The Suffolk County Water Authority (SCWA) and the Irrigation Association of New York (IANY) joined together to hold a seminar for irrigation professionals on smart irrigation devices and techniques. The presentation was held on Thursday, September 14th at the North Sea Community House in Southampton. It was part of an on-going effort by SCWA to encourage the use of water saving devices, like smart controllers for automatic sprinkler systems, that save customers money and reduce their water consumption.
“We have made water conservation one of our top priorities and speaking directly to the professionals who install and maintain these irrigation systems is a great way to get that message out there,” said SCWA Chairman Charles Lefkowitz. “These devices are proven to be an effective way to reduce water usage and help preserve the integrity of our water distribution system.”
SCWA estimates that 70% of all water it pumps will be used for lawn watering by its customers. That heavy demand drives the need for additional infrastructure so the system can meet customer demand during the peak times. Reducing that demand is critical for alleviating the need for additional capacity that will drive up customer rates.
“Water conservation isn’t just about preserving the aquifer,” added Lefkowitz. “While that is a critical piece of the equation, we are simply talking dollars and cents here. They are saving on their bills now and if we reduce the demand, we don’t need to build additional infrastructure. It allows us to keep our rate increases under control and that will mean real savings for our customers down the road too.”
Customers who install water saving devices, like smart controllers, leak detecting valves and others, can qualify for WaterWise credits on their SCWA bills up to $250. The program has seen its most successful year as more than 1,500 customers have received a credit so far. That is already higher than any previous year.
IANY Trustee Mike Dwyer spoke about his personal experience installing the devices and their effectiveness, saying “The IANY strongly supports and encourages the use of Smart (et) watering controllers. Cloud Wi-fi based versions of controllers are connected to weather stations for data to adjust how or when irrigation will occur. They can also have a flow sensor installed which would alert you to higher water use on a zone. This would allow you to repair the problem fast. Saving water and protecting your landscape investment, is at the heart of what Smart controller technology is all about.”
Kevin Lewis, a representative for Hunter Industries which manufactures smart controllers, presented at the seminar. He demonstrated how the devices work, the easy process for the configuring them and demonstrated how it can improve the ability of irrigation installers to help their customers remotely.
About Suffolk County Water Authority:
The Suffolk County Water Authority is an independent public-benefit corporation operating under the authority of the Public Authorities Law of the State of New York. Serving approximately 1.2 million Suffolk County residents, the Authority operates without taxing power on a not-for-profit basis.