Irrigation Certification First in Line for WaterSense Label

Certification programs for irrigation professionals, irrigation controllers and soil moisture sensors will be the first services and products eligible to carry the new WaterSense water efficiency label.

The Environmental Protection Agency has been working with the Irrigation Association, water agencies and others in the industry to establish criteria for recognizing certification programs for irrigation auditors, designers and contractors. WaterSense guidelines for certification programs are expected this summer, making certification the first product or program to be eligible for the label.

"The EPA's WaterSense label will provide consumers with confidence that certified individuals from qualifying programs have the knowledge and skills to optimize the efficiency of their irrigation systems," said Irrigation Association Executive Director Tom Kimmell. "Since homeowners often overwater, the WaterSense program will increase awareness of the importance of efficient irrigation and help consumers make water-smart choices."

Criteria for recognizing water-efficient controllers and moisture sensors are in development. Irrigation controllers and sensors will most likely be the first product categories eligible for the WaterSense label.

EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson unveiled the WaterSense logo and details of its water efficiency program on June 12. The WaterSense logo will go on products and services that are at least 20 percent more water efficient than their counterparts.

The Irrigation Association's Smart Water Application Technologies program developed testing protocols for controllers and sensors, laying groundwork for defining those products, Kimmell said.

Manufacturers can voluntarily test products according to criteria established by WaterSense for each product category. The EPA said consumers will have access to WaterSense products early next year.

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