NC Irrigation Contractors' 
Licensing Board Newsletter
State of NC Seal
October 2015
In This Issue
P.O. Box 41421
Raleigh, NC 27629-1421
919-872-1598 (fax)


Executive Committee
Patrick Freeman, Board Chair
Lindsey Griffin, Vice Chair
Brandon Gurley, Treasurer
Ron Price, Secretary
To Be Advised, Board Counsel

Garry Grabow
Charles Allen
Scott Hicks
Michael Currin

Public Member
Mark Krouse

Board Administrators
Barbara Geiger
Lisa Deubler

Individual Licensees - 969
Licensed Corporations - 595

The Board has processed 941 complaints, including advertising, unlicensed practice, minimum standard violations and supervision violations since its inception.
885 of those cases have been closed.
Of those complaints, 108 have been against licensees for minimum standard violations.
106 cases have resulted in settlement agreements.
34 cases have resulted in a hearing.
Legal counsel has processed 11 injunctions.
There are 22 cases being processed by Board Counsel and 16 cases in the process of being investigated or reviewed for severity.
If you are interested in submitting a complaint about a violation of NC General Statute §89G, please go to the Board website  Complaints may be submitted electronically or you may print a form, fill it out and submit it to the Board by email:, fax: (919) 872-1598 or mail: 
PO Box 41421
Raleigh, NC  27629 

Supervision vs 

NC General Statute § 89G states: "All irrigation construction or irrigation contracting performed by an individual, partnership, association, corporation, firm, or other group shall be under the direct supervision of an individual licensed by the Board under this Chapter."

Supervision applies to the relationship a licensee has with his/her own employees or co-workers. A licensee must have control over all aspects of construction or contracting and is ultimately responsible for all irrigation contracting handled within his/her company, or the company that has employed him/her.

Supervision  does not apply to a relationship between a licensee and an unlicensed contractor that is not employed by the same company. The only relationship that is allowed in this situation is a sub-contract. The unlicensed contractor may sub-contract a job to the licensee. Again, the licensee is in control and ultimately responsible for the construction and must use his own employees.

A licensed irrigation contractor that allows an unlicensed contractor to work under the guise of a sub-contract could be subject to disciplinary action.  

The Board continues to investigate and act upon unlicensed practice and minimum standard violations.  To view disciplinary actions click here.

Upcoming Event
On October 29, 2015, the NCICLB will be in attendance at the 2nd annual Waterpalooza  trade show, being held at J.C. Raulston Arboretum at NC State University.  The Board will be there to educate the public and answer any questions.
We look forward to seeing you there!

New member and Board Chair, Patrick Freeman thanks Michael Currin for his many years of dedicated service.

Board Membership Changes

This has been a year of big changes for the NC Irrigation Contractors' Licensing Board.  As you may be aware from the January newsletter, four of the original Board Members' terms ended in late 2014, Maeneen Klein, Dr. Ronald Sneed, David Williams and Dave Collins, and this past month two more of the original members terms have ended.  John Marmorato, acting Board Chair through July, 2015 and Michael Currin, acting Treasurer through August, 2015, have been an integral part of the development of all the Board is today. Both John and Michael dedicated an enormous amount of time and talent while providing a positive impact on the profession of irrigation contracting in North Carolina.  Please join us in thanking these individuals for their years of service to the Board and the State of NC.
The Board is pleased to announce that Mr. Scott Hicks, owner of Hicks Landscape Contractors of Zebulon, Inc. has been newly appointed to the Board.  Scott is a NC Licensed Irrigation Contractor, Licensed Landscape Contractor, Licensed Pesticide Applicator and has a NC Restricted Limited Plumbing License.  In addition Scott has certifications in Storm water BMP Inspection & Maintenance, Storm water BMP Retrofit & Rehab and Green Roof Design.  

Scott served as an Investigator for the Irrigation Board in 2015.  He is a Veteran of the US Army and has been a part-time law enforcement officer since 1996.  Scott resides in Wendell with his wife, ten year old daughter and eight year old son.  He loves the outdoors and enjoys hunting and fishing off the coast of North Carolina with his family and friends.  
The Board has not received confirmation of the newest member of the Board but hopes to be able to make that announcement next month.
In addition to Board Members coming and going there have been some changes in the Board officers.  Mr. Patrick Freeman is serving as Board Chair while Brandon Gurley is serving as Treasurer.

The Board is excited to welcome all of this year's newest members who will bring a fresh perspective and a different personal approach.
Reflections on Board Service and the effect of an Irrigation Contracting Licensing Law

  submitted by Michael Currin

I remember, about ten years ago, a handful of people began the efforts to get a Landscape and Irrigation practice act passed in the General Assembly.  These people felt that this was important to the future of the landscape irrigation industry.  I remember thinking that my son Daniel, who had just joined the business, would be faced with a very competitive industry. The future would be challenging as few professionals would be interested in the irrigation industry.  Over the previous twenty five years I watched the margins in industry related work shrink. The industry had begun to mature and we were faced with the challenges of any maturing industry .

I thought then, that the best thing that could happen to the industry and to the consumer, was to make sure that those who were doing the work had some set of standards that had to be met in order to enter the industry.  This is no different than any other professional, well paid occupation.  For me, it was an opportunity to be able to say to my son, "Daniel, this is a great profession and one that any young person should want to consider".  By applying sound business skills, and providing outstanding leadership, it is reasonable to expect a fair return on your investment and your efforts.

