Yarra City Council has commenced an upgrade of all sports ground irrigation systems as part of an overall strategy to more efficiently utilise its annual irrigation water allocation with the city’s open space areas.
The expected outcome of this strategy is to ensure all open spaces in Yarra receive the right amount of water, in the right areas, at the right time of day, leading to an improvement in the amenity and usability of Yarra’s well used and admired parks and sportsgrounds.
In recent months UMS has worked with Council to audit the effectiveness and efficiency of all Council sportsground irrigation systems. The audit included GPS location of all sprinkler heads and catch-can testing to assess watering efficiency.
From this audit a range recommendations were made on irrigation system improvements including sprinkler head changes, sprinkler locations and control system upgrades. Once the works have been completed Yarra City Council irrigation systems will be able to evenly and effective distribute water across the city’s sportsground surfaces.
Another key element of this strategy has recently been implemented when Council made a decision on the installation of a web-based central irrigation control system. UMS has been closely involved in the evaluation and testing of various irrigation control systems for Council, and has subsequently been awarded the contract to install and operate the new system.
Stage 1 of the central control system will facilitate total control the watering of each ground via a web portal to the cloud-based “Smartlink Weathermatic” system. Having this level of control from any PC, phone or tablet will result in customer benefits, by allowing Council officers and UMS staff to check the status of all sportsground controllers from their desk, and make program changes if required. System faults are detected by the Smartlink System and sent to Council officers and UMS staff real-time allowing rapid fault location and repair. This gives Council reassurance that faults which cause water wastage, or negatively impact on playing surface condition or result in negative public perception, will be minimised.
Stage 2 of this roll-out will involve the installation and linking of flow meters to the central control system which will detect broken sprinkler heads, leaks and burst pipes in the systems and on detection, will automatically shut down individual lines. Flow meters will also give Council the ability to check quantities of water used per ground against their annual irrigation water allocation rather than having to wait for water bills to arrive.
While stage one has seen some great benefits to Yarra Council, stage two is where real data can be captured, analysed and interpreted to single out sportsgrounds where water savings can be achieved.
This is a great outcome for Yarra City Council in their initiative to save water and for UMS to be their Safe, Trusted, Expert.