IA Times, September 2019

New laws require pressure-regulating devices

Smart Water Application Technologies creates testing protocols for irrigation equipment that have potential to improve water-use efficiency in the landscape. Sometimes the technology is used to improve management, or the technology can improve the distribution of water. In 2012, SWAT created a testing protocol for pressure-regulating sprinklers, which has since been used to help create testing standards for sprinklers.

On Aug. 14, the California Energy Commission formulated a regulation with Resolution 19-0814-7 that mandates that all spray sprinklers must include a pressure-regulating device effective Oct. 1, 2020. While the CEC is generally focused on energy issues, it has identified that a significant amount of embedded energy in water can be saved if sprinklers are operating at the correct operating pressure. While California has had regulations to use pressure-regulating sprinklers on new landscapes, this regulation now addresses the use of pressure-regulating sprinklers on existing systems when sprinklers need to be replaced. From a California perspective, reducing energy use and saving water is a desirable outcome.

In the Colorado State Assembly, House Bill 19-1231, “New Appliance Energy and Water Efficiency Standards,” was signed into law on May 30. The bill aims to reduce energy and water waste by establishing standards for new appliances sold and installed in the state. Those working in the landscape industry in Colorado will need to be aware of this law as it applies to irrigation systems and some outdoor lighting. The law’s effective date is Jan. 1, 2021.

Both California and Colorado reference the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency WaterSense testing specification for certifying the performance of spray sprinkler bodies. Currently, the WaterSense website lists six manufacturers and 193 product models that have pressure-regulating devices. The regulation does not extend to valve-in-head sprinklers, rotors, hose-end sprinklers or agricultural sprinklers.

Other states that have passed either legislation, ordinances or regulations for pressure-regulating sprinklers include Washington, Vermont and Hawaii. States with proposed regulations for pressure-regulating sprinklers include Maine, Massachusetts, Colorado and Rhode Island. Contact IA Industry Development Director Brent Mecham, CID, CLWM, CIC, CLIA, CAIS, for more information.