Saving Water Saves Money
Within the boundaries of Laguna Woods Village, there are 651 irrigated acres of landscaping, excluding golf courses. Irrigation is controlled by a computerized central control system that is the responsibility of GRF. All downstream piping, valves, sprinklers, etc., belong to the individual housing mutuals. The irrigation system consists of 407 remote irrigation controllers and more than 500,000 sprinkler heads.
As you may have heard, GRF is installing a new irrigation master control system. The old system was outdated and relied on an obsolete computer with only local data storage. It did not have any functional remote access; a technician had to be at the monitor in the office to see or resolve issues. As the irrigation system runs mostly at night and on weekends, this had been an extreme limiting factor in the response time to main line breaks and other irrigation issues.
Additionally, system communication was a weak link; the old hardwire system had been unreliable and in need of frequent repair. The radio portion of the system required line of sight, and any plant material that grew in front of the receivers disrupted connections and required manual troubleshooting.
The new cloud-based system, Hydropoint WeatherTRAK System, uses reliable cellular communication, as do all modern control systems. This system can be completely controlled by tablets and enabled smartphones. Technicians can adjust irrigation cycles on the spot, making system fine tuning much more efficient and instantaneous. Another helpful feature is that technicians can get alerts on their phones during off hours, greatly reducing the time to fix serious issues, saving money and water lost.
The entire new control system is eligible for rebates from Metropolitan Water District (MWD), equal to $35 per station, with well over 10,000 stations in the system. Staff has been working with MWD and EL Toro Water District to obtain these rebates.
MWD has shown particular interest in the new system installation, as it is the largest system upgrade that they have experienced in their entire area, which encompasses most of Southern California. When the project is complete, GRF will receive more than $350,000 in rebates.
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