Join Us at the 2017 Irrigation Show in Orlando!

Show Is Set for November 8-9, Education Conference for November 6-10

Irrigation Show 2017 is the only national trade show designed specifically for irrigation professionals. It’s where the irrigation industry comes together to network, learn and promote irrigation.

Nearly 5,000 distributors, dealers, contractors, consultants and growers are expected to attend this year’s event. You’ll have the opportunity to:

  • Check out innovative products, technologies and services.show2
  • Explore new suppliers.
  • Learn about the latest business trends and irrigation best practices.
  • Network with current business partners and with industry leaders who share the Ohio Irrigation Association’s commitment to efficient irrigation.

For exhibitor information, including booth space fees, assignment, and 2017 floor plan, click here.

Educational Opportunities

While enjoying sunny Orlando, be sure to attend some of the many irrigation seminars and classes that are offered. You’ll learn concepts and practical skills you can implement immediately.

244IrrigationShow2015LongBeach_boxScheduled classes offer:

  • Real-world applications and irrigation case studies.
  • Current techniques, field-tested information and best practices.
  • Instructors with industry expertise and proven teaching experience.

One-hour seminars will provide detailed coverage on a focused topic in landscape irrigation. Seminars are open to all attendees with a full registration. Participants will earn 1.00 CEU for each hour. This year’s topics will include:

  • Irrigating Green Roofs
  • Pressure Regulation to Improve Irrigation Efficiency
  • Basis of Design
  • Top 5 Employment Law Issues Facing Contractors

For a complete list of irrigation education classesclick here.  For a complete list of irrigation seminarsclick here.

A Proven Winner

Attendance at last year’s Irrigation Show was up double digits. Exhibitor presence was strong, and new product introductions were plenty.

In fact, research of past shows has indicated a strong correlation between show attendance and future sales. Specifically, within 12 months of the show:

  • 77% of the attendees purchased a product or service as a result of contacts made at the show.
  • 90% of the attendees contacted exhibitors met at the show.
  • 90% of the attendees visited exhibitor websites based on information from the show.

Check out this promotional video from last year’s Irrigation Show: 


Irrigation Association

Green Industry Pros

How Do I Become a Certified Backflow Tester?

It’s the question most frequently asked by Ohio IA members: “How do I become a certified backflow tester?” 

But before we get into the details of the certification process, let’s explore the reasons behind the testing in the first place.

Why Is It Needed?

Irrigation system backflow devices help protect a home’s drinking water from contaminants such as lawn fertilizers and pesticides. The state of Ohio requires that these devices be tested on an annual basis. 

But this testing can only be done by individuals who have been certified by an approved testing school. This is a legal requirement. In Ohio, there are two such schools: APHC Backflow School and Ohio Contractor Training.

Backflow Disasters

In order to fully appreciate the importance of backflow testing, we need to see the consequences of backflow mishaps.

For instance, in December of last year, a backflow incident in Corpus Christi resulted in the city’s water being contaminated by an asphalt emulsifier known as Indulin AA-86. When a backflow valve in the city’s industrial district failed, about 24 gallons of the petroleum-based chemical were released into the city’s water supply.

Officials ordered a four-day tap water ban for the city’s 320,000 residents. Schools were closed. Several cases of illness were attributed to the tainted water. In the end, the cause of the crisis was eventually traced back to the city’s failure to enforce a testing requirement for its backflow devices.

Similar incidents occur more frequently on a much smaller scale. To view a list of 14 separate incidents compiled by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, click here.

State-approved certification for testers serves to keep these issues to a minimum.

Back to Certification…

There are several requirements which must be met prior to testing certification.

  1. First of all, you must have at least five years of experience working in the plumbing or water purveying industries.
  2. Then you must attend a three-day training course provided by one of Ohio’s approved testing schools. Here you will learn about extensive regulations enforced through the EPA, the Ohio plumbing code, and various municipalities. You’ll also learn how to dismantle and repair various types of backflow devices.
  3. At the end of the course, you must pass a practical exam.
  4. Finally, you need to apply to the Ohio Dept of Commerce for certification. If you meet the state’s requirements (e.g., you have a clean legal background), then you must take the state test. Once you pass the state test, you’ll receive your backflow testing certification card.

