WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense program announced Nov. 3 that irrigation controllers will soon be the first outdoor product eligible to earn the WaterSense label. The most efficient irrigation controllers, which operate like a thermostat for your sprinkler system by telling it when to turn on and off, may provide home and building owners the ability to save 110 billion gallons of water and roughly $410 million per year on utility bills.
“As much as half of the water we use on our landscapes goes to waste due to evaporation, wind, and improperly scheduled irrigation systems,” said Sheila Frace, Director of EPA’s Office of Water’s Municipal Support Division. “WaterSense-labeled irrigation controllers are designed to do the thinking for you and apply water only when needed, to ensure a healthy landscape that doesn’t waste water.”
Residential outdoor watering in the United States accounts for more than 7 billion gallons of water each day, mainly for landscape irrigation. For many homeowners, the practice is “set it and forget it.” When watering schedules for irrigation systems are set during the hottest and driest months and not adjusted when the weather changes, the result is overwatering for much of the year. WaterSense-labeled irrigation controllers, which monitor watering needs based on local weather data, can use significantly less water by applying water only when plants need it – reducing annual water bills and offering convenience and peace-of-mind while keeping landscapes healthy.
Controllers with the WaterSense label could be available in spring 2012. Like all WaterSense-labeled products, WaterSense-labeled irrigation controllers must be independently certified to meet EPA’s criteria for water efficiency and performance.
WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by EPA, seeks to protect the future of our nation's water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, new homes, and services. Since the program's inception in 2006, WaterSense has helped consumers save 125 billion gallons of water and more than $2 billion in water and energy bills.