The City of Newport News, VA improves efficiency with "Connected Irrigation" System

Business Challenge

As part of its Environmental Management System, the City of Newport News has invested in technologies that have improved the efficiency of city irrigation systems, optimized the use of scarce human and water resources and enhanced the aesthetics of the entire municipal landscape.

Prior to 2010, the city irrigation specialist spent many hours each day visiting 16 systems, programming controllers and making manual adjustments.

Sierra Wireless AirLink Solution

In 2010, the City began systematically upgrading irrigation systems – in parks and athletic fields, along roadways and on medians – to monitor rainfall and deliver water automatically. Using Toro Sentinel® systems supplied by STI (Smith Turf and Irrigation), the underground irrigation systems have been custom designed for their environs. Sprinkler heads in a variety of sizes and flow rates are linked together by underground pipes and attached to a controller to deliver exactly the amount of water required. Evapotranspiration or ET measures the sum of evaporation and plant transpiration, and this data is entered into a database for each zone and is used to determine when watering is needed. Rain buckets measure precipitation and tell the system how long to delay irrigation. With this comprehensive environmental data, the system becomes self-aware.

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