The City of Irving Parks and Recreation Department oversees the maintenance and beautification of more than 2,000 acres of land and 80 parks. The sprawling acres of trails and park grounds provide a challenge for the department — irrigation and water conservation.
Now, Parks and Recreation, with the assistance of the Information Technology (IT) Department, is engaging a new automated, central irrigation system that will save money and serve as a backup conservation effort when irrigation lines break or malfunction. The central irrigation system is an IT system that allows for scheduling, flow monitoring and management of irrigation installations from one or several sites through a computer or device. The new technology is part of the city’s Smart Cities Initiative, “Irving Connects.”
Parks and Recreation relies on two irrigation crew members to oversee its vast acreage of park land and 300 irrigation controllers scattered across Irving. This provides a challenge when water loss failures are experienced and there’s a delay in notifying the city to go out and shut off the system. With the new system, irrigation crew members can manage issues directly from their cellphones, saving the city time and money, and ensuring that excess water does not overflow and damage other areas of the park.
Additionally, the system can provide accurate data to irrigators and technicians who go out to address problems. The mobile data can pinpoint the location of broken components, as well as provide weather information to notify irrigators if rain is in the forecast.
Currently, the city has automated central irrigation controllers in place at Heritage Park and is looking to add Centennial Park, Trinity View Park and Irving Boulevard, once construction wraps up in the fall. Central controllers are currently installed at the Irving Soccer Complex, but the athletic fields use a radio system versus the new digital system.
While Irving’s parks follow the same water restriction guidelines as residential areas, the added technology will ensure the city is taking extra steps to conserve water, particularly during excessive heat and drought during the summer.