Lawn Irrigation

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Lawn Irrigation

City ordinance No. 3747 adopted and implemented by the City of Richardson on May 1, 2009 to meet TCEQ requirements effective January 1, 2009.

Licensed Irrigators must be registered with the City of Richardson to obtain permits & schedule required inspections. The Registration fee is $100, the Permit fees are $50 for Residential and $75 for Commercial projects.

The following is a guideline and is not the complete outline of TCEQ, city or state laws, rules, regulations or ordinances.


Backflow Test Report

Irrigation Completion Letter Example


Irrigation Double Check Inspection

All backflow devices must be installed and then tested by a Certified Backflow Tester. Test results must be provided on a City of Richardson Backflow Test Report, left in the double check box, in a watertight bag prior to requesting an inspection. Once installed it must be inspected by the City of Richardson Cross Connection Inspector within 10 business days prior to being placed in service.

  • Indicate location of rain/freeze sensors on the Backflow Test Report. Rain/freeze sensors are required to be installed when repairing an existing system.
  • The backflow preventer must be located on private property (the house side of the sidewalk).
  • An isolation valve and a y-type strainer are required between the irrigation meter or service line tie-in and the backflow preventer. These items must be located on private property. An isolation valve and a y-type strainer are also required when replacing a backflow preventer.
  • The service line from the backflow device to either the irrigation meter or to the point where the irrigation service line ties into the domestic service line must be left uncovered for city inspection.
  • Connections and joints to the system shall be watertight and meet the following requirements:
    • Copper pipe – soldered joints using lead free flux and solder. SharkBite push-fit products may be substituted, but no compression fittings are allowed.
    • PVC – primer and solvent cement. If the entire domestic service line from meter to building valve is PVC, an approved compression fitting may be used for the tie in.
    • P.E. service pipe – approved compression fittings only.

Irrigation Yard Line Inspection

The Irrigation Plans as well as the Completion Letter must be onsite and match the system installed.

Inspections must be called in to the automated Inspection request line at (972) 744-4181. The inspection codes are as follows: Double Check Inspection is 366 and Yard Line Inspection is 782.

  • The Irrigation plans are to be drawn to scale and must include but not be limited to
    • Irrigator's seal, signature and date of signing.
    • Major physical features and boundaries of the areas to be irrigated.
    • A north arrow.
    • A legend.
    • Zone flow measurement for each zone.
    • Location and type of controllers and sensors. (Rain/freeze sensor is the minimum requirement).
    • Location, type, and size of water sources, backflow prevention device, water emission device,
      valve, pressure regulation component, and main line and lateral piping.
    • Scale used.
    • Design pressure.
  • The trenches must be a minimum of 6" deep.
  • Use proper wire type & size. All splices shall be water-proofed where exposed to moisture.
  • Underground connections to components of system must have minimum of 6" select backfill.
  • Purple primer required on all PVC pipe and fittings in accordance with Uniform and International Plumbing Codes.
  • Spray heads are prohibited in turf/landscape areas less than 48". Such areas shall be designed with drip irrigation and/or pressure compensating tubing and indicate if tubing has root inhibitor or not. If tubing has root inhibitor, an RPZ with a hot box 12" above ground is required.
  • A final walk-through with Irrigation System Owner or Owner's Representative is required to explain the operation of the system.
  • Place a permanent sticker on the Controller which contains the Irrigator's name, license number, Company name, telephone number and the dates of the warranty period.
  • The property owner must be provided with a Maintenance Check List which shall include but not be limited to:
    • The manufacturer's manual for the automatic controller, if the system is automatic.
    • A seasonal (spring, summer, fall, winter) watering schedule based on either current/real time evapotranspiration or monthly historical reference evapotranspiration (historical ET) data, monthly effective rainfall estimates, plant landscape coefficient factors, and site factors.
    • A list of components, such as the nozzle or pump filters, and other such components that require maintenance and the recommended frequency for the service.
    • The irrigation plan indicating the actual installation of the system.
    • A copy of the Completion/Compliance Letter.

No filling of swimming pools or decorative fountains allowed. Hose bibs must be installed with quick disconnects and labeled "Non Potable, Not safe for drinking", if installed. Master valves must be downstream of Backflow Preventers if used.

A homeowner who is performing the work and if the property is his/her homestead, does not require a license per the Texas Occupations Code, Title 12, Subchapter C 344.30 (h). Please refer to the TCEQ website at to see the Texas Occupations Code in full.

The homeowner is required to obtain a permit and the permit fees are the same as listed for an Irrigator. The homeowner is required to contract with a Certified Backflow Tester unless he/she is appropriately licensed. Otherwise the requirements are the same for the homeowner as the Licensed Irrigator.


An irrigation permit for an irrigation system must be issued by Building Inspection before making application for a tandem (irrigation) meter with the Water Customer Service Department.

The inspection requirements are the same as outlined above for new installations.

Existing systems - The backflow prevention device shall be on private property, tested and certified. An approved method shall be used for capping the existing connection. The new service line from the meter loop connection to the backflow preventer must be left uncovered for city inspection. An isolation valve, y-type strainer, and a rain/freeze sensor are also required to be installed.

The irrigation meter shall be used for lawn irrigation only.

If you have any questions regarding these requirements, please contact Building Inspection at 972-744-4409 or email your questions or concerns to Building Inspection. Regular office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.