Ten years later, I have stepped aside and turned over the leadership and day to day management of my company to my son.   I am proud to say that this is a great industry and one that will reward well managed and well led organizations with a desire to make a difference.  I believe that the passage of the NCICLB legislation along with the more recent passage of the Landscape Contractors' Licensing law have contributed to my being able to say that.  Along with the support from our State and national trade associations, landscape irrigation contracting is a much more professional industry than the one I entered in 1976.

It has been a privilege and a pleasure to serve the industry for these many years.  I have enjoyed working with the past members of the original Board.  Each has given so much time on behalf of the NC Irrigation Industry and has enriched my life by their friendships.  I believe that the current Board is in great hands and will continue to advance the industry and uphold the standards that were set by this legislation.  

Lastly, I would like to thank the staff at Upton Associates for the immense work they have done to bring us to this point.  Lisa Deubler and Barbara Geiger have been very dedicated, and have brought a professional environment to the operation of the Board.  I believe that the future is bright for the NC Irrigation Industry and I am glad to have had the opportunity to be a part of its professional growth.

It's Renewal Time...

Board Administration appreciates those individuals that have already begun to submit their 2016 renewal and continuing education reporting forms.  Be reminded that if the renewal paperwork is incomplete it will be returned to you.  The instructions and proper forms for renewal can be found on the Board website at

  • Individual renewal forms must be stamped with your individual license seal. (If you have lost your seal you may add $40 to your renewal payment and write on your individual renewal form whether you want to order an embossing seal or a self-inking seal)  If paying by credit card, add $40 to the "amount paid" on the renewal form.
  • If you have an individual license and a corporate license you must fill out two renewal forms, even if the information is identical.
  • Don't forget to sign the renewal form AND the continuing education reporting form.
Important Reminders
  • All licenses expire 12/31 and must be renewed by midnight in order to avoid a late fee.
  • Continuing Education must be earned between January 1 and December 31 of the previous year to renew for the next year.
  • A Licensee must earn 10 credits of Board approved continuing education. It is required that 2 to 4 of those credits are business and the balance irrigation turf related.
  • An individual cannot repeat the same course more than every three years in order to earn credits.
  • If your company is a corporation, LLC or partnership you are required to have a corporate license in addition to your individual license.
  • Surety Bonds must be kept up to date in order to avoid having your license suspended and paying a reinstatement fee. This is especially important to remember when you are changing employment.
  • Licensees are responsible for submitting any changes in contact information to the Board. This information must be in writing and can be sent by fax, email or US mail.

Minimum Standards

This is just another reminder that as a licensed irrigation contractor it is important that you educate yourself on the Rules and Best Management Practices set forth by the Board.

Following is a list of the most frequently violated minimum standards reported by investigators:

(a) An irrigation contractor shall design the layout of heads and other emission devices to reduce evaporation loss, reduce surface run-off and limit overspray across or onto a street, public driveway or sidewalk, parking area, building, fence, or adjoining property.
(c) An irrigation contractor shall design sprinkler head spacing with an approximate "head-to-head" coverage, unless the coverage is designed for wind derating. Wind derating shall be based on wind criteria for the time period that the system is normally operated.
(d) An irrigation contractor shall use separate station/zones (hydrozones) for areas with dissimilar environmental conditions or dissimilar water or scheduling requirements. These conditions include sun exposure, plant type, soil type, varying wind conditions, grades, and dimensional issues. When not practicable due to accessibility, dimensional issues or other constraints, practical modifications to this standard are acceptable.
(s) An irrigation contractor shall use valve boxes that are large enough to allow for easy maintenance of the valve housed inside. Valve boxes shall be at least 10 inches in diameter for both manual and automatic valves.

(c) The maximum spacing between sprinklers must not exceed the radius listed in the manufacturer's specifications.
(e) Irrigation systems shall not spray water onto or over surfaces made of concrete, asphalt, brick, wood or any other continuous impervious material, such as walls, fences, sidewalks and streets. The irrigation system may spray water onto such surfaces due to irregularly-shaped hardscapes, wind drift or fixed spray patterns of sprinklers.

(b) The irrigation contractor shall, upon completion of any irrigation system or addition to an existing irrigation system provide an owners manual to the owner of owner's representative containing the following:

(7) The irrigation record drawing that accurately portray the site, and is legible and reproducible. Site information shall include all development (e.g. building edges, walks, walls, roads,), irrigated areas, turf areas, and planted areas. The drawings shall show the sprinkler system as it is installed. An irrigation contractor shall include locations and product information regarding the location of the emergency shut-off valve, meters, backflow devices, valves, controllers, pumps, wire paths, wire splice locations and main line piping. All manual and automatic valve locations shall be shown with actual measurements to permanent reference points so they may be easily located in the field. Examples of permanent reference points include buildings, drainage inlets, sidewalks, curbs, light poles. The statement, "This irrigation system has been designed and installed in accordance with all applicable state and local laws, ordinances, rules, regulations or orders. I have tested the system and determined that it has been installed according to the Irrigation Plan and is properly adjusted for the most efficient application of water at this time" shall be included in the irrigation drawing record. The irrigation contractor shall provide a plan to scale that includes locations and product information regarding the lateral piping, sprinklers, and rain switches or sensors.