Get the 411 on pressure-regulated spray bodies

December 27, 2022 -  By
(Photo: Rain Bird)

(Photo: Rain Bird)

The sale of spray bodies for irrigation systems without pressure regulation (PRS) is banned in states such as Vermont, California, Washington, Hawaii, Colorado, Massachusetts plus Washington D.C. Regulations in Maine, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Oregon go into effect in 2023, and Maryland’s rule takes effect in 2024. Several states are looking to join the list.

Landscape Management talked to Kelsey Jacquard, CID, CLIA, category manager for mechanical irrigation products for Hunter Irrigation, and Jessica Case, marketing group manager for Rain Bird Corp., to help irrigation contractors understand what these regulations mean for existing and new projects.

Jessica Case

Jessica Case

Case says it’s important to understand what your state is regulating.

“Some states restrict non-pressure regulating spray sprinkler bodies only at the point of sale; other states also restrict the installation of non-PRS sprinkler bodies,” she says.

Jacquard says these new regulations promote the water-saving potential these spray bodies offer.

“The push for pressure-regulated spray sprinkler bodies is to address existing landscape irrigation systems that are the biggest culprit for landscape irrigation water waste,” she says. “Generally, newly installed systems meet local efficiency standards or simply use newer technologies that help save water.
Older systems often get neglected, so the idea is to force the end-user to upgrade to a prescribed water-saving product.”

What do pressure-regulated spray bodies do?

Kelsey Jacquard

Kelsey Jacquard

Pressure-regulated sprinkler bodies regulate the output of pressure from the nozzle, which produces a more efficient irrigation zone where the pressure is consistent with each nozzle.

“With reduced pressure comes reduced flow rates, reducing pressure loss and stress on the system, and also reducing the stress on the nozzles for longer product life,” Jacquard says.

Case says these spray bodies help save water.

“When water pressure at the nozzle is in the 30 to 45 psi range, water droplets are larger and less likely to be carried away by wind,” she says. “With more water droplets landing on the landscape, you don’t have to run the irrigation system as long, which also saves water.”

What to look for

To know whether your spray bodies meet these regulations, look for the EPA’s WaterSense certification on the packaging. Jacquard says Hunter, like other manufacturers, identifies pressure regulation on the sprinkler’s cap with different colors.

“Hunter Pro-Spray PRS30 shows PRS30 on the brown body cap, and the Hunter Pro Spray PRS40 shows PRS40 on the gray body cap,” she says.

Jacquard says contractors may notice a difference in spray coverage when deploying pressure-regulating spray bodies. If head-to-head coverage changes due to reduced pressure at the nozzle, she recommends contractors add a longer-distance nozzle if the flow allows or switch the zone to lower-flow rotary nozzles to make up the distance.

Benefits to existing systems

Both Jacquard and Case say irrigation efficiency is the main result of using pressure-regulating spray bodies.

Case says adding pressure-regulated spray bodies to older irrigation systems is a way to help clients create a more efficient irrigation system without a complete overhaul

Christina Herrick

About the Author:

Christina Herrick is the editor of Landscape Management magazine. Known for her immersive approach to travel from coast to coast in her previous stint as senior editor of American Fruit Grower Magazine, she uses social media (Twitter/Instagram @EditorHerrick) to share her experiences on the road with her audience. Herrick has a degree in journalism from Ohio Northern University. She can be reached at

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