When the West Los Angeles branch of ValleyCrest Landscape Maintenance was bidding the student housing at UCLA in 2009, they had a unique group of landscape- and water-related challenges to accommodate in their bid. Parents and neighbors had been complaining about irrigation-related issues and runoff problems.
These were major issues and UCLA’s Landscape Manager wanted them fixed in a proactive manner. He wanted a centralized irrigation system that could be monitored by the landscape contractor. UCLA was anxious to see the change in their properties, so ValleyCrest provided an enhancement proposal to beautify the landscape as well as address newly implemented water restrictions and upcoming drought ordinances.
The majority of the controllers on the student housing properties were Maxicom smart controllers. Knowing Maxicom would be costly to install and difficult to maintain, ValleyCrest’s Irrigation Account Manager Emiliano Ortiz, proposed Weathermatic SmartLine controllers with SmartLink Wireless Landscape Network. SmartLink, the industry leading cloud-based water management control system, would allow ValleyCrest to manage every SmartLine controller from any computer or smart device and also allow UCLA’s Landscape Manager to monitor them and receive real-time reports. Each of the different housing areas had a different landscape budget but Weathermatic’s affordable controllers and remote management system fit easily into their budgets.
Ortiz knew local watering restrictions would limit the effectiveness of the smart mode on any smart irrigation controller, so ValleyCrest’s Regional Water Advisor reached out to the local water agencies. “What’s the point of having a smart controller if we have restrictions,” Ortiz wanted to know. “We need more watering days.” Because of their comprehensive smart controller coverage and ValleyCrest’s reputation for high quality water management, ValleyCrest was able to get the UCLA student housing properties exempt from most water restrictions.
ValleyCrest has been maintaining the UCLA student housing properties for five years now. Ortiz and Account Manager Gabriel Rodriguez have installed 18 SmartLine controllers on the properties and have budgeted to replace seven existing standard controllers, for a total of 25 new controllers. The runoff complaints have stopped since ValleyCrest installed the more efficient Weathermatic controllers and replaced older, inefficient heads with low-volume rotary nozzles. After eliminating runoff, water usage dropped another 15-20% because the smart controllers are able to detect microclimates and irrigate accordingly.
Rodriguez and his crew can easily manage all of the controllers while they’re on the property, or they can call Ortiz and he can make adjustments remotely, using SmartLink. UCLA’s Landscape Manager is able to monitor all of the controllers through SmartLink and he is pleased with the timely, user-friendly reports ValleyCrest provides.