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High-tech irrigation system saves water

City: Santa Clarita is installing computerized controllers to save up to 200 million gallons of wate

Posted: September 6, 2010 10:30 p.m.
Updated: September 7, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 

The city of Santa Clarita is installing a system of irrigation controllers to save millions of gallons of water annually in a program recognized nationally as the largest smart water-management system ever.

Almost 500 weather-based irrigation controllers, or smart controllers, are being placed at the city’s landscaped areas around town as part of the “world’s largest smart water management system ever installed,” according to Water Efficiency Magazine.

The city’s landscape maintenance district covers more than 700 acres and uses about 800 million gallons of water each year, said Jason La Riva, the city’s landscape maintenance specialist.

“Our main objective is to reduce overall consumption by 10 to 20 percent,” La Riva said. “The pilot program saved 25 percent.”

The irrigation controllers communicate with satellites to water more or less based on the weather. Almost 500 controllers will be installed, La Riva said.

The city expects to save up to 200 million gallons of water a year. That’s about as much water as more than 600 households use in a year.

Given the water savings, the city expects the $600,000 project will pay for itself in as few as six years.

The project was paid for using the landscape maintenance special district fund.

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