“We wanted our homeowners to use the latest technology to reduce landscape water use and reduce polluted runoff into our streets and lakes,” said Rolando Ramon, head of Seis Lagos Utility District Board. “Meanwhile, we have found that if our homeowners will water based on plant requirements we can all have healthy, green landscapes. We’ve seen savings of 30-50% for many homeowners over the last year. I’ve personally achieved water savings of 45% from my system.”
Seis Lagos Utility District (SLUD) is a customer of North Texas Municipal Water District located in northeast Collin County just off the shores of its water source, Lake Lavon. As a 30-year old community, SLUD faced strained water infrastructure, incremental growth and development, rising water costs, and continual water restrictions. During summers, the community was always at capacity with their two ground source tanks and one elevated tank, so they kept running out of water. SLUD recognized landscape watering was the primary use of water and decided to address the need for conservation at the source.
SLUD selected Weathermatic, the leading landscape water conservation solution provider, to develop and execute a water conservation program for the community. First, SLUD made an amendment to the building code to eliminate the use of timer-based irrigation systems, known for overwatering by 20–50%, in favor of smart weather based irrigation systems that take into account the property’s weather and plant, sprinkler, and soil type by zone. Then, SLUD addressed retrofitting the existing 430 homes by offering every homeowner the opportunity to upgrade to a SmartLine weather based irrigation controller and wireless on-site weather station through an exchange program that removed the old timer based systems. SLUD used existing reserve funds and offered the system for free, including installation and a repair report by Weathermatic certified professionals. SLUD also offered an exemption to watering day restrictions, since SmartLine control systems only water based on plant needs. Further, homeowners could elect to purchase an extended 5-year equipment warranty and add a SmartLink Aircard for web-based access and monitoring of their system.
Despite a new development of 206 lots and district annexation adding to the demand on infrastructure, the new smart water program has extended the life of SLUD’s existing infrastructure by two years and helped delay the addition of an extra storage unit. Because smart water residents have been allowed to continue watering throughout phase 2 and phase 3 water restrictions, SLUD has been able to absorb major price increases from NTMWD, adding to their revenue. From their savings and this additional revenue, the district is able to fund the new storage tank with cash rather than increasing their debt.
Ramon is pleased to note that the district’s smarter use of water has “minimized the impact that SLUD properties have on the amount of chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, etc.” being washed into the environment as a result of excess landscape irrigation water running off treated lawns and pavement.
Weathermatic, the world’s leading provider of Smart Irrigation Controllers, is providing these weather based control systems in some communities where the utility district is subsidizing the cost for homeowners. As an optional upgrade to the SmartLine system, Weathermatic has released SmartLink; a web-based landscape irrigation solution allowing landscape contractors and property owners to manage all their sites from any computer or mobile device and a simple internet connection. It also allows property owners to get real-time visibility to the water savings from smart irrigation.
Weathermatic is a leading provider of water-conserving technology and services. Based in Dallas, TX, Weathermatic has been serving landscape professionals for more than seventy years and has a full line of controllers, flow management products, weather stations, valves, rotors, sprays and nozzles. Weathermatic products have been installed in over 80 countries and on high profile properties like the U.S. Capitol Building, Buckingham Palace and the College Football Hall of Fame.