The Irrigation Association recently published the first draft of recommendations to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regarding controller add-on devices for the Smart Water Application Technologies program. The recommendations address the number of controllers that would need to be tested with the add-on devices to receive a WaterSense label. The draft is in response to issues raised at the SWAT meeting held during the 2008 Irrigation Show in Anaheim, Calif.

“This is a first attempt at achieving an equitable position for testing of SWAT-tested controllers that are considered add-on devices to existing controllers,” said Brian Vinchesi, president of Irrigation Consulting, Inc. (Pepperell, Mass.) and the chair of IA’s SWAT committee. The draft will not be a part of the protocols for climatologically- or soil moisture sensor-based controllers, but a suggested position for EPA consideration. The comment period for the draft is 90 days. Read and comment at

SWAT draft protocols have been developed for “smart” climate-based controllers and 15 have been tested and are listed under “Tested Products” at  SWAT is also developing protocols for “smart” soil moisture sensor-based controllers and rain sensors. Learn more about SWAT online at, or by contacting IA Member Services Director Cynthia Amos (, 703.536.7080).

SWAT is a joint initiative of the irrigation industry and water providers to develop test protocols for efficient irrigation products, as well as marketing tools to encourage the installation of these products. Protocols will be passed on to EPA to develop product specifications that will be used to test products that can display the new WaterSense label.