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Turf & Landscape

Whittlesea, Australia | 28% saving in water and energy costs

“We’ve had the IRRInet system in operation for nine successful years, effectively enabling us to manage water distribution for 30 city parks, save costs by efficient reuse of water and natural water collection, as well as monitor our parks’ and sports fields’ electrical lighting systems.”

Stephen Comben, Strategic Projects & Operation Coordinator, Parks and Gardens, City of Whittlesea

Project Goals

  • Reduce water consumption in landscaped areas
  • Minimize the use of potable water for irrigation of city sports fields
  • Stay within state-wide drought-imposed water rationing levels
  • Maintain environmental sustainability

Target & Challenges

  • The solution had to allow for remote monitoring and control, providing real-time information to a central computer and mobile devices. Close monitoring of system activity would allow for quickly identifying failures or disruptions that cause water leakage.

Over time, the customer wanted to track expected versus actual water use in each of the automatically irrigated areas. In addition, the system was expected to be expanded to include non-irrigation functions, such as control of sporting ground lighting.

Site
City of Whittlesea, AUSTRALIA

Project scope

  • Design and implementation of an integrated irrigation control solution for open spaces, gardens, parks & sports grounds.
  • 81 sites & more than 150 controllers across seven separate areas.
  • Remote water distribution and water use monitor and control.
  • Automatic moderate irrigation in each designated area in response to changing weather conditions.

Number of managed sites: 151

System Layout
Management & Control Center: ICC & IMS

Motorola
Controllers
# of units
IRRInet ACE 3
IRRInet M 7
Scorpios 24
Piccolo XR 120

THE MOTTECH SOLUTION

The IRRInet system, manufactured by Motorola Inc. with IRRInet Control Center (ICC) software currently manages irrigation for over 80 sites across the city of Whittlesea. This comprehensive solution includes remote site control and monitoring, as well as system performance oversight and data retrieval capabilities.

Along with the ICC, Mottech solution includes the Irrigation Management Software (IMS) suite and 67 individual field controllers. Data gathered from each monitored site – including weather, rainfall and ET rates – is used to determine how much water is needed. The system is programmed to then take appropriate action in accordance with prevailing weather conditions, such as automatically reducing irrigation in a specific area in response to increased rainfall. The IMS Software is mainly utilized for creating and automatically dispatching customized reports, compare irrigation planning to actual (daily/weekly/monthly) and display events and information per element.

In case of water flow exceeding the preset rates, meters on the irrigation lines notify the ICC software, which in turn automatically shuts down the damaged line. The system then sends an alert to any designated software operator and mobile device.

The IRRInet-ICC solution is entirely scalable, allowing seamless expansion as the landscaped area in Whittlesea has doubled over the past nine years. The city also expanded the IRRInet system to control sports field lighting during training sessions and after-hours events.

 

RESULTS AND BENEFITS

With full ICC automation of the IRRInet system, nonprofit sports clubs no longer need to be involved in grounds irrigation. Removing club personnel from the loop, Whittlesea park maintenance staff maintains total control over irrigation and lighting systems.

Looking toward the future, Whittlesea will use the IRRInet-ICC system to ensure compliance with statutory regulation of wastewater recycling in private gardens and public spaces. Daily water output and watering time reports will be automatically delivered to city personnel and, where required, to statutory bodies such as the EPA. The system will allow for strict control over watering times, including automatic shut-down of irrigation systems based on predetermined wind speed and direction parameters.

The Mottech solution, with total system control, can be expanded and modified to meet changing municipal needs and even in the case of infrastructure disruptions, IRRInet’s redundant communication paths ensure increased reliability and system continuity.

  • The IRRInet system, manufactured by Motorola Inc.,

  • A 28% savings in water and energy costs
  • Significantly reduced water consumption
  • Reduced use of potable water for irrigation
  • An end to uncontrolled leakage
  • Remote and tailored modification of the  irrigation system
  • Compliance with state-wide water use targets