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Landscape Irrigator, Technician and Inspector

Information about the licensing of individuals who install, maintain or design landscape irrigation.

Find a Licensed Irrigator in Your Area

To find a licensed irrigator near you, use our Licensing Search page. Once you are there:

  1. For "Type and Level," select "Landscape Irrigator."
  2. Enter the city or county where you need an irrigator.
  3. Press "Search."

Rules for Irrigation Program Licenses

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) promulgated new and revised rules on June 26, 2008, which affected many licensing programs including the Landscape Irrigation Program. For example, effective January 1, 2010, installer licenses will no longer be valid (may be replaced by an irrigation technician license).

Please review the URL below to become acquainted with the newly adopted Chapter 30 rules for Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 30, Subchapter D: Landscape Irrigators and Installers, Irrigation Technicians and Irrigation Inspectors. Exit the TCEQ

A person may not sell, design, install, maintain, alter, repair, service or inspect an irrigation system—or consult in these activities—in this state unless the person is licensed by the TCEQ. While connecting an irrigation system to a water supply, a licensed technician must be under the direct supervision of a licensed irrigator.

When is a license not required?

The license requirements do not apply to:

  • a person who is licensed by the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners and is working within the scope provided by the plumbing laws;
  • a person who is registered or licensed as a professional engineer or architect or landscape architect if the work is related to the pursuit of the profession;
  • a person who is under the direct supervision of a licensed irrigator and assists in the installation, maintenance, alteration, repair, or service of an irrigation system; or
  • a person who is an owner of a business that employs a licensed irrigator to supervise the business' sale, design, consultation, installation, maintenance, alteration, repair, and service of irrigation systems. For the purpose of this subchapter, employs means steadily, uniformly, or habitually working in an employer-employee relationship with the intent to earn a livelihood, as opposed to working casually or occasionally;
  • irrigation or yard sprinkler work that is performed by a property owner in a building or on premises owned or occupied by the owner as the owner's home;
  • irrigation or yard sprinkler work other than extension of an existing irrigation or yard sprinkler system of a replacement system that is:
    • performed by a maintenance person who does not act as an irrigator or engage in yard sprinkler construction or maintenance for the public and
    • incidental to and on premises owned by the business in which the person is regularly employed or engaged;
    • irrigation or yard sprinkler work that is performed:
      • (A) by a regular employee of a railroad who does not act as an irrigator or engage in yard sprinkler construction or maintenance for the public; and
      • (B) on the premises or equipment of the railroad;
  • irrigation and yard sprinkler work that is performed on public property by a person who is regularly employed by a county, city, town, special district, or political subdivision of the state;
  • irrigation or yard sprinkler work that is performed by a person using a garden hose, hose sprinkler, hose-end product, including soaker hose, or agricultural irrigation system;
  • an activity that includes a commercial agricultural irrigation system;
  • irrigation or yard sprinkler work that is performed by an agriculturist, agronomist, horticulturist, forester, gardener, contract gardener, garden or lawn caretaker, nurseryman, or grader or cultivator of land on land owned by the individual performing the work;
  • irrigation or yard sprinkler work that is performed by a member of a property owners' association as defined by Property Code, §202.001, on real property owned by the association or in common by the members of the association if the irrigation or yard sprinkler system water real property that is less than ½ acre in size and is used for aesthetic or recreational purposes..

Even though you may be exempt from licensing, you must comply with the standards established by Title 30 TAC Chapter 344 Exit the TCEQ. Irrigation system does not include a system used on or by an agricultural operation as defined in Section 251.002, Agricultural Code.

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What does each license do?

Licensed irrigators (LI) can sell, design, consult, install, maintain, alter, repair, or service an irrigation system including the connection of such system to a private or public, raw or potable water supply or any water supply. This includes water wells and unincorporated areas of the state.

Licensed irrigation technicians (IT) can connect a landscape irrigation system to a water supply, including installing a backflow prevention device, and may maintain, alter, repair, service, or direct the installation of an irrigation system under the supervision of a licensed irrigator.

Licensed irrigation inspectors (II) are responsible for verifying that permits have been obtained. They will be licensed to inspect the irrigation system, determine the irrigation system complies with the rule requirements, determine if the appropriate backflow prevention device is installed, tested and test results provided to the water purveyor, and investigate complaints.

