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Conservation: Be Smart & Build Smart

Built Smart Users Manual: Water
Water-Saving Irrigation Design Specifications

Built Smart Users Manual | Specifications | Alerts | Water

The BUILT SMART program in conjunction with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) asks you to design irrigation systems to avoid runoff, low-head drainage, overspray, or other similar conditions where irrigation water flows onto adjacent property, non-irrigated areas, or impervious surfaces. Methods include using proper soil and irrigation equipment, and considering special problems posed by irrigation on slopes, in median strips, and in narrow hydrozones.

    Installed irrigation systems must pass an irrigation system audit verifying a minimum average distribution uniformity of .625.
  • Use specified irrigation system components during installation, when making repairs or replacing parts.
  • Develop and calculate a water budget for each site. Monitor landscape water use for each site to ensure supplemental watering remains within budget. Incorporate the following into your irrigation plans:
  • Electronic controllers with precise individual timing, multiple irrigation zones and cycles, and percent reduction
  • Irrigation-only meters (deduct meters)
  • Rain shut-off devices
  • In-line and in-head check valves to prevent low head drainage
  • Drip or other low volume irrigation whenever possible
  • Separate irrigation zones for all irrigated plant hydrozones and turf areas depending on type, size and use
  • Computerized central control station that reads real-time for accurate irrigation run times
  • Flow sensors into each zone that shut down zones accordingly
  • Irrigation base schedule utilizing the 30-year-average
For more information contact Seattle Public Utilities at 206.684.7283 or visit

Interested in BUILT SMART incentives?
Contact an Energy Advisor at
or call (206) 684-3800.


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