Specialty irrigation courses offered in College Station March 14-15

Contact: Charles Swanson, 979-845-5614, clswanson@tamu.edu

COLLEGE STATION – Two specialty irrigation courses will be offered in College Station on permitting of wastewater for irrigation use and advanced landscape irrigation auditing March 14-15.

The courses, Permitting of Alternative Water for Irrigation and Advanced Landscape Irrigation Auditing, are offered by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Cost for both courses is $165.

The first course, Permitting of Alternative Water for Irrigation, will be March 14.

“Wastewater is a broad term that refers to water, which originates from a wide variety of sources ranging from home sinks, showers and washing machines to industrial sources such as cooling towers and collected AC condensate,” said Charles Swanson, AgriLife Extension program specialist, College Station.

Two specialty irrigation courses will be offered in College Station on permitting of wastewater for irrigation use and advanced landscape irrigation auditing March 14-15. Pictured is an irrigation audit conducted on a landscape using recycled water. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Charles Swanson)

“Use of such wastewater for irrigation purposes helps free up Texas’ limited freshwater for other uses. The Texas State Water Plan identifies water reuse as a potential strategy that could meet up to 12.7 percent of the state’s water needs by as early as 2020. Texas has rules and regulations that govern what types of water can be used for irrigation and how it must be stored and applied. In some cases, depending upon the amount and source of wastewater, a permit will be required for its use in irrigation.”

The second course, Alternate Sources of Water for Irrigation, will be March 15. Dr. Guy Fipps, AgriLife Extension agricultural engineer in the biological and agricultural engineering department in College Station, is the lead instructor.

He will cover the existing guidelines, laws and regulations governing the reuse of water for irrigation. Students will also learn how to complete a site water balance that meets the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality application requirements.

The March 15 Advanced Landscape Irrigation Auditing Course will also be offered in College Station.

“Irrigation auditing is becoming a common practice by irrigation professionals, municipalities and utilities. An irrigation audit evaluates the design and equipment of an irrigation system, measures its performance, typical by conducting a catch can test, and uses the information to create efficient seasonal irrigation schedules,” Swanson said.

As irrigation auditing is not regulated by the state, no license is required to conduct an irrigation audit. However, a voluntary certification program exists for auditing through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Water Sense program. To become a Texas Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor, applicants must successfully complete a two-day course offered by AgriLife Extension.  

The March 15 course is for those who have already completed an auditing course. The Advanced Landscape Irrigation Auditing course expands upon material covered in the two-day Landscape Irrigation Auditing short course, including such topics as advanced catch can placement, alternatives to catch can tests and how to calculate audit water savings.

Each course is approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for eight continuing education units for licensed landscape irrigators. These courses also meet the continuing education requirements for professional engineers.

For more information, course brochures or to register online, go to http://irrigation.tamu.edu/register.php or call 979-845-5614.



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