NC Irrigation Contractors' Licensing Board

P.O. Box 41421

Raleigh, NC 27629-1421 | 919-872-2229

2023 First Quarter Newsletter


  • Backflow: who can install and repair?
  • New Continuing Education Category
  • Continuing Education Reminders
  • Representing your license!
  • 2023 Exam Information
  • 2022 Disciplinary summary
  • Rule of the Month
  • Board members

Backflow Preventers: Can Irrigation contractors install and repair Backflows?

Licensed NC Irrigation Contractors are NOT allowed to install or work on backflow preventers UNLESS an additional license is held.

Which licenses allow contractors to install backflow?

Licensed Class I Plumber: can install, replace, or repair irrigation, domestic, and fire backflow assemblies for all structures.

Licensed Class II Plumber: can only install, replace, or repair irrigation, domestic, or fire backflow assemblies for single-family residential dwellings.

Licensed Fire Sprinkler Contractors: can only install, replace, or repair backflow assemblies that are a part of the fire sprinkler system. They cannot install, replace, or repair irrigation or domestic backflow assemblies.

Licensed Utility Contractor: can install, replace, or repair irrigation, domestic, and fire backflow assemblies within five feet of the building.

Restricted Limited Plumbing Contractor License: can install, repair or replace exterior backflow assembly connected to water service piping two inches in diameter or less.

For more information on obtaining these licenses, click here



This new category, called "Education through Experience", allows licensees to claim up to three (3) CE credit hours per renewal for completing a certain amount of irrigation construction or contracting related work. Any irrigation work where the licensee is directly involved, and can document involvement, may be considered for credit. In this category, forty (40) hours of irrigation related work will count for each one (1) hour of CE credit, up to three (3) hours maximum per renewal.

The Board is aware that not all learning takes place in the classroom. This new CE category, "Education through Experience", is being instituted to give contractors credit for the important learning that occurs daily, on every job. Beginning with the 2024 renewal, licensees will be eligible to earn CE hours by submitting this valuable time achieved during the CE period of January 1 - December 31.


One (1) credit hour will be awarded for each forty (40) hours worked, with a three (3) hour maximum per renewal.

Licensees may submit for either two (2) irrigation hours / one (1) business hour OR one (1) irrigation hour / two (2) business hours.


All irrigation related work will be considered for credit. Start-ups, winterizations, repair, maintenance, installation/building, design, estimating, sales, etc. Not sure if it counts as credit? Ask!


Licensees will submit "Education through Experience" CE credits as "Self-Directed" activities, and attach supporting documentation. No matter what kind of work has been completed, documentation MUST be submitted.

The Board has created a chart to track hours, and an affidavit that will be required to be submitted with each "Education through Experience" entry. An in-depth look at this new CE category, as well as a sample chart and the required affidavit, can be found on the website, under the "Continuing Education" tab, "New CE Category: Education through Experience".

**Supporting documentation can include, but is not limited to: as-built or other drawings, list of start-ups/winterizations, description of installation including number of zones and time spent on each stage of development**

Continuing Education Reminders

  • Licensees submit completed CE courses into their online account. Credits are not automatically added to accounts
  • Activities may only be submitted for credit once every 3 years
  • Licensees must have at least 6 irrigation hours and 4 business hours to be eligible for renewal
  • Carryover hours are not allowed
  • Submitted proofs of attendance must be completed with licensee's name, license number and signature
  • Landscape Contractors' proofs of attendance will not be accepted

NCICLB Chair Charlie Nieman to lead continuing education course to discuss... continuing education!

Charlie Nieman, NCICLB Chair, will join Kurt Thompson, IrriTech Training, Inc., for a special continuing education course called "Making the New and Existing NCICLB CEU Opportunities Work for You", at the upcoming CIA Spring Water Summit!

In this course, Chairman Nieman will discuss the many different ways to get business and technical CE credits beyond sitting in a class for 10 straight hours. This session will include details about the new Education through Experience CE category, along with the often-overlooked categories that can make the 10 hours more rewarding to earn.

Head over to to check it out and sign up!

Representing your license!

Did you know...

All licensees are required to have the current year auto decal in a visible area on their work truck. You have worked hard to become and stay an NC licensed irrigation contractor - make sure you advertise it far and wide!

Licensees are encouraged to advertise as an NC licensed irrigation contractor by showing the auto decal, listing the individual and corporate license numbers, and most importantly, using the designation "licensed irrigation contractor"!

2023 Exam Information

The NCICLB is currently in the process of creating a new licensing exam, and will keep licensees, prospective licensees, and candidates up to date with any new information. Since the Board's inception, the Irrigation Association's "Certified Irrigation Contractor" exam has been used as the licensing exam. The Board decided in late 2022 to create a new licensing exam that will be geared more toward today's NC irrigation contractors.

If you would like to be kept in the loop regarding the new NCICLB licensing exam, please email Board administration and request to be added to the email list!