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Obtaining a License

Effective 01/01/2009

To obtain this license ... You need this much classroom training ... You need this much experience ... Pay an application fee of ... And you must pass an examination, scoring at least a ...
Licensed Irrigator (LI)
Basic Irrigation Course
0 years
$111
70% in each of the following sections: Installation, Backflow Prevention, Hydraulics and Design
Irrigation Technician (IT)
Irrigation Technician Course
0 years
$111.00
70 %
Irrigation Inspector
Basic Irrigation Course; Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester; Water Conservation or Audit Course;or Irrigation Inspector Course
0 years
$111.00
70 % 

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How do I become a licensed irrigator?

To become a Licensed Irrigator, you must complete the Basic Irrigator training course, submit an application with the appropriate fee, a copy of a certificate showing completion of an approved basic training course, and pass each section of the Irrigator exam (installation, backflow, hydraulics, and design). An approved application is valid for one year for the initial exam and/or three retests, whichever occurs first. Applications for an Irrigator license must be submitted to the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) at least 14 days before the scheduled examination and must be approved before taking a license exam. To obtain an application, approved list of training providers, license application/additional fees, and an exam schedule, you may contact TEEX at 1-800-SAFE-811 (800-723-3811).

How do I become a licensed irrigation technician?

To become a Licensed Irrigation Technician you must submit an application with the appropriate fee, attend an Irrigation Technician Training course, and pass the Irrigation Technician exam. An approved application is valid for one year for the initial exam and/or three retests, whichever occurs first. To obtain an application or to inquire about additional fees, contact the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality at (512) 239-6133.

Irrigation Technician Vocabulary 

How do I become a licensed irrigation inspector?

To become a Licensed Irrigation Inspector, you must submit an application with the appropriate fee, an affidavit of compliance with 30 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 30, Subchapter D, §30.120(f), successfully complete a TCEQ approved Basic Landscape Irrigation Course, a Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester course (course code 1200), and a Water Conservation or Water Audit course or a TCEQ-approved Inspector course and pass the Irrigation Inspector exam. An approved application is valid for one year for the Irrigation Inspector exam and/or three retests, whichever occurs first.

IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR ALL LICENSED IRRIGATION INSPECTORS

Pursuant to 30 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 30, Subchapter D, §30.120(f), individuals who own an irrigation company, consult for an irrigation company, or work for an irrigation company cannot become an Irrigation Inspector.

An individual can maintain both Irrigator and Irrigator Technician licenses and obtain an Inspector license; however, they cannot be used concurrently. If an individual chooses to use either their Irrigator or Irrigator Technician license, they must relinquish the Inspector License to the TCEQ.

All Landscape Irrigators that have a current license with the TCEQ, apply for an Inspector license, and wish to keep both licenses current must complete an affidavit acknowledging that they will comply with 30 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 30, Subchapter D, §30.120(f) by only using the Irrigation Inspector License.

To obtain an application contact the TCEQ at (512) 239-6133.

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How long is my license valid?

Licenses expire three years after they were issued on the last day of the month they were issued. All licenses must be renewed every three years in order to retain your license number.

If you do not renew your license within 30 days after the expiration date, you will need to re-take and pass the examination for the license desired. For the irrigator license, you must have completed an Basic Irrigator training course since September 1, 1997. You will be assigned a new license number unless approval has been made by the Licensing Section for you to retain your old license number.

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How do I renew a license?

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Obtaining a renewal application

A renewal postcard will be mailed to the last known address on file at least 60 days before your license expires. Follow the directions on the postcard and you can either renew your license online at Texas Online or you can request a printed renewal application.

If you are unable to renew online, please contact our office immediately to receive a printed renewal application. You can contact the TCEQ Licensing Section at licenses@tceq.texas.gov or by phone at (512) 239-6133. Please be sure to include your full name and license number with your request. Remember, it is your responsibility to timely submit a renewal application.

Follow the directions which accompany the application, and return it with the requested materials before your license expires.

To maintain this license ...You need this much continuing education ...And you must pay an application fee of ...
Licensed Irrigator (LI)
24 hours
$111.00
Irrigation Technician 16 hours $111.00
Irrigation Inspector 24 hours $111.00

To check the current status of your license, click here. To obtain a list of approved training providers, click here.

