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Port Washington Water District Announces Smart Irrigation System Controller Pilot Program

Aug 4, 2016

Testing New Technologies That Will Help Everyone Save Water

Port Washington, NY (May 2016) – The Port Washington Water District (PWWD) recently announced the implementation of a new smart irrigation system controller pilot program, a technology designed to reduce the water wasted during lawn irrigation. The District will test the validity and claimed savings of this WaterSense technology by installing a smart controller meter at their administrative headquarters, located at 38 Sandy Hollow Road in Port Washington. Beginning May 17, 2016, the testing period will last through September 2016, and results will be compared to water usage records from previous years.

“We are thrilled to have this technology installed at our District headquarters to test what level of water conservation can be gained this summer,” said David Brackett, Chairman of the Port Washington Water District Board of Commissioners. “Roughly 50 percent of all water used for lawn irrigation is wasted through evaporation, wind and runoff. Having a smart controller that can significantly reduce the amount of wasted water is well worth experimenting with.”

The District will be testing the second-generation Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller and hopes the technology will produce a water-usage savings of 15 percent. The Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller has many unique features to help the District reach its goal.

Operated through a smartphone, tablet or laptop, the smart controller manages the entire irrigation process of a home. By tying into the District’s Wi-Fi network, the controller connects to local weather stations and various sensors throughout the irrigation system monitoring precipitation, soil temperatures and evapotranspiration rates. Each zone in the irrigation system can be programmed to specify the grass type, number of shrubs/plants, and shade or sun levels to prevent oversaturation and runoff.

“Standard clock sprinkler timers are often set at the beginning of the season and forgotten about until the systems are shut off in the winter,” said Paul J. Granger, Superintendent of the Port Washington Water District. “Smart controllers are designed to remove all of the human error involved in managing a home’s irrigation system; if the technology works as advertised, you will never see a sprinkler working during a rainstorm.”

Depending on the results of the pilot and operational reliability of the equipment, the District will consider whether or not to revise its current irrigation system permit program to require the use of controllers that have a WaterSense label. WaterSense is a partnership program by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that seeks to protect the future of the nation’s water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products. The PWWD is a promotional partner in the EPA’s WaterSense program.

The Port Washington Water District was established in 1913 and serves more than 30,000 residents of North Hempstead, including Port Washington and the villages of Port Washington North, Manorhaven, Baxter Estates, Flower Hill and Plandome Manor.