The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) WaterSense program has modified its approach for labeling programs that certify professionals. For existing irrigation professional certification programs, these changes extend the benefits of the WaterSense program—including potential job opportunities associated with WaterSense-labeled new homes—to all certified irrigation professionals.
Certified irrigation professionals no longer have to sign partnership agreements with EPA to be recognized for their water-efficient knowledge. Programs which currently require that WaterSense irrigation partners be used on irrigation projects can now specify any individual certified by a WaterSense-labeled program.
A look at the requirements
On July 24, 2014, EPA released three revised WaterSense specifications for professional certification programs. The specifications cover three areas: irrigation system design, installation and maintenance, and system auditing. Certification programs that meet the criteria outlined in one of the following specifications will be eligible for the WaterSense label.
The certification shall require that the applicant have a minimum of one year of demonstrated experience in the field of irrigation system installation and maintenance. In addition, the professional must provide evidence of a working understanding of system components and the ability to disassemble, repair and assemble system components. An oversight committee shall establish the standard of proof for the experiential requirement.
The certification shall require that the applicant have a minimum of three years of demonstrated experience in the field of irrigation design. An oversight committee shall establish the standard of proof for the experiential requirement.
The certification shall require that the applicant have proof of successfully completing at least one irrigation audit either before taking the exam or within a specified time period following the exam, as established by an independent oversight committee. The oversight committee shall establish the standard of proof for the experiential requirement.
Professionals interested in becoming certified and other stakeholders interested in learning more about WaterSense labeled certification programs can visit the WaterSense website, or contact the WaterSense Helpline at 866-987-7367 or [email protected].