Disciplinary Actions

The Board is required by law to investigate every complaint received. If the findings of the investigation indicate that a violation of the law and/or rules enforced by the Board have occurred, a number of disciplinary actions are available to the Board. Following is a list of actions for 2022.

2022 Hearings

If a Respondent does not agree to a Settlement, a Notice of Hearing shall be issued. A Hearing can be scheduled in order for both sides to have the opportunity to present evidence and argue their case.

CASE # U21-006

In the matter of J & M Landscaping and Lawn Maintenance and Jesus Ventura Vasquez, Newton Grove, NC 

VIOLATION: Mr. Vasquez and his company installed a landscape irrigation system in NC without obtaining the proper license before installation from the NCICLB in violation of GS § 89G. 

BOARD ACTION: Upon review of the evidence presented, the Board determined a violation of NC GS § 89G-2, prohibiting the practice of irrigation construction or contracting by an unlicensed individual, occurring at a commercial location in Newton Grove, NC. The Board assessed a total civil penalty in the amount of two thousand dollars ($2,000) in accordance with NC GS § 89G-12.

CASE # L20-11

In the matter of Southern Cut Irrigation and Ronald Scott Monteith, Mount Holly, NC 

VIOLATION: Southern Cut installed a landscape irrigation system in NC and failed to install the irrigation system in accordance with the Board's duly promulgated rules governing minimum standards for the design and installation of irrigation systems, in violation of N.C. GS § 89G-11 (6) and 21 NCAC 23 .0503; .0504; .0505; 0508; and .0511.

BOARD ACTION: Upon review of the evidence presented, the Board determined a number of Minimum Standard violations, occurring in a residential location in Wilmington, NC. The Board assessed a total civil penalty in the amount of two thousand dollars ($2,000) in accordance with NC GS § 89G-12.

2022 Settlement Agreements

Upon completion of an investigation, a Settlement Agreement can be issued to a licensed or an unlicensed individual where it is determined through an investigation that a violation has occurred. The Settlement Agreement is made between the Board and the Respondent and admits wrongdoing on the part of the Respondent. The agreement lays out the sanctions and remedies required which include fines predetermined by the Board, investigatory and attorney costs.

Case #U22-003 Yardmedic

Case #U22-016 Triangle Environmental

Case #U22-017 Ramirez

2022 Enforcement Statistics

24 total Complaints between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022

Minimum Standards

3 Complaints

3 Cases Closed

Unlicensed Practice

21 Complaints

11 Cases Closed


0 Complaints


0 Complaints


Print this flyer, 


and present it to your prospective customers.

Rule of the month


(a) An irrigation contractor shall design an irrigation system so that it uniformly distributes water.

(b) When designing an irrigation system, an irrigation contractor shall consider the following criteria:

  1. (1) the soil type;
  2. (2) the slope;
  3. (3) the plant root depth;
  4. (4) the water requirements of different plants;
  5. (5) microclimates;
  6. (6) weather conditions;
  7. (7) the quantity, quality, and delivery pressure of the water source; and
  8. (8) the long-term management of the system and the landscape it serves.

(c) When designing an irrigation system, an irrigation contractor shall select equipment components and installation techniques that meet state and local code requirements and site requirements.

(d) When designing an irrigation system, an irrigation contractor shall to ensure that the irrigation system is designed to uniformly distribute the water, conserve and protect water resources, and function well as a component of the overall landscape by doing the following:

(1) obtaining direct knowledge of site conditions by visiting it. Viewing and relying solely on plot plans to generate a design is not adequate preparation for designing an irrigation system.

(2) producing a design that meets all applicable state and local codes, including plumbing and electrical codes.

(3) when allowable by law, specifying in the plan the manufacturer, model, type, and size of all components to eliminate ambiguity during construction and to facilitate management of the system.

(4) selecting pipe, electrical wire, and other materials based on design parameters, environmental conditions, code requirements, and long-term management requirements of the system.

(5) designing the irrigation system to minimize installation and maintenance difficulties.

(6) selecting and placing shrubs, trees, and groundcover sprinkler and microirrigation components according to the expected size of larger specimen plants through a minimum three-year establishment period for shrubs and 10-year establishment period for trees.

History Note:

Authority G.S. 89G-5;

Eff. August 1, 2011;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without substantive public interest Eff. September 22, 2014;

Amended Eff. November 1, 2016.

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Board Members and Staff

Charlie Nieman - Board Chair

Kurt Bland - Vice Chair

Daniel Baker - Treasurer

Charles Allen - Member

Steve Hill - Member

Charles Hughes - Member

Shawn Lucas - Public Member

Dennis Pitts - Member

Chad Poole - Member

Alex Ward - Board Attorney

Margaret Geiger - Board Administrator

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Margaret M. Geiger

Board Administrator

P.O. Box 41421

Raleigh, NC 27629-1421

(919) 872-2229 (Office)

(919) 872-1598 (Fax)

NC Irrigation Contractors' Licensing Board