Smart Irrigation Controller Project

At the June 2018 meeting, representatives from Stillwater, our landscape contractor, made a presentation to accompany a proposal they had prepared for the board to install “smart irrigation controllers” throughout Rio Crossing.The proposal had 2 options, one which would replace all irrigation controllers, and a less expensive option which would replace all of the larger controllers, but not those that only controlled irrigation at the three small circles along Devonshire and Highland.  (Irrigation at the other small circles are controlled by other larger controllers nearby.)

The Board later voted to approve the proposal option to replace 7 existing controllers with 6 new controllers at a monthly cost of $670.  (The proposal stated monthly cost of $6,856 includes the cost of our normal monthly maintenance of $6,186 per month — the difference being the additional cost per month just for the new controllers.)

This monthly cost includes delivery and installation of 6 Weathermatic Smarklink irrigation controllers, each with a weather station and “air card” for wireless data transfer, plus a flow sensor and master valve assemblies in the water line at each installed controller.  At the end of 36 months (3 years), Rio Crossing will own the system, and the monthly fee service and insurance fee reduces to $53/month.

The included weather station will collect weather information and allow the controller to adjust watering based on temperature, humidity, and real-time precipitation detection.  The end result should be healthier, thriving plants, and no complaints about irrigation systems running when it’s raining!  Some installations report water savings in excess of 25% of the total irrigation water costs, a major factor for Rio Crossing, given the planned water cost increases from the City of Avondale over the next few years.

The master valve and flow sensor are designed to detect if a zone valve is leaking, sticking, or not closing, and should also assist in detecting leaks in real-time, shutting down the station and alerting Stillwater to dispatch someone to resolve the issue.