such technology.
High-efficiency sprinkler heads for turf and other areas that require spray
Check valves in all sprinklers to retain water in lateral pipes between cycles.
Demand-based irrigation controls (i.e., weather- or sensor-based controls).
EPA’s WaterSense program. Professional Certification Program,
IA. Technical Resources.