On a residential or commercial site, water used for landscape irrigation can range from 25 to 50 percent of total site water usage. With such a large percentage of total water usage devoted to irrigation, there is an opportunity for water conservation through efficient irrigation practices. Excessive water use and inefficiencies arise from improperly designed, installed, maintained and operated irrigation systems.

Irrigation System Components

An irrigation system is defined as: all piping, fittings, sprinklers, drip tubing, valves, control wiring of 30 volts or less, and associated components installed for the delivery and application of water for the purpose of irrigation. Surface water, potable water or ground water sources, water taps, utility piping, water service lines, water meters, backflow prevention assemblies, storm water systems that service only the interior of a structure, and sanitary drainage systems are not part of an irrigation system (N.C.G.S. 89G).

Regulatory Requirements

Session Law 2008-177 established the North Carolina Irrigation Contractors' Licensing Board, to oversee the licensing process for the protection of public health, safety and welfare. The Board is also tasked to develop best management practices which promote water use efficiency.


Legislative Report – Recommendations for Watering Efficiency Standards for In-Ground Irrigation Systems

Water Efficiency Manual for Commercial, Industrial and Institutional Facilities - Chapter 4 Landscaping