The Smart Water Application Technologies initiative, led by the Irrigation Association, has closed the public review of testing protocols for smart climate-based controllers. This protocol is a major step toward its goal to submit the industry’s first testing protocols to EPA.
Submission of the protocol will allow EPA to consider weather-based controllers as the first irrigation product for its WaterSense labeling program. To date, 13 products have been voluntarily tested by irrigation manufacturers at an independent testing facility in Fresno, Calif. Only minor revisions to the existing SWAT protocols, now in its 7th draft, are expected in the next month.
“Forwarding an industry developed and accepted protocol for testing smart controllers to the EPA is a large step in the six-year life of the SWAT initiative,” says Brian Vinchesi, SWAT chairman. “Working toward independent third party labeling of irrigation products has always been one of SWAT’s goals. In reaching this goal later in 2008, the entire irrigation industry shows its willingness to work with water purveyors and government agencies to help manage our limited water resources.”
SWAT is also developing testing protocols for soil moisture sensors and soil moisture-based controllers and rain sensors. While advancing industry testing protocols, SWAT has initiated programs to pave the way for product acceptance in the residential and light commercial marketplace. Over the last year, more water agencies and utilities have used customizable SWAT-developed promotional materials. Many agencies and water districts use the SWAT-posting of tested products as a rebate requirement.