If you’re looking to buy a smart sprinkler controller you should make sure the unit is EPA WaterSense certified. Certified controllers have been thoroughly tested by the EPA and are proven to save water by monitoring the weather and adjusting the irrigation schedule as needed. Some water agencies even offer rebates to offset the cost of a smart controller.
My city’s water company offers a rebate up to 50% of the cost of a WiFi sprinkler controller. This means that the $250 devices like the Rachio or Rainmachine are knocked down to about $125 if I jump through the water company’s hoops. Do the research and find out if your water company offers a rebate. Some rebates will go as high as 100% of the cost of the unit.
Over 50% of the 9 billions gallons of water we use each day for irrigation is wasted, according to the EPA. Adding a WiFi sprinkler controller to your irrigation system can save the average US home more than 8,000 gallons a year, according to the EPA.
“If every home in the United States with an automatic sprinkler system installed and properly operated a WaterSense labeled controller, we could save $435 million in water costs and 120 billion gallons of water across the country annually from not overwatering lawns and landscapes.” epa.gov
Passing WaterSense certification requires device makers to meet a rigorous number of requirements set out in the WaterSense Specification For Weather-Based Irrigation Controllers.
Here are the best smart sprinkler controllers that are EPA WaterSense certified:
Of these three sprinkler controllers, the Rachio Generation 2 is the current king of the market, with the Rainmachine not far behind. I have a more detailed video comparing the top four WiFi sprinkler controllers on the market right now. Check it out if you’re still trying to decide which smart irrigation controller to buy: