Some excellent recent news from the Environmental Protection Agency for all you water-conscious landscapers out there:
WaterSense, a soggy spin of sorts on the EPA’s Energy Star program, has finally extended its reach out of the home and will now include certification for water-saving outdoor/landscaping products. Somebody alert these Hamptons homeowners, and quick.
Many homeowners have been picking up on the five-year-old labeling system that applies to things like toilets, shower heads, bathroom sink faucets, urinals and even entire homes. (Check out my recent post about Oregon’s first WaterSense-certified home here.) Now, irrigation controllers — devices that according to the EPA, “act like a thermostat for your sprinkler system telling it when to turn on and off, use local weather and landscape conditions to tailor watering schedules to actual conditions on the site” — have joined the ranks of WaterSense-certified products and could be available as soon as spring 2012. Like existing WaterSense-labeled products, irrigation controllers are required to be independently certified to meet the EPA’s criteria for water efficiency and performance.
With residential landscaping claiming more than 7 billion gallons of water per day in the U.S., these weather-based irrigation controllers have the potential to help waterers save big. According to the EPA, homeowners have the potential to collectively save $410 million per year on utility bills and 110 billions gallons of water by using WaterSense-labeled irrigation controllers.
Says Sheila Frace, director of EPA’s Office of Water’s Municipal Support Division:
As much as half of the water we use on our landscapes goes to waste due to evaporation, wind and improperly scheduled irrigation systems. 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.”