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Licensed irrigator renewal procedures

  • Complete twenty-four (24) hours of continuing education;
  • Sign and date the application or renew online at Texas Online;
  • Pay a renewal fee of $111; and
  • Meet issues of compliance.

After your license is renewed, you must obtain 8 hours of continuing education for each validity period of the license, before the license expiration date. 

Irrigation Technician license renewal procedures

  • Complete sixteen (16) hours of continuing education;
  • Sign and date the application;
  • Pay a renewal fee of $111; and
  • Meet issues of compliance.

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Irrigation Inspector license renewal procedures

  • Complete twenty-four (24) hours of continuing education;
  • Sign and date the application;
  • Pay a renewal fee of $111; and
  • Meet issues of compliance.

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Lost applications

If you've lost your renewal notification or application or did not receive one, call (512) 239-6133 or e-mail licenses@tceq.texas.gov (Please make sure you include your name, contact information, license number or social security number) before your license expires to obtain a new application on an approved form.

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Issues of Compliance

You must be in compliance with guaranteed student loans, child support payments, and TCEQ fees or penalties.

If you are currently under enforcement, you are encouraged to resolve these issues before you renew to avoid delays in the renewal of your license.

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Late renewal

License expired for less than 30 days?

License expired for more than 30 days?

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If your license has been expired for less than 30 days:

You must show proof that you have completed the required number of hours of approved continuing education training before your license expired.

  • If you lost or did not receive a renewal application, click here.
  • If you completed your continuing education beforeyour license expired:
    • You must submit your renewal application with the appropriate fee within 30 days after your license expired.
    • We will also review whether you are delinquent in paying student loans, and any penalties which may be owed to the TCEQ.
  • If you did not complete your continuing education beforeyour license expired, you cannot renew your license:
    • You will need to follow the same procedures as if your license was expired for more than 30 days.
    • You are not licensed and may be subject to penalties for performing irrigation services without a license.

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If your license has been expired for more than 30 days:

You cannot renew your license. In order to obtain a new license, you must to the following:

  • call TEEX at 1-800-723-3811 for an irrigator application,
  • submit the application for approval at least 14 days before taking the exam,
  • pay an application fee,
  • provide proof you have completed an approved basic training course since September 1, 1997, and
  • pass the exam within 12 months of application approval. Once you pass the exam, you will be issued a NEW license number.
  • Call TCEQ for an irrigation technician or irrigator inspector application at (512) 239-6133.

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I've moved. How do I notify you of my new address or phone number?

Within 10 days of the date you moved, you must notify us of changes in your address or phone number. The notification must be in writing and mailed to the TCEQ, MC-178, PO Box 13087, Austin, Texas 78711-3087; or faxed to (512)239-0533; or e-mailed to licenses@tceq.texas.gov. Mail from the TCEQ is NOT forwarded.

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I lost my license. How do I obtain a replacement?

To replace your lost license, you can contact the licensing section at (512) 239-6133 or download the request form. The replacement license is $20.00. Be certain to specify whether you are ordering a wall certificate or pocket card (license card).

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What are the relevant laws and rules for my license?

The laws relevant to landscape irrigation are Chapter 1903 Exit the TCEQ of the Occupations Code and Chapter 37 Exit the TCEQ of the Texas Water Code.

The state rules relating to licensing and standards are Title 30 TAC Chapter 30, Subchapters A & D Exit the TCEQ, and Title 30 TAC Chapter 344 Exit the TCEQ.

The enforcement provisions relating to landscape irrigation are found in Texas Water Code, Chapter 7 Exit the TCEQ.

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Who can I contact for more information?

  • Location - The first floor in building D of the TCEQ complex located at 12100 Park 35 Circle in Austin, Texas.
  • Office Hours - 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday (excluding Exit the TCEQ holidays).
  • Phone number - (512) 239-6133
    • Press #1 for New Applications or Exams
    • Press #2 for Renewals
  • Fax - (512) 239-6272
  • Email address - licenses@tceq.texas.gov
  • Mailing Address - TCEQ, Landscape Irrigation Licensing Program, MC-178, P.O. Box 13087, Austin, TX 78711-3087

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