When it comes to starting the process of researching a contractor to work on your home, what do you do? Probably a Google search. Check different contractor’s reviews. Talk to your neighbors about their experiences.
But have you thought to look into your potential contractor’s certifications? Making sure to hire a certified professional is important for any home project, and your sprinkler system maintenance or installation is no different.
In the world of irrigation, there are many sources for educational materials and certifications. Product and technology manufacturers offer certifications for using their product/program correctly, cities/states/municipalities offer special programs based on local laws and regulations, and national industry organizations like the Irrigation Association offer specialized certifications.
So, what certifications are the most important and what should you, as a consumer, be most concerned about when making a decision about which irrigation professional to work with? Let’s break things down:
1. Irrigation Association Certifications
At Conserva Irrigation, we consider these to be the most preferred and prestigious types of certifications that any irrigator can have. The Irrigation Association offers many different types of programs, depending on what type of professional you are:
- CIT (Certified Irrigation Technician): Technicians who can install, maintain, and repair irrigation systems. To receive the CIT certification, a technician must complete a three-hour exam that includes 100 multiple choice questions. In addition, certified irrigation technicians must complete continuing education units in order to remain up-to-date on the latest irrigation practices as well as remain in good standing with the IA organization.
- CLIA (Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor): Technicians who can quantify and analyze landscape irrigation water use. To become CLIA certified, a technician must pass the irrigation auditor exam which consists of 125 multiple choice questions on topics like irrigation audit procedures, soil-plant relationships, and irrigation scheduling. CLIAs must also complete ongoing education requirements.
- CIC (Certified Irrigation Contractor): The purpose of the CIC program is to certify that an irrigation professional has met an advanced level of competency in the execution of contracts or subcontracts to install, repair, and/or maintain irrigation. CICs understand good business practices as well as licensing laws and codes.
- CID (Certified Irrigation Designer): An irrigation professional that can establish specifications and design drawings for landscape irrigation projects. This certification requires an irrigation professional to pass a four-hour exam.
- CLWM (Certified Landscape Water Manager): An irrigation professional who can evaluate, operate, manage, and improve landscape irrigation systems to achieve the highest level of water conservation possible. You must pass a four-hour exam to receive this certification.
Each of the certifications that the IA offers depend on where an irrigation professional is in their career, and what their goals are. So, when you are choosing a partner to help with your sprinkler system needs it is definitely not necessary for them to have all of the IA’s certifications, but it certainly helps for them to have at least one. If you want to look up which certifications an irrigation professional or an irrigation company has, you can go to the IA’s online directory by clicking here.
2. Product Manufacturer Certifications
There are many different irrigation product and technology manufacturers out there, but Conserva Irrigation only works with the most water-conscious brands. Some noteworthy certifications from our vendor partners include:
- Hunter Hydrawise Specialist: This certification helps irrigation professionals to learn the features and benefits of Hydrawise smart controllers.
- NDS Professional Drainage Certification: All Conserva Irrigation locations that offer drainage solutions, are NDS certified. This certification is offered by one of the best manufacturers of drainage products and solutions in the country.
3. Local City/State/Municipality Certifications
Getting certifications that are required by your local laws and regulations are the most important of all certification options. Local irrigation certification regulations vary state by state. States with the most stringent irrigation certification requirements include Texas, California, and Florida. We always suggest doing your research to make sure the contractor that you are hiring is abiding by local state laws. Working with someone who is not certified with the city or state could cost you thousands.
So, no matter what you do in your search for a new sprinkler system caretaker, make sure to check into their licenses and certifications.
Need a certified irrigation professional? Contact local Conserva Irrigation today.