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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Page 68 of 133

July 2018 69 They found the best way to obtain that was through smart irrigation. Smart irrigation controllers monitor weather and soil conditions to automatically adjust landscape watering needs, as opposed to an automatic system or one that has to be manually adjusted during weather events. Park West chose WeatherTRAK larger capacity controllers and were able to reduce the quantity from 267 to 167. Each individual controller has a cellular modem, allowing them to work independently. If one is taken off the grid, the others continue to irrigate appropriately. "They all receive specific weather data within one square kilometer of an area," explained Smith. "Within Crystal Cove, we can have our controllers receive different ET values just by being far enough away from each other." The controllers receive evapotranspiration (ET) data on a daily basis and adjust programming based on that information as well as manually entered user data. For areas of the property that were being under- watered, Park West put together an initial program that watered based on the original design. "Then every few months, we reduced the irrigation frequency while maintaining proper soil moisture to train the plants to develop a longer root system," said Smith. For the different areas of landscape, "Each had to be programmed based on the irrigation method, the precipitation rate of that method, and runoff which was an important issue," according to Smith. The new irrigation system can be controlled either from an app or from the manufacturer's website. "The webpage allows us to have all functionality," said Smith. "The app allows us to review alerts, manually irrigate, turn controllers on and off, and pause for rain." Above: There are two ways to manually adjust the irrigation system – through an app, or through the company's website. The app allows approved users to review alerts, manually irrigate, turn controllers on and off, and initiate a rain pause. The website allows users to do all of those tasks plus monitor usage, breaks or leaks, compare water bills over time, schedule irrigation and more. Middle: In addition to turf areas, Crystal Cove's 3,624 acres include many trees, shrubs and flowers. With the smart irrigation system, which consists of 167 controllers, each area had to be programmed to irrigate appropriately for the plant material.

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