The following video clip from Sean Mullarky, owner of TriState Water Workssummarizes the certification process: 


Once you’ve met all the requirements and received you certification, you may then test backflows for irrigation systems.

But wait!  Every three years, state law mandates that you must be re-certified. This requires an additional one day of training and yet another practical exam.

The Benefits – More Work

Certified backflow testers are in high demand. Because Ohio law requires that irrigation systems be tested annually, potential customers will be seeking you out for this service.

We can help promote your testing services. Once certified, your name will be placed on the Ohio IA’s list of Certified Backflow Testers. This list is the second most trafficked page on our website, so it’s sure to generate new business for your company.

Get Started

If you’re ready to begin the certification process, contact APHC Backflow School or Ohio Contractor Training to get started.


Ohio Codes 

TriState Water Works

Online Seminars from 2016 Irrigation Show Now Available

Enhance Your Knowledge of Efficient Irrigation and Water Management

If you weren’t able to take advantage of the 2016 Irrigation Show’s numerous educational opportunities, you’re in luck! All of the landscape irrigation seminars from this year’s show are now available for purchase at the Irrigation Association online store.

These one-hour online seminars address the underlying how-to’s of efficient irrigation and water management. All five seminars cost $28 each for members and $38 for nonmembers. Each seminar is worth one continuing education unit. 

These courses run interactively in the IA’s learning management system and are not downloadable. (Please note that you may receive continuing education units only once per certification renewal period for these seminars.)

To access all seminars available through IA’s online store, Click Here.

Seminars from the 2016 Irrigation Show and Education Conference include the following:

Auditing: Soil Moisture vs. Catch Cans

Catch-can audits measure sprinkler performance, while portable soil moisture sensors measure the effectiveness of the irrigation. Both methods are valid, as they both help correlate sprinkler performance with soil moisture uniformity. Uniformity affects irrigation scheduling and, ultimately, the appearance of the turfgrass, as evidenced below:

This seminar is presented by Brian Vinchesi, CIC, CID, CGIA, CLIA, CLIM, CLWM.

Click Here to purchase.

Earning Points for Green Projects

A common goal of most green programs is to reduce or eliminate the use of potable water in landscape irrigation. This seminar looks at various volunteer green programs, such as LEED, Sustainable Sites and Green Globes. It also considers the prerequisites, and explains how points are awarded for irrigation systems and the use of alternative water sources.

This seminar is presented by Doug Macdonald, CLIA.

Click Here to purchase.

Evapotranspiration and Irrigation Management

ET information is often used to provide a reference for determining the amount of water applied to plants. This presentation looks at:

  1. The location of weather stations compared to the site being managed,
  2. How ET is calculated, and
  3. What to consider when modifying the reference ET to estimate water requirements for different types of plants.

This seminar is presented by Brent Mecham, CID, CLWM, CLIA, CAIS, CIC, CGIA.

Click Here to purchase.

Measuring Landscape Water Use

Based on numerous residential and commercial audits, this seminar presents findings on the amount of water used in the landscape compared to estimated water demand. It also includes a look at both irrigation performance and landscape composition, with emphasis on how irrigation efficiency can be improved.  

This seminar is presented by Kelly Kopp, PhD. 

Click Here to purchase.

Water Quality of Alternative Water Sources

Not all sources of water are fit for plants. This seminar will addresses water quality issues with various alternative water sources. It explains how to determine if water is treatable or unfit for irrigation landscaping purposes. The course provides valuable information when considering the use of on-site alternative water sources for irrigation systems.

Click Here to purchase.

