Controlling irrigation at the touch of a button

Article image - Controlling irrigation at the touch of a button Parks Team Leader Richard Lamb with Wodonga’s innovative new watering system.

Remote technology is allowing Wodonga Council to save time and money on managing irrigation systems. 

The Victorian council made significant time and water savings last summer with new high-tech irrigation systems installed in sporting ovals and prominent city streetscapes.

The $472,000 upgrade automatically detects rainfall, leaks, over and under-watering and sends an alert straight to a council smart phone or device.

Staff can then shut down or alter the system remotely and respond.
Team leader Parks Richard Lamb said over the 2015–16 summer period, the new technology resulted in massive savings in staff time and resources.

“We used to rely on staff inspections and members of the public to report any faults, or if it was raining we would have to go around to each location and turn the water off,” Mr Lamb said.

“Now we’ve got all the information in front of us at home or at the office and with just the click of a button, we can shut everything down.

“The new system also uses the monitoring data to apply water in a way that minimises wastage.

“For example, the system will change its irrigation patterns based on rainfall, heavy winds and other factors.”

The upgrade was completed in autumn last year following a $372,000 grant from the former Office of Living Victoria.

Wodonga Council contributed a further $100,000 in cash and in-kind support.

New turf was also installed at two sporting ovals to make them more drought-tolerant.

The expected savings will assist Wodonga in becoming more resilient to drier summers and less reliant on increasing the amount of water required to keep areas green and usable.