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Water-Efficient Spray Sprinkler Bodies

Residential outdoor water use in the United States accounts for nearly 9 billion gallons of water each day, mainly for landscape irrigation. Experts estimate that as much as 50 percent of this 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.

To help decrease outdoor water waste from irrigation systems with high pressures, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) WaterSense program released the WaterSense Draft Specification for Spray Sprinkler Bodies. 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.

On left, irrigation system operating under too-high pressure (photo courtesy of Irrigation Association). On right, system with water-efficient sprinkler bodies (photo courtesy of Rain Bird).

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. 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.

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.

This information is also available in a fact sheet (PDF) (1 pg, 399 KB, About PDF). Read more about EPA’s draft specification for spray sprinkler bodies.

Manufacturers, retailers, and distributors that produce or sell spray sprinkler bodies with integral pressure regulation are now able to partner with WaterSense. Manufacturers that become WaterSense partners commit to labeling products that meet the final specification within one year of its release. Retailers and distributors are eligible for partnership if they sell publicly to customers without requiring installation or consulting services along with the products.

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Technical Information

Are you a manufacturer or retailer or distributor interested in partnering with WaterSense or finding out more about the spray sprinkler bodies specification? Please review the draft specification page for more information, or email us with questions or comments.

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