Smart Irrigation Controllers

FREE DEVICE AND INSTALLATION OR UP TO A $250 REBATE

It’s easy to save more water — and money — with a WaterSense certified smart irrigation controller or a soil moisture sensor. You can choose to have a device installed for free, or select your own device and contractor to get a $250 rebate.

Choose your Rebate Method

Have a Device Installed for Free

  • Check for pre-qualification here. Pre-qualification may change annually and you must be pre-qualified in order to apply.
  • Ensure your sprinkler system is in good working order. You can check the system yourself, or receive assistance from a Florida Friendly Landscaping agent. Any major issues identified need to be fixed before our contractor installs the device.

    a. To check the system yourself: download, print and complete the “Sprinkler System Evaluation.” You will give the completed evaluation form to the contractor. We’ve also included some tips to help you maintain and repair your system.
    b. To receive assistance from a Florida Friendly Landscaping agent, contact an agent in the county you live in:
    Hillsborough
    1. staplesp@hillsboroughcounty.org
    2. (813)744-5519 x54142
    Pasco
    1. fgaldo@mypasco.net
    2. (727)514-5488
    Pinellas
    1. H2OSAV@pinellascounty.org
    2. (727)582-2100
  • Once your sprinkler system is in good, working condition, contact our contractor Eco-Land Design to have the device installed. Call (813)466-8705 or email ecolandfl@gmail.com. You must be present when the contractor installs the smart irrigation controller, and provide the Sprinkler System Evaluation form. You will also need to sign the General Release Form, which will be provided to you during the visit.

Select your own Device and Contractor

  • Check for pre-qualification here. Pre-qualification may change annually and you must be pre-qualified in order to apply.
  • Your receipt for the device and the installation.
  • A completed SMS Checklist or ET Checklist, signed and dated by the installing contractor.
  • If you install a soil moisture sensor (SMS), you’ll need a picture of the SMS probe installed before it’s covered up with dirt.
  • A copy of your utility bill.

See detailed general and documentation requirements below.

How does it work?

Smart irrigation controllers can keep your landscape lush while providing the optimal amount of water for your plants. Watering at the appropriate levels saves valuable drinking water and helps prevent lawn-destroying fungus and disease.

  • Evapotranspiration (ET) controllers monitor weather conditions, like temperature and humidity. They determine how much water your landscape needs and adjust the watering schedule accordingly, ensuring your plants are healthy and beautiful.
  • Soil moisture sensors (SMS) measure how much water is already in the soil, and can be connected to most irrigation controllers. They will prevent an automatic irrigation system from watering if the soil is already wet enough.

Homeowners are eligible based in part on the volume of water they use, and this is evaluated periodically. Therefore, eligibility can change year to year.

What are the benefits?

Toilets account for roughly 30% of a home’s indoor water use, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

  • WaterSense certified smart irrigation controllers take the guesswork out of how much water your plants need to thrive, and several models can also be controlled through an app on your smartphone. Soil moisture sensors will prevent your irrigation system from automatically watering when the soil is already wet enough, for example, if it recently rained.
  • Installation by trained professionals will help ensure optimal performance and water savings with your new device.
  • Reduce your monthly outdoor water use, typically up to 30%.
  • Water savings can lower your water bill.

Which smart controllers are eligible, and what are the rebate amounts?

ET Controllers: Eligible ET controllers must be a WaterSense labeled model. The list of EPA WaterSense models is available online at https://www.epa.gov/watersense/product-search. Rebates are up to $125, or the cost of the model, whichever is lower.

The following 4 models are eligible for rebates. The rebate amount is flat (fixed) and calculated based on each soil moisture sensor’s manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP).

Soil Moisture Sensors Qualified Products

  Brand   Model #   MSRP   Rebate (Flat)  
  Toro   PSS (Sensor + Probe)     $           210.00    $           95.00 
    PSS (Probe Only)   $             96.80    $           44.00 
  Hunter   Soil-Clik   $           161.00    $           73.00 
  Rainbird     SMRT-Y   $           230.40    $         105.00 
  Baseline    WaterTec S100   $           275.00    $         125.00 

General Requirements

  • You must be eligible in order to apply. Eligibility may change annually. Check your eligibility here.
  • You must be an existing potable water utility customer of the city of Tampa, city of St. Petersburg, city of New Port Richey, Pinellas County, Pasco County or Hillsborough County.
  • Single-family detached homes must be at least 2 years old with an automatic in-ground irrigation/sprinkler system installed which uses potable water.
  • Single family homes with over-watered landscapes, as identified by Tampa Bay Water Wise, are eligible to apply.
  • Applicant agrees to Customer Agreement (see below)

