|(a) No irrigation design or installation shall require
the use of any component, including the water meter, in a way which
exceeds the manufacturer's published performance limitations for the
(1) The maximum spacing between emission devices must
not exceed the manufacturer's published radius or spacing of the device(s).
The radius or spacing is determined by referring to the manufacturer's
published specifications for a specific emission device at a specific
operating pressure. In no instance shall the spacing exceed plus or
minus 10% of the manufacturer's published radius or spacing of the
(2) New irrigation systems shall not utilize above-ground
spray emission devices in landscapes that are less than 48 inches
not including the impervious surfaces in either length or width and
which contain impervious pedestrian or vehicular traffic surfaces
along two or more perimeters.
(3) Pop-up spray heads or rotary sprinkler heads must
direct flow away from any adjacent surface and shall not be installed
closer than four inches from a hardscape, such as, but not limited
to, a building foundation, fence, concrete, asphalt, pavers, or stones
set with mortar. Narrow paved walkways, jogging paths, golf cart paths
or other small areas located in cemeteries, parks, golf courses or
other public areas may be exempted from this requirement if the runoff
drains into a landscaped area.
(c) Water pressure. Emission devices must be installed
to operate at the optimum or recommended sprinkler head pressure as
published by the manufacturer for the nozzle and head spacing that
is used. If an optimum or recommended pressure is not published, then
the emission devices must be installed to operate at not below the
minimum and not above the maximum sprinkler head pressure as published
by the manufacturer for the nozzle and head spacing that is used.
Methods to achieve the water pressure requirements include, but are
not limited to, flow control valves, a pressure regulator, or pressure
compensating spray heads.
(d) Piping. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) piping in irrigation
systems must be designed and installed so that the flow of water in
the pipe will not exceed a velocity of five feet per second.
(e) Irrigation Zones. Irrigation systems shall have
separate zones based on plant material type, microclimate factors,
topographic features, soil conditions, and hydrological requirements.
(f) Matched precipitation rate. Zones must be designed
and installed so that all of the emission devices in that zone irrigate
at the same precipitation rate.
(g) Irrigation systems shall not spray water on or
over any surfaces made of impervious material including but not limited
to concrete, asphalt, brick, wood, stones set with mortar, walls,
fences, sidewalks, and streets.
(h) Master valve. When provided, a master valve shall
be installed on the discharge side of the backflow prevention assembly
on all new installations.
(i) PVC pipe primer solvent. All new irrigation systems
that are installed using PVC pipe and fittings shall be primed with
a colored primer prior to applying the PVC cement in accordance with
the Uniform Plumbing Code (Section 316) or the International Plumbing
Code (Section 605).
(j) Rain or moisture shut-off devices or other technology.
All new automatically controlled irrigation systems must include sensors
or other technology designed to inhibit or interrupt operation of
the irrigation system during periods of moisture or rainfall. Rain
or moisture shut-off technology must be installed according to the
manufacturer's published recommendations. Repairs to existing automatic
irrigation systems that require replacement of an existing controller
must include a sensor or other technology designed to inhibit or interrupt
operation of the irrigation system during periods of moisture or rainfall.
El Paso, Hudspeth, Culberson, Jeff Davis, Presidio, Brewster, Terrell,
Loving, Winkler, Ward, Reeves, Ector, Crane and Pecos Counties are
excluded from this requirement.
(k) Isolation valve. All new irrigation systems must
include an isolation valve between the water meter and the backflow
(l) Depth coverage of piping. Piping in all irrigation
systems must be installed according to the manufacturer's published
specifications for depth coverage of piping.
(1) If the manufacturer has not published specifications
for depth coverage of piping, the piping must be installed to provide
minimum depth coverage of six inches of select backfill, between the
top of the topmost pipe and the natural grade of the topsoil. All
portions of the irrigation system that fail to meet this standard
must be noted on the irrigation plan/as-built drawing. If the area
being irrigated has rock at a depth of six inches or less, select
backfill may be mounded over the pipe. Mounding must be noted on the
irrigation plan/as-built drawing and discussed with the irrigation
system owner or owner's representative to address any safety issues.
(2) If a utility, man-made structure, or roots create
an unavoidable obstacle, which makes the six-inch depth coverage requirement
impractical, the piping shall be installed to provide a minimum of
two inches of select backfill between the top of the topmost pipe
and the natural grade of the topsoil.
(3) All trenches and holes created during installation
of an irrigation system must be backfilled and compacted to the original
(m) Wiring irrigation systems.
(1) Underground electrical wiring used to connect an
automatic controller to any electrical component of the irrigation
system must be listed by Underwriters Laboratories as acceptable for
(2) Electrical wiring that connects any electrical
components of an irrigation system must be sized according to the
(3) Electrical wire splices which may be exposed to
moisture must be waterproof as certified by the wire splice manufacturer.
(4) Underground electrical wiring that connects an
automatic controller to any electrical component of the irrigation
system must be buried with a minimum of six inches of select backfill.
(n) Water contained within the piping of an irrigation
system is deemed to be non-potable. No drinking or domestic water
usage, such as, but not limited to, filling swimming pools or decorative
fountains, shall be connected to an irrigation system. If a hose bib
(an outdoor water faucet that has hose threads on the spout) is connected
to an irrigation system for the purpose of providing supplemental
water to an area, the hose bib must be installed using a quick coupler
key on a quick coupler installed in a valve box with a colored-coded
purple lid or cover and the hose bib and any hoses connected to the
bib must be labeled "non-potable, not safe for drinking." An isolation
valve must be installed upstream of a quick coupler connecting a hose
bib to an irrigation system.
(o) A licensed irrigator or licensed irrigation technician
shall be on-site at all times while the landscape irrigation system
is being installed. When an irrigator is not on-site, the irrigator
shall be responsible for ensuring that a licensed irrigation technician
is on-site to supervise the installation of the irrigation system.
(p) Valve boxes. A valve box shall be used as a durable,
rigid enclosure for valves and/or any other irrigation system components
that require subsurface protection.