Landscape Irrigation Sprinkler Components
Outdoor water use accounts for about 30 percent of average household water use nationwide. Current estimates are that residential outdoor water use accounts for nearly 9 billion gallons of water each day, mainly for landscape irrigation. This number rises dramatically in hotter and drier parts of the country. EPA is adding sprinkler bodies to its suite of WaterSense labeled landscape irrigation products to help residential and light commercial irrigation systems across the United States save water.
The sprinkler body is the exterior shell that connects to the irrigation system piping and houses the spray nozzle. Some models of sprinkler bodies can control water pressure at the inlet to the nozzle, resulting in effective performance of their associated spray nozzles.
Landscape irrigation sprinklers are often installed at sites where the system pressure is higher than what is recommended for the sprinkler body, thus resulting in system inefficiencies, including excessive flow rates, misting, fogging, and uneven coverage. However, sprinkler bodies with integral pressure regulation can provide a constant flow at the sprinkler nozzle to help reduce water waste. Additionally, when the sprinkler body maintains its optimal operating pressure, the connected nozzle is better able to generate the right amount of water spray and coverage for more uniform distribution of water across the landscape.
As with all WaterSense labeled products, once the specification is final, all WaterSense labeled sprinkler bodies must be tested and independently certified to ensure that they meet the WaterSense criteria for efficiency and performance.
Experts estimate that as much as 50 percent of water is wasted due to overwatering caused by inefficiencies in irrigation methods and systems. One way that outdoor irrigation systems waste water is when they operate at water pressures higher than recommended. Water-efficient irrigation sprinklers deliver water more evenly to the landscape than traditional sprinklers and also regulate pressure to help ensure a constant flow rate.
Developing a specification that allows sprinklers to earn the WaterSense label will help provide consumers and irrigation professionals with additional water-efficient irrigation equipment options. Installing these products in an irrigation system for the average household using 50,500 gallons outdoors, operating at or above 60 pounds per square inch (psi), can save nearly 5,600 gallons of water annually. Replacing sprinkler bodies that operate above recommended pressure with these water-efficient sprinkler bodies could eventually save more than 31 billion gallons of water nationally each year.
In November 2016, EPA released a draft specification for spray sprinkler bodies to help decrease outdoor water waste from irrigation systems with high pressures.
- Draft Specification for Spray Sprinkler Bodies Cover Letter (PDF) (2 pp, 232 K, About PDF)
- Draft Specification for Spray Sprinkler Bodies (PDF) (9 pp, 331 K, About PDF)
- Draft Specification for Spray Sprinkler Bodies Supporting Statement (PDF) (14 pp, 641 K, About PDF)
WaterSense accepted comments on the draft specification through February 17, 2017. The program will consider the comments and work to release a specification by the end of 2017. WaterSense will post comments received and other program communications about this product category on this page and the spray sprinkler bodies background page.