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Eliminating Waste in Outdoor Watering and Saving Dollars

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How Much Waste

Condo Complexes save Water and Money

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A growing number of Calgary condominium complexes are using new irrigation technology to save both water and money.

A local company has found an affordable way for firms to reduce outdoor water usage by 40% or more. Instead of typically watering about 60 times a season you only water on average between 20-35 times a season, depending on the weather. Best of all you don?t water when it is raining or when it freezes overnight.

The company, ExactET, offers a computerized irrigation management system which wirelessly links your existing irrigation controller to a network of local weather stations, converting your conventional time-based irrigation system into a highly efficient weather-based system.

The system uses the proven scientific process, Evapotranspiration (ET), to determine the optimum time to irrigate by calculating the loss of moisture in the soil through evaporation and plant use (transpiration).

?On an hourly basis, our weather stations monitor how much water is being lost in the environment,? said Graham Duffy, CEO of ExactET. ?From this information and site specific information such as the slope of land, the plant type, and the soil type our system automatically determines the optimum time to water. Think of it like a gas tank in your car ? when the gas tank gets to a quarter of a tank it indicates that it is time to fill-up.?

Duffy said the return on investment is usually one summer or less for most condominiums.

Most current automated irrigation systems in Calgary are timer-driven and come on certain days of the week, for a certain length of time (often too long), regardless of current weather conditions and seasonal changes.

?As a result,? said Duffy, ?the vast majority of irrigation systems waste water by over-watering, sometimes as much as 60 per cent.?

?Water usage goes up 50% in the summer time due to irrigation. With increasing water rates and a diminishing water supply these types of solutions make financial and environmental sense.?

Examples of how Calgary condominium complexes have benefited from the new technology, include:

Chelsea StationSaved 4,665,695 litres of water (or 31%) over two years Water cost savings of $6,530*

Inglewood Grove Saved 4,919,846 litres of water (or 55%) in ONE year Water cost savings of $7,107*

The Terraces North Saved 2,773,200 litres (or 78%) over 3 MONTHS Cost savings of $4,006*

*- Water cost savings based on City of Calgary water meter rates.

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