Program Frequently Asked Questions

What is water smart irrigation?

Water smart irrigation is the method to use water effectively and efficiently when watering gardens and landscapes. It is the environmentally responsible way to get the most out of your irrigation system to support a beautiful, healthy landscape without wasting water.

What is a Water Smart Irrigation Professional (WSIP)?

A Water Smart Irrigation Professional (WSIP) is a trained and certified irrigation contractor who is a member of Landscape Ontario. WSIP certified contractors have specialized knowledge and training in irrigation system technology and efficiency  services. They provide their clients with assessments, installation and maintenance services that support environmental protection and sustainable water use.  They are leaders in the industry and are committed to long term irrigation management and beautiful healthy landscapes.

WSIP certified contractors can determine:

  • How much water your system is using
  • The right amount of water needed to maintain healthy landscapes

How much does an irrigation assessment cost?

Currently the Region of Peel, York and Hamilton are subsidizing the cost for assessments completed in those municipalities. To find out more, contact a WSIP certified contractor in your area.

What type of customers do WSIP certified contractors serve?

When should I contact a WSIP certified contractor?

Contact a WSIP certified contractor if:

  • Your water bills seem excessive
  • You have drastic changes in billed consumption 
  • You have an existing system and want to make sure it is operating efficiently
  • Your landscape is showing signs of distress
  • You’ve never had an assessment or have not had an assessment in the last two years
  • You have an older irrigation system
  • If you notice the following:
    • Overly wet or dry areas
    • Leaks
    • Hard surfaces being watered
    • Zones not turning on as scheduled

What is a Smart controller?

A Smart Controller has built-in saving features including a sensor to adjust to the watering schedule based on local weather conditions.

What is a Central controller?

A Central control system waters according to the weather but, can also can monitor and control the system operation from a computer or smart phone.  It will provide data and reporting of how much water was used and it will provide alerts in response to changing weather conditions or field problems.

Why would I want to install a smart or central controller?

As part of this program the most efficient irrigation technology is recommended which includes control systems. Most irrigation systems are regulated with timers that are often not set up properly or are missing water conservation features.

A WSIP certified contractor will recommend smart or central controller technology that will help you manage the amount of water being applied each day to increase landscape health and decrease your water bill. Installing a smart or central controller may reduce your irrigation water costs by 20-30%!

What are the benefits of hiring a Water Smart Irrigation Professional?

Water Smart Irrigation Professionals:

  • Can increase your curb appeal by leveraging irrigation technology and through proper scheduling practices
  • Can reduce your water bills and operating costs
  • Will help you demonstrate and achieve environmental responsibility

WSIP certified contractors are leaders in the irrigation industry!

How long does an assessment take?

  • For a residential property an assessment can take from 30 minutes to 90 minutes depending on the size of the irrigation system.  Typically expect 10 minutes per zone.
  • For a business or multi-residential property an assessment could take from 30 minutes to 2.5 hours depending on the size of the property. Typically expect 15 minutes per zone.

What should I expect during an assessment?

WSIP certified contractors will complete a zone by zone analysis that will identify any opportunities for irrigation scheduling and system efficiency upgrades.

The assessment involves site analysis, system measurements and data collection such as:

  • Zone water pressure
  • Placement and flow rate of sprinkler heads
  • Landscape type and sun exposure
  • Sun exposure per zone
  • Square footage of landscape
  • Weekly application rates

WSIP certified contractors compile data and complete a report using a specialized WSIP Data Manager tool that will:

  • Outline how much water your irrigation system is using and how much is required to maintain the health and appearance of your landscape
  • Outline the potential savings and associated return on investment by improving your system with efficient scheduling, and hardware or controller upgrades
  • Create a customized watering schedule that is tailored to your property’s landscape

The goal of the assessment is to identify cost effective ways to increase the efficiency of your system and reduce water waste. The return on investment section of the report will help you to prioritize areas in need of improvement.

My system is still fairly new – why should I get an assessment?

In the past, some new systems may not have been installed as efficiently as they could have been.  With the price of water rising by up to 10% per year, it’s worth investing in more efficient scheduling and/or irrigation technology. 

For more information – contact a WSIP certified contractor