Additional information about these seminars and other seminar topics  is available on the Irrigation Association website


Irrigation Association

EPA WaterSense Partner Forum – Improving Irrigation Efficiency, Thursday, May 3rd from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm

Join us to learn more!

 EPA WaterSense Logo

The WaterSense program invites you to its next Partner Forum on Thursday, May 3, 2012, from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time to learn about strategies for reducing outdoor water use and improving irrigation efficiency.

You will hear from WaterSense promotional and irrigation partners about effective approaches to reducing outdoor water use and exciting opportunities for collaboration on outdoor water-efficiency initiatives. We will spotlight a tool to help landscape professionals sell water-efficient irrigation and landscaping practices to potential customers, a successful rebate program for weather-based irrigation controllers, and innovative efforts to install water-efficient irrigation systems. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Dan Muelrath, City of Santa Rosa, California
  • Gary Tilkian, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
  • Chris Curry, Sweeney & Associates, Inc., WaterSense 2011 Irrigation Partner of the Year

Click here to register for this webinar. If you have any questions, please contact the WaterSense Helpline at or (866) WTR-SENS (987-7367).

We look forward to speaking with you on the call!


EPA’s WaterSense Team

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Unsubscribe if you do not wish to receive WaterSense updates.

WaterSense® | U.S. EPA | 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW (4204M) | Washington | DC | 20460

Irrigation 101 Class at the CENTS Show a Huge Success

Irrigation System SplashBy Scott Knowles, President, Wolf Creek Company

Irrigation Class for Future Irrigation Contractors

On a chilly Sunday morning January 22nd, Scott Knowles, president of the Wolf Creek Company,  and John Newlin, owner of  Quality Sprinkler Systems in Lorraine, Ohio, taught a group of twenty-three participants the basics of landscape irrigation installation at the Ohio Nurserymen & Landscape Association Short Courses.  The Ohio Irrigation Association was well represented as our members, Scott and John, lead the students through the process of how to install a landscape irrigation system.

Participants actually constructed a working landscape irrigation system.

Being winter, the irrigation system was constructed in one of the Ohio State campus green houses.  The system consisted of rotor, spray head, and drip zones.  The valves were wired to a controller and they even installed a booster pump!  “This is the phase where it comes together for people”, said Scott. After installation students were shown how to adjust sprinklers and some tips and tricks to finish the job.

Denise Johnson, a leader in the Ohio State University landscape program, requested the class be part of the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association’s  Short Courses because of member demand.  Due to material, space, and coordination the class size was capped at 20, although Denise let a couple extra in but turned away a few others. “I enjoyed sharing my lifetime experience to help others” said John Newlin.  John also reported that several students approached him the next day on the CENTS trade show floor to compliment him for the class.  Scott Knowles says all the evaluations came back with glowing remarks.  Denise was very happy with the results.Ohio State Greenhouse

Scott organized the event with Denise and arranged for the materials to be on hand.  It was a team teaching effort with knowledge and the wealth of experience these two irrigators have being shared in presentations and lots of questions and discussions.  The most exciting part was the hands on work.  Students practiced gluing pipe, connecting wires, etc before the final project, building a functioning irrigation system!

This is the second successful year of  the Ohio Irrigation Association partnering with the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association Short Course program.  Last year Scott Knowles and John Newlin conducted an Irrigation Association Landscape Irrigation Auditor program to another full house.  Denise has already asked that we do a class again at the 2013 show.

“I enjoyed sharing my lifetime experience to help others” said John Newlin.  John also reported that several students approached him the next day on the CENTS trade show floor to compliment him for the class.  Scott says the evals all came back with glowing remarks.  Denise was very happy with the results.

EPA WaterSense Webinar: Environmental Education Initiatives, February 23rd from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm


EPA WaterSense Banner

Join the EPA WaterSense Team on February 23rd from 4:00 to 5:30pm for a FREE webinar to learn about several innovative environmental education and outreach activities of other WaterSense partners. The groups below are helping to create a nationwide, long-term water-efficiency ethic and will give short 15 minute presentations on their projects during the following webinar. We hope this will provide a chance for information and idea exchange as well as an opportunity to collaborate on these exciting initiatives.


