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Irrigation systems proposed on public land must adhere to the current Calgary Parks Development Guidelines and Standard Specifications Landscape Construction document.

The following information provides manufacturers and their distributors with a process for having water management and irrigation products and equipment evaluated and tested for their appropriateness of use on City projects. This information supports the policies and practices as outlined in the Parks Water Management Strategic Plan.

General guidelines

  • Submissions for product testing are accepted anytime during the calendar year.
  • Installation on sites currently being maintained by Calgary Parks and not a Capital funded project are to occur during July and August.
  • Installation on sites that are Capital funded will be determined by the construction schedule for the project.

Minimum testing criteria

  • Products must be identified as either institutional, commercial, industrial or better. Residential, light commercial or residential/commercial will not qualify for testing.
  • The product should be rated for a 20 year or better operating life when installed, maintained and operated in accordance with the manufacturers design specifications and intended use. Use not expressly identified by the manufacturer as part of the products service ability (ie. vandalism, improper fluids, suspended solids, etc.) are not considered for testing.
  • Electronic equipment and software must be compatible with older versions to the limit of the products rated operating life. Example: If hardware has a 25 year life expectancy and its control software is being upgraded, the new software must be able to control hardware that was manufactured 25 years ago.
  • Only products and equipment that meet a basic need of the City will be tested.
  • For new products to be included in a category that currently has approved products, the new product must meet or exceed the specifications of those already approved.

Test duration

  • System testing duration is two calendar years and must include two system initiations, two full cycle operations, two winterizations and two winter cycles.
  • Restart or cancellation of testing: If the failure rate of a specific product exceeds 25% of the total number of units being tested then the test is either permanently cancelled or restarted following the manufacturers evaluation, report and corrective action. If the failure is deemed to be manufacturing related then the same product will only be retested if it has been improved or re-engineered.
  • Re-engineered approved products: Products existing on the City’s approved product list that have been modified by the manufacturer to provide enhanced features will be assessed on a case by case bases by the Parks Water Management Coordinator to determine whether they require further testing to maintain their approval rating.

Testing location

  • Sites used to evaluate products will be determined by the Parks Water Management Coordinator based on the product specifications, available sites, plant material present, and site use.
  • Only sites owned and maintained by the City will be considered.
  • Sites that are being developed by the land development industry will not be considered.
  • Capital sites that are being developed by another city business unit other than Calgary Parks will not be considered without the approval of the Water Management Coordinator.
  • Sites that are currently being maintained and operated by Calgary Parks will be considered.
  • Sites that are undergoing Capital development by Calgary Parks will be considered.
  • Sites that are undergoing Capital development that are designed by consultants and constructed by contractors hired by Calgary Parks will be considered.

Monitoring and review of the evaluation process

The Product Evaluation Committee consists of members from Calgary Parks including the Water Management Lead, Water Management Coordinator, an Irrigation Operations Supervisor and the Capital Project Manager for Irrigation (or another member from the Capital Project Development group).

  • The Product Evaluation Committee will visit test sites on a monthly bases.
  • All product observations, comments, concerns, deficiencies and required corrections will be formally documented on the appropriate forms.
  • All areas of the forms must be completed.
  • Originals of the product evaluation forms must be filed at the Water Management Centre (Manchester Building E, 2808 Spiller Road SE).
  • If site is maintained by Irrigation Operations, the Irrigation Supervisor for that Division will be an ex-officio member of the Product Evaluation Committee.
  • If site is part of a Capital project being constructed by the internal Irrigation Construction Supervisor, that person will be an ex-officio member of the Product Evaluation Committee.
  • If site is part of a Capital project being constructed by a contractor hired by the City of Calgary, the contractor’s Project Superintendent will be an ex-officio member of the Product Evaluation Committee.
  • A formal review will completed on an annual bases and the results will be communicated to the manufacturer.

Valuation and cost

  • To determine the cost benefit of the product being evaluated, the manufacturer will provide The City with retail or list price of the product.
  • Pricing information is not to include information related to volume discounts or other incentives related to product purchases. Such information is only relevant to purchasing the product after it has passed the evaluation process (e.g. in a project tender).
  • Products used as part of a Capital project will be purchased by the City as part of the project’s material and equipment purchases at fair market prices.
  • Product and equipment samples will be provided to the City in the quantities outlined in the Quantity section below and used in existing sites maintained by Calgary Parks or on Capital Project sites being constructed by Calgary Parks’ construction crew.
  • Any incremental costs related to the use of the equipment and products being tested on any of the above noted sites will be the responsibility of and monitored by The City as a part of the evaluation.

Manufacturer's documentation

  • Before the City accepts a product for evaluation and testing, the manufacturer must provide the Product Evaluation Committee with documentation that the product meets or exceeds the Minimum Testing Criteria, see above. Four copies of documentation is required.
  • After a product has been accepted for evaluation and testing, the manufacturer must provide the Product Evaluation Committee with all current technical specifications, history, performance data, references, and testimonials for the product. Four copies of documentation is required.
  • All performance data that is held by any testing or certification body such as Underwriters Laborites, Canadian Standards Institute, or Center for Irrigation Technology (CIT), must be provided and labeled as such with contact information for that body.
  • Any Single Leg Profile and Grid data that is available for the appropriate products must be provided. If some of the data is from CITs testing it must reach The City directly from CIT.


  • All products must be uniquely identified prior to installation in a manor acceptable to both the manufacturer and the City.
  • Markings must be permanent and tamper proof where ever possible. Possible markings include coloured wire-tied tags, stainless steel metal embossing tape or coloured visual tape markers.
  • Design drawings or existing as-built drawings must be used for locating the installed components. A Global Positioning System (GPS) may assist but not substitute.
  • If the product remains installed after the two year evaluation period or the Final Acceptance Certificate (FAC) inspection (which ever comes first), the digital as-built, if they exist, must capture the location and type of the product.


  • Following product minimums are required:
    • Eight zones worth of rotors based on Gallons Per Minute (GPM) and an 50 mm (2 in) lateral line.
    • Four zones worth of sprays based on GPM and an 50 mm (2 in) lateral line.
    • Ten electric, isolation, gate and drain valves, etc.
    • Eight zones worth of saddles, fittings and accessories.
    • Ten drain boxes with four extensions each.
    • Five DCVA boxes with two extensions each.
    • Ten control valve boxes with two extensions each.
  • Other product quantities (ie. sensors) are to be negotiated between the manufacturer and the Water Management Lead.


  • Product damaged by a third party or City resource and not related to the product, will be repaired at The City’s expense.
  • Product replacement due to poor product quality will be at the manufacturer’s expense, including materials and labour.
  • Product removal due to evaluation failure will be at the manufacturer’s expense, including all associated costs, and must be replaced with an appropriate product from the approved products list or specification book. If the manufacture does not have an already approved product from the same category, they must use a competitor’s product.

Termination of evaluation

Manufacturers may withdraw or recall their product from testing at any time during the evaluation process and replace it with an approved product, as outlined above. If a product fails testing, the evaluation may be terminated.

Possible reasons for testing failure:

  • Product does not fulfill the marketing claims of the manufacturer.
  • Product does not meet the expectations of the City or fill an identified product niche within the areas of irrigation that the City operates in.
  • Cost of the product is excessive in comparison to already approved products.
  • Cost of installation and maintenance is excessive compared to already approve products.
  • Costs associated with any auxiliary products required is excessive.
  • An unfavorable cost/benefit analysis.

Resolution dispute process

Any disputes to the Committee's decision must be submitted in writing to the Water Management Lead for resolution. Decision of the Water Management Lead is final.