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home : features : parks & rec February 6, 2016

8/7/2013 9:05:00 AM
Prescott Valley parks computerization saves millions of gallons of water
Special to the Tribune

The Town of Prescott Valley's new computerized parks' irrigation system has saved more than $11,000 in four months, said town officials this week.

Parks employee Nick Groblewski said seven town parks are now connected to the computerized system.

"Between January 2013, when the system came online, and June 2013, the water savings was 2.8 million gallons, compared to the same time period in 2012," he said. "That equates to $11,116 in four months."

Water conservation is just one part of the equation.

"There is significant time and gasoline savings over the older system which required physically driving to each park and conducting manual checks," Groblewski said. "Now we receive electronic updates on the system status and can adjust the system remotely using our Smart Phones. It really is a major improvement and benefit to our parks."

John Munderloh, water resources manager, oversees the town's water conservation efforts and reports to the Arizona Department of Water Resources on the town's conservation-related improvements.

"We are very pleased with the new system and the results," he said. "It is operating as expected. Electronically controlled irrigation combined with direct supervisory oversight of a knowledgeable person like Nick is the most efficient method of applying water to our green spaces. It also results in healthier lawns that are not over or under watered."

A grant from the United States Bureau of Reclamation, Lower Colorado Region Phoenix Area Office partially paid for the system in the seven parks.

"We contributed labor and materials to install the equipment and $21,000 was awarded by the Bureau to pay for the equipment," Munderloh said. "At this rate, we will have recouped our costs within the first year of operation, and it will continue to pay dividends for years to come."

There is potential the town will receive a second year of funding to assist with the costs of bringing the remaining municipal parks online. "We have not heard yet about second year funding, but we are hopeful," Munderloh added.

Parks currently connected through the new system include the Civic Center, Mountain Valley Park, Mountain Valley Amphitheater, Tonto North, Antelope, Viewpoint and Sunflower.

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