Landscape Architect & Specifier News

JUL 2018

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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Crystal Cove is a 3,674-acre residential community located on the coast of Orange County, California. Park West, a leading provider of landscape construction, landscape management and tree care services, recently completed a smart irrigation installation at the luxury community. "Originally, we looked at upgrading the existing equipment. But when we evaluated its general capabilities and what that would have cost, we determined that installing a new system was a better fit for the community overall," said Danny Smith, director of water management at Park West. Contributing Factors The existing irrigation controllers were based on analog phone lines and hardwire communication. Smith noted, "What we found was that the communications were essentially not working." A multitude of factors contributed to this – ground squirrels and gophers chewing through the wires as well as the construction of new home phases over the years. The irrigation team at Park West conducted a full analysis of the existing system. "There were several areas that were in penalty" for the amount of water being used, said Smith. They also found that there were areas being under- watered. As part of their analysis, they checked each point of connection, basket strainer, master valve and flow sensor. If they did not look like they would be functional within three years, they were either flagged for service or replaced completely. A Right Resolution In addition to large areas of turf, the common landscaped areas in Crystal Cove include Birds of Paradise, Star Jasmine, Agave and others. "They originally used high water-use plants where it was appropriate, along with low water-use varieties to be more sustainable and more horticulturally correct," Smith explained. Each of these uniquely landscaped areas need to be properly irrigated to meet the needs of the plants. With different water requirements, managing the irrigation system to meet those needs is paramount to the health of the landscape. Above: A high-end residential community on the coast of Southern California, Crystal Cove was in need of an update to their irrigation system. Some parts of the 500-acre common area were being completely under-watered, while others were left completely underwater. Park West Companies, a leading provider of landscape construction, landscape management and tree care services, conducted a full irrigation analysis before replacing the existing system with a smart irrigation system. 68 Landscape Architect and Specifier News A Smart Irrigation Upgrade By Alli Rael, LASN i r r i g a t i o n

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