NC Irrigation Contractors' Licensing Board Newsletter
State of NC Seal      

February 2015
In This Issue
P.O. Box 41421
Raleigh, NC 27629-1421
919-872-1598 (fax)
John Marmorato, Board Chair
Lindsey Griffin, Vice Chair
Michael Currin, Treasurer
Ron Price, Secretary
Tina Simpson, Board Counsel
Patrick Freeman
Brandon Gurley
Garry Grabow
Charles Allen
Public Member
Mark Krouse
Board Administrators
Barbara Geiger
Lisa Deubler
Individual Licensees - 929
Licensed Corporations - 556

The Board has processed 873 complaints, including advertising, unlicensed practice, minimum standard violations and supervision violations since its inception.
704 of those cases have been closed.
Of those complaints, 94 have been against licensees for minimum standard violations.
80 cases have resulted in settlement agreements.
34 cases have resulted in a hearing.
Legal counsel has processed 7 injunctions.
There are 48 cases being processed by Board Counsel and 38 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.  

Meet the newest members of the Board!


Patrick Freeman entered the landscaping industry in 1994 and began working for Bland Landscaping in 2003. Patrick holds a degree from NC State in Ornamental Landscape Technologies and is a Certified Landscaping Irrigation Auditor, a Stormwater BMP Maintainer, a Landscape Industry Certified Manager, a Landscape Industry Certified Technician, a NC Licensed Pesticide Applicator, NC Licensed Irrigation Contractor, and holds a NC Restricted Limited Plumbing License.  Outside of work, Patrick spends time with his family, plays golf, enjoys good food, and is an avid supporter of NC State athletics.


Brandon Gurley is a partner at North American Lawn & Landscape which has been in business for 29 years. 

Brandon graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1992 with a BS in Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. Since graduating and moving to North Carolina in 1995, he has earned the Plantsman Certification and is a NC Registered Landscape Contractor. Brandon is a NC Licensed Irrigation Contractor, has earned his backflow certification and has a NC Restricted Limited Plumbing License.  Brandon is married and has two daughters ages 15 and 21. Brandon spends most of his weekends on a soccer field with his younger daughter.  He also enjoys shooting pool,  playing golf, running, skiing, riding his motorcycle, and attending live concerts.


Dr. Garry Grabow, is Associate Professor and Interim Department Head in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering (BAE) at NC State.  He is a registered Professional Engineer, and holds degrees from UC Davis, Utah State, and the University of Tennessee.  His Extension work has been in the areas of animal waste management particularly in land application, and in irrigation water management.   His applied research program covers areas similar to his extension programs, and has included research on emerging technologies such as subsurface drip irrigation, and sensor-controlled irrigation for both turf and agricultural crops.  Prior to his current position at NC State,

he was with the Water Quality Group in BAE, where he assisted national projects with water quality data monitoring and analysis.  He teaches two graduate level courses "Open Channel Hydraulics for Natural Systems" and "Watershed Monitoring and Assessment".  Prior to coming to NC State, Dr. Grabow worked at an irrigation district in California and was in consulting where he worked on water resources projects, including several projects in East Africa.  He has also consulted on water reuse projects in the Middle East while at NC State.


Mark Krouse is an Environmental Program Coordinator for the City of Charlotte. He holds an Associate Degree in Civil Engineering, Certified as an Operator of Responsible Charge (ORC) in Cross Connection by the NC Water Treatment Facility Operators Board of Certification. He has 30 years of water and sewer industry experience with Charlotte Water. He is the City of Charlotte's registered State Certified ORC for Cross Connect and has developed and manages the City's Cross Connection Control and Backflow Prevention Program since 1991. Through the years, Mark has served in many capacities for the City of Charlotte including Technical Advisor on City Code Recodification efforts, special task force dealing with the Democratic National Convention security efforts and water conservation. After a community backflow incident, he played a major role in developing responses to the regulators, identified and developed and implemented changes in the City's Fire Hydrant Permitted Use program. He is an active member on Charlotte Water's "Partnership for Safe Water: Distribution System Optimization" group. He is recognized across the state as a Backflow Prevention Assembly Testing Trainer. He holds Backflow Tester, Backflow Inspector and Backflow Trainer certifications from the University of Florida's TREEO center. Mark developed and has coordinated backflow tester certification training with Central Piedmont Community College since 1993. He has been involved in the irrigation industry issues since 1991. Recently, he was the project manager for an effort by Charlotte Water to incentivize water conservation by offering discount water rates for customers using Smart Irrigation technologies in their system design and operation. Mark is an active member in the NC American Water Works Association as an instructor in the regional Collection and Distribution Schools which are charged with teaching operators of NC water systems the proper industry standards, techniques and procedures to assure public health. A married family man with 4 boys, he has coached both baseball and basketball. A 15 year Scout he is a Wood Badge Trained (and beaded) leader who believes the Scout program is one of the best leadership programs for our youth today.


The Board welcomes all of its newest members and is looking forward to an exciting and productive New Year!

Continuing Education Applications

Beginning in 2015 the Continuing Education Committee will meet monthly to review continuing education applications.  If the committee cannot agree on a course of action for a particular event, the application will be submitted to the Board for their review at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting.

Be reminded, if a licensee completes a course that has not been pre-approved by the Board's Continuing Education Committee it is the licensee's responsibility to submit the continuing education application which can be found on the Board website at In order for an application to be reviewed and approved prior to the December 31 renewal deadline, the application must be received by the Continuing Education Committee no later than October 1.
 The Continuing Education Advisory Committee Meetings and Board Meeting dates can be found on the Board website at

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 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

The Board's Investigators have been very busy this past year. Of special note is the fact that the Board is receiving more complaints from homeowners regarding minimum standards than in past years.  This probably reflects the fact that the public has become more aware and knowledgable of the irrigation law.

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.

It is imperative that all licensees understand and practice proper minimum standards when contracting and servicing irrigation.  Please take the time to review the Rules and Best Management Practices which can be found on the Board website at under "Laws and Enforcement".