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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70 Landscape Architect and Specifier News The controllers were divided into three groups. "Even though we can independently program each controller, by grouping these controllers, we can manage them more efficiently," explained Smith. "For example, in less than 30 seconds we can turn off 75 controllers in a certain area without turning off any other controllers throughout the property." "From an environmental standpoint, with Crystal Cove so close to the coastline, the project's design allows us to better manage potential large-equipment issues like mainline breaks or stuck valves and thereby mitigate the amount of waste water that would otherwise end up in our ocean," he noted. The Outcome "We have been able to irrigate more effectively," said Smith of the results of the smart irrigation system, the installation of which was completed in August 2017. "These controllers all have built-in volt meters," he explained. "They're continually checking the low-voltage irrigation circuits to make sure they are operational." As ground squirrels and gophers have a tendency to shut down circuits, the system will alert the irrigators if this happens. "Our two-year analysis found that the property was being under-irrigated with regard to what is horticulturally correct based on crop co-efficiency and irrigation efficiency, as well as the ET of the area," he said. "With this information and past water bills, we put together a program to irrigate to the needs of the plant material. It has all made the overall irrigation operations much more efficient." Above: The system pulls weather data from an area of 1 kilometer and programs the irrigation schedule appropriately. Each controller has its own cellular modem, so if one is taken offline, the others are not affected. And each controller can be programmed on its own, but there are also three different groups that can be controlled as one unit. By classifying the controllers into groups, they can be shut off in a specified area to be more water efficient. Left: After the upgrade to the weather-based smart system, the landscape at Crystal Cove has been irrigated more appropriately and more efficiently. As a result, the community received approximately $350,000 in rebates through SoCal Water$mart, a program operated by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to encourage residents to save water.

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