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Water World: Scaling up on water savings

January 19, 2021 -  By

Company: Earthworks
Location: Dallas

Property management firm Cortland approached Earthworks for a large-scale irrigation controller installation on 35 different sites across North Texas. Cortland heard of Earthworks from irrigation manufacturer Weathermatic and Camden Property Trust, another property management firm.

Chris Lee, president of Earthworks, says the relationship began because of his firm’s ability to perform the water management capabilities on large multifamily and commercial sites. Earthworks connected with Cortland two years ago and is slated to complete $5 million worth of work for the company in 2021.

Upgrading controllers to new evapotranspiration rate-based controllers will yield a water savings of approximately 30 percent in Dallas, Lee says. In a more humid, rainier climate like Houston, Lee expects to see water savings of 35-38 percent. He adds that the new controllers will be a money and time saver for both the client and the landscape company because the controllers can be managed remotely, without the need for technician visits.

The Earthworks team replaced traditional controllers with Weathermatic SmartLink controllers and programmed them with plant material, soil types and slope data from Cortland’s sites — mostly multifamily residential and high-end, mixed-use properties.

Some of the sites required replacing two-wire controllers and traditional controllers valve by valve with Weathermatic decoders. The 120 controllers across the 35 sites required a significant time investment for the company, with two hours per controller per technician for the traditional irrigation systems and 20 hours per technician for two-wire controller systems — a total of six months to complete the project.

Irrigation project (Photo: Earthworks)

Photo: Earthworks

Cortland Glade Parks is a luxury apartment complex in Euless, Texas, one of 35 sites in the controller upgrade project.

Irrigation project (Photo: Earthworks)

Photo: Earthworks

Testing sprinkler heads after installing a new controller.

Irrigation project (Photo: Earthworks)

Photo: Earthworks

An Earthworks technician installs a weather station for one of three controllers on the Glade Parks site.

Abby Hart

About the Author:

Abby Hart is the former senior editor of Landscape Management. A native Clevelander, she spent 10 years in Chicago, where she was operations manager of a global hospitality consultancy. She also worked as managing editor of Illumine, a health and wellness magazine; and a marketing specialist for B2B publications. Abby has a degree in journalism from Boston University’s College of Communication.

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