If you choose your own device and contractor:

  • Applications must be submitted within 90 days of purchase.
  • Installations must be completed by a licensed contractor. Contractors must first ensure the irrigation system is properly functioning (otherwise we will not issue a rebate) and they must complete the ET/SMS Checklist (see Documentation Requirements). Please visit our list of approved contractors who have taken Tampa Bay Water Wise’s training course on proper smart controller installation. Otherwise, we recommend that homeowners select a contractor with smart controller experience and knowledge. We recommend homeowners get at least 3 quotes from licensed contractors. You can check contractor’s licenses here:

    Hillsborough County based contractorscheck license here
    Pasco County based contractorscheck license here
    Pinellas County based contractorscheck license here
  • Installed ET controller must be listed on the EPA WaterSense eligibility list available online at https://www.epa.gov/watersense/product-search.
  • Installed SMS must be one of the four identified qualified models listed in the online application. To review the models, please visit the program Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Applicant agrees to Customer Agreement (see below)

Documentation Requirements

  • An itemized receipt/invoice identifying the make, model and model number as well as purchase or installation date, and individual costs for product and installation. Costs for materials, hardware or other supplies other than what was supplied in the product packaging are not eligible for reimbursement.
  • A completed SMS Checklist or ET Checklist, signed and dated by the installing contractor certifying that the installation followed manufacturer or University of Florida Recommendations for Optimizing Use of Smart Irrigation Controllers (UF IFAS)
  • A picture of the SMS probe (if applying for a soil moisture sensor rebate)showing probe installation depth and orientation.
  • A copy of your utility bill is required.
  • If rebate is payable to a representative of the homeowner, a completed and signed general release form is required. You may download a general release form here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a contractor get listed on Tampa Bay Water Wise’s Approved Contractor list?

While any licensed contractors may install a smart controller in accordance with our program rules, “Approved Contractors” can be listed on our website by attending a training session with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). These one day courses (or virtual training sessions) are designed to educate contractors about best practices in the installation of evapotranspiration (ET) and soil moisture sensor (SMS) controllers. Attendance by one employee will make your company approved to participate in the rebate program. Any other employees who install the device in association with the rebate must be trained by the employee who attended. The procedures for site evaluation and controller installation are available in this document: Recommendations for Optimizing Use of Smart Irrigation Controllers (UF IFAS). When available, upcoming training opportunities will be listed on this website as well as on the Florida Irrigation Society’s (FIS) website http://www.fisstate.org/. You can also join the FIS email list to receive notices about these upcoming training opportunities and other events.

Why do the product and labor costs have to be itemized on the invoice?

The SMS and ET rebate is based on two costs: the cost of the product, and the cost of the labor. A total rebate of up to $125 is offered for each, up to a maximum rebate possible of $250. The reimbursable product cost is for anything included in the product packaging, and does not include costs for additional materials, hardware or other supplies. The reimbursable labor costs include all labor associated with the proper installation of the smart controller as required by the program including site evaluation, product installation, and any other associated labor costs.

Customer Agreement

View Agreement

  • Applicant must be an existing potable water utility customer of the city of Tampa, city of St. Petersburg, city of New Port Richey, Pinellas County, Pasco County or Hillsborough County.
  • Tampa Bay Water Wise reserves the right to verify the purchase and installation of the devices. Evaluations of the installation shall be allowed by the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ program specialist in each county. If they are unable to conduct a scheduled evaluation visit to verify purchase and/or installation, the rebate check may not be issued.
  • Applicant must allow Tampa Bay Water Wise or the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ specialist access to review the completed installation for up to two (2) years after a rebate check has been paid in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the program.
  • Tampa Bay Water Wise reserves the right to inspect all submissions to determine eligibility. Fraudulent requests for rebates or duplicate submissions will be denied. Any paid rebates will be subject to repayment to Tampa Bay Water Wise if fraudulent activity is determined.
  • Rebate(s) will be issued as a check made payable to the account holder or homeowner. Checks will not be issued to third parties or contractors, unless designated by the homeowner with a general release form here.
  • Applications submitted with missing or incomplete information will be subject to processing delays and/or denial of the rebate request.
  • In order to receive a rebate, applicants must fulfill application requirements, meet rebate criteria, and accept the customer agreement.
  • Rebates are offered on new products only. Used or refurbished items are not eligible for a rebate.
  • Unless explicitly stated, all products must be owned by the customer. Rented or leased products are not eligible for a rebate.
  • New construction projects are not eligible.
  • Purchases must be made on or after March 1, 2020, with applications submitted within 90 days of purchase.

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