WaterSense labeled controllers have many capabilities that allow them to be water-efficient, including the following features:
• Non-volatile memory ensures that information regarding the irrigation program and settings are retained when the power source is lost and no backup battery is available.
• Zone-by-zone control successfully manages landscapes that have multiple areas with various watering requirements that need to be managed separately.
• User notifications alert the user if the controller is not operating in smart mode (e.g., if there is a problem with the signal or local sensor input that is prohibiting it from automatically adjusting irrigation).
• The ability to connect to a rainfall device is an important component of an efficient irrigation system in many climate regions. Multiple states have mandated the inclusion of these devices by law.
• The accommodation of watering restrictions addresses users’ need to comply with local utility mandates.
• The percent adjust (water budget) feature allows users to adjust water applied to the landscape without changing the detailed settings in the controller’s program.
• The ability to rely on a conservative watering schedule if the product loses real-time weather input or a weather signal is accomplished by using a proxy of historical weather data or a percent adjust (water budget) feature.
• The controller has the capability of automatically returning to smart mode if switched to manual mode. Controllers are often turned to manual mode for troubleshooting or other reasons and not returned to smart mode. This requirement ensures the controller will automatically return to smart mode within a specified time period as designated by the manufacturer.
For a list of WaterSense labeled controllers, visit the WaterSense website at www.epa.gov/watersense.
Source: Weather-Based Irrigation Controller Mini Report (https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-01/documents/ws-products-minireport-irrigation-controllers.pdf)