February 23, 2012; 4:00 – 5:30pm


Please register here

Use the following call-in information:

Call-in Number: 1-888-346-3659

Passcode: 45444

Please direct any questions regarding this webinar to the WaterSense Helpline at (866) WTR-SENS (987-7367) or e-mail here.



National Environmental Education Foundation- Be Water Wise

The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) will present Be Water Wise, a water conservation education program that engages teachers, facilities staff and students from public schools in classroom learning and hands-on projects that address local water issues (e.g. conservation or stormwater management). After pilots in Miami, Atlanta, and Washington, DC (currently underway), NEEF is collaborating with Discovery Communications on a model for national replication.


University of Arizona- Conserve to Enhance

Conserve to Enhance is an innovative program designed to provide a direct link between water conservation by water users and environmental enhancement in their community.


Wyland Foundation- National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation

The Wyland Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit public charity that encourages environmental awareness about our ocean, waterways, and marine life, will be discussing non-traditional incentives to encourage smart water stewardship including their upcoming National Mayors Challenge for Water Conservation. This Blue Dot

One Change is a charitable organization based in Ottawa, Canada that encourages people to believe that simple actions matter and to make smart choices to protect the environment. “This Blue Dot” is a water conservation program encouraging people to detect and repair toilet leaks using a non-toxic, vegetable-based blue dye tablet.

(866)WTR-SENS (987-7367) | |

Landscape Irrigation Basics (Hands-on) at the CENTS Show, January 22

with Scott Knowles, Wolf Creek CompanyRetail Person

Register Here!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

At the CENTS Show 8 am – 4 pm

This workshop is uniquely created for those new to landscape irrigation design and installation. It includes classroom instruction as well as hands-on assembly practice for building a functioning irrigation systemThe workshop will cover irrigation layout and components, and will then move to operation system assembly and programming the controller. This course is valuable to many in the industry, especially those pursuing certifications.

Irrigation Installation Image

Please wear appropriate work clothes. Space is limited,so register today!

Workshops are not included in Nursery Short Course/CENTS admission.

OSU Campus, Howlett Headhouse $75 fee (includes, book, parking and lunch).

 Register Here!

IA’s Point of Connection Contractor Leadership Summit

Leadership Summit Leading the WayIrrigation Contractor Leadership Summit

Feb. 8-10, 2012  St. Augustine, Florida

Point of Connection is a networking and education conference designed specifically for owners and managers of irrigation contracting companies.

Hosted by IA’s Contractor Common Interest Group, the leadership summit includes:

  • Relevant sessions on topics that matter to irrigation contractors.
  • Brainstorming and networking with business owners and managers from across the country.
  • A chance to relax and socialize with your peers.
  • An opportunitiy to earn up to five continuing education units.
“Point of Connection was developed by contractors, for contractors. The 2011 networking and education was excellent. I’d highly recommend it to any Irrigation Association contractor looking for success in 2012.”
– Eric Santos, Valley Crest

Irrigation Association's POC Leadership Summit Brochure Cover>2012 Event Highlights:

>• Full-day sales and marketing seminar for the irrigation contractor with Jeff Carowitz of Strategic Force, Inc.

>•  Irrigation and water management in the landscape with the University of Florida’s Dr. Michael Dukes.

>• Sessions on standards, codes and contractor business opportunities as well as a state affairs update.

>• Guided tour of the World of Golf Hall of Fame.

>• Annual Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournament.



Before Jan. 9 After Jan. 9

IA Members

$425 $500


$625 $700





*Includes one-year discounted IA membership.

Renaissance Resort at World of Golf Village, St. Augustine, Florida

Renaissance Resort at World of Golf Village, St. Augustine, Florida

Plan to attend:

Hotel Information
Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village
500 South Legacy Trail
St. Augustine, FL 32092