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Baylor University Centralized Irrigation System Saves Water, Reduces Maintenance

Andy Trimble, Director of Campus Grounds for Baylor University's Facility Services in Waco, Texas, discusses his university's conversion to a centralized irrigation system on campus. Before centralizing the system, Baylor's facility services department spent 224 labor hours a year in order to turn the system on and off and make seasonal adjustments. The new system has enabled the department to better allocate those hours and find estimated savings of $150,000 a year on the 1,000-acre campus.

Andy Trimble

Andy Trimble
Director of Campus Grounds
Baylor University’s Facility Services
Waco, Texas

1. Describe briefly the reasons that led to installing the centralized irrigation system on campus.

a. Immediate control of 100 clocks across campus
b. Stewardship of natural recourses
c. Better quality landscape — right amount at the right time

2. Discuss how the irrigation system works and its benefits for the campus and your staff.

a. On site weather station auto adjusts time
b. Evapotranspiration (ET)-based control
c. Smart controller identifies issues, isolates problem, sends notification via e-mail

3. As a grounds manager, what was your role in the specification and installation processes?

a. Participated in the hardware selection process, choosing vendor
b. Quality Assurance – oversight of install by subs for operation standards

4. How has your staff been impacted by needing to devote less time to the irrigation system?

a. Technicians' time is focused on issues identified by the system, and less wasted time
b. Able to devote additional time to enhanced water delivery to the plant material

5. What kind of water and cost savings have you realized with the new system?

a. Overall savings of 20 percent over baseline year.
b. Example: $750,000 budget reduced by $112,000

6. What is the next step in your department's plan for water conservation?

a. Antiquated system upgrades, new tech heads, drip, moisture sensors, etc. b. New plant selection, and changing the public perception to plants that use less water.

posted:  6/1/2015