Two products from Rain Bird’s Accessories Division recently received a very prestigious industry certification. The SMRT-Y Soil Moisture Sensor and the WR2 Wireless Rain Sensor have both been evaluated and certified by Australia’s Smart Approved WaterMark program.
Australia’s Smart Approved WaterMark is a nonprofit organization that is setting an international standard for the identification of water-saving products that can be used in and around the home. Manufacturers of water-related products sold in Australia can apply to have these products reviewed by a panel of independent technical experts. This panel then evaluates each product based on certain criteria related to water savings, environmental sustainability and adherence to product regulations and standards. Rain Bird’s SMRT-Y Soil Moisture Sensor and WR2 Wireless Rain Sensor have been approved for certification, and these products will be labeled with the Smart Approved WaterMark symbol designating them as water-efficient irrigation system components. According to Rick Foster, product manager for Rain Bird’s Accessories Division, products that achieve certification through programs like Smart Approved WaterMark can gain easier entry into the marketplace.
“Irrigation contractors are continuously looking for opportunities to grow their business,” Foster said. “’Smart,’water-conserving products like the SMRT-Y and WR2 can be installed on new as well as existing irrigation systems. These retrofit opportunities are particularly important when new housing starts are down.The SAWM certification helps open doors and is an important sales tool when contractors present these products to their residential and commercial customers.”
The SMRT-Y and the WR2 are also currently undergoing testing by the Irrigation Association’s Smart Water Application Technologies (SWAT) initiative, with Rain Bird’s eventual goal to have these products certified by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense Program. The Irrigation Association created the SWAT initiative to provide an objective, third-party testing process that can verify an irrigation product’s claims of water efficiency. Manufacturers can choose to have their products tested and the results published on the Irrigation Association’s website, www.irrigation.org. Meanwhile, the EPA’s WaterSense Program helps consumers identify water-efficient products and programs that meet predetermined water efficiency and performance criteria. Products chosen to carry the WaterSense label have been proven to perform well, help save money and encourage innovation in manufacturing.
Brian Mueller, senior product manager for Rain Bird’s Accessories Division believes that putting irrigation system components and accessories through this type of rigorous testing can help manufacturers take their products’ performance standards to a higher level. “Since there are currently no recognized industry standards for irrigation product performance, these certifications and internationally recognized independent testing agencies provide a way to establish a standard and bring instant credibility to tested products,” Mueller said. “These certifications represent a standard for water conservation and performance in our industry and encourage all manufacturers to strive to meet or exceed that standard.”
For more information about the SMRT-Y Soil Moisture Sensor and the WR2 Wireless Rain and Rain/Freeze sensors, visit www.rainbird.com/landscape/products/accessories/index.htm. Details about Australia’s Smart Approved Watermark program are available at www.smartapprovedwatermark.com.