Irrigation Flow Sensors

Public Comment on SWAT Testing Protocol

SWAT began developing a testing protocol for flow sensors in May 2015. Version 3.0 was posted on April 24, 2017, and is the second draft released for a 45-day public comment period. Public comments submitted by the June 10, 2017 deadline are being reviewed.

For questions about SWAT or flow sensors, contact the Irrigation Association (703.536.7080;

Background on Flow Sensor Protocol

Flow sensors have become more affordable and more commonly used in landscape irrigation systems. The flow sensor uses a design demonstrated to be suitable for normal irrigation water quality. The ability of the unit to sense flow shall be those claimed by the manufacturer. This testing protocol measures how well the flow sensor can detect and measure flow when installed to manufacturers specifications.

This protocol evaluates impeller-styled flow sensors and does not evaluate a flow monitoring system that could make irrigation management decisions based on abnormal flow conditions.

SWAT Testing Protocols

Protocols are drafted by irrigation experts, then opened for public comment for 45 days. Comments are reviewed and considered. Where appropriate, changes are made to the testing protocol and made available again for public comment. Major changes are open for comment for 90 days and minor changes for 30 days. Most protocols go through several cycles of public review and revision before being adopted for third-party testing. Complete details about the development of SWAT testing protocols can be found here.