Did You Know That Dumb Sprinklers Are Against the Law?

What’s the opposite of a smart sprinkler controller like TLC’s Hydrawise? An old-fashioned DUMB sprinkler, of course.

What’s the opposite of a sprinkler controller that knows when it has rained, how much it has rained, and even if it’s supposed to rain? It’s a sprinkler controller that stupidly kicks-on the lawn sprinklers in the middle of a raging rainstorm.


You’ve probably seen those dumb sprinkler systems running in the rain many times. So have many lawmakers. So many times, in fact, that many state and municipal lawmakers are making that kind of stupidity illegal.

And if there’s not currently a law against dumb sprinklers where you live, one might be coming soon.

Many Municipalities Are Wising-Up

The issue of the conservation of water has gained lots of attention in recent years. That’s partly because some areas – California, for example – are facing historically unprecedented water shortages.

But it’s really a global issue. And as such, it affects everyone to some degree, even in areas that haven’t yet experienced a significant water shortage.

That’s why smart sprinkler controllers are becoming so popular. The cutting-edge technology of smart sprinkler systems makes it possible to reduce the water consumption of a lawn or landscape by as much as 50 percent. Smart sprinkler controllers also contribute to healthier lawns and landscapes by providing exactly the amount of water that plants need – no more, and no less.


The ability to slash water consumption while promoting healthier landscapes makes the installation of a smart sprinkler controller a really smart idea. So much so, in fact, that many laws have been enacted requiring the installation of smart controllers for automated sprinkler systems.

Here are just a few examples:


2010 California Green Building Standards Code, Section 4.304: “Controllers shall be weather- or soil moisture-based controllers that automatically adjust irrigation in response to changes in plants’ needs as weather conditions change.”


In 2010, the Florida legislature passed statute 373.62: “Any person who purchases and installs an automatic landscape irrigation system must properly install, maintain, and operate technology that inhibits or interrupts operation of the system during periods of sufficient moisture.”

New Jersey

Enacted by the 214th legislature of New Jersey in 2010: “An automatic lawn sprinkler system installed after September 8, 2000 on any commercial, retail or industrial property shall be equipped with an automatic rain sensor device or switch that will override the irrigation cycle of the automatic lawn sprinkler system when adequate rainfall has occurred.”

Many More Laws Are Pending…

Many states that haven’t yet passed laws mandating smart controllers are considering doing so.

Texas, for example, had been among the many states considering such legislation. But they just passed a law that leaves no doubt about the intent of the purpose of the law: “The purpose of C.S.H.B. 2299 is to propel the widespread implementation of smart irrigation controllers through a combination of mandated changes in municipal building codes and an eventual ban of the sale of old-style ‘dummy’ controllers.”

There, they said it: Dummy controllers!

You can check whether your state may be on the verge of making dummy irrigation systems illegal at the Irrigation Association website.

Why Not Be Proactively Smart?

If you don’t yet have a smart controller for your sprinkler system, you might soon have to install one to avoid falling on the wrong side of the law. Because laws requiring the use of smart sprinkler systems are popping up faster than toadstools after a soaking summertime shower.

But you don’t have to wait to be forced to install a smart sprinkler system. After all, who wants to be DUMB just because it’s not against the law!

This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 1st, 2016 at 6:29 pm. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.