05.20.14Eric Santos

HOA Performs Irrigation Update – Save Thousands

Ventana Lakes - Smart Water Management Ventana Lakes - Smart Water ManagementVentana2

Can you imagine the frustration of spending thousands of dollars a year on something you think is an inevitable expense? How exciting would it be to find out you don’t have to keep losing that money? Wouldn’t you want to make a simple change that will pay you back every year instead of continuing to slip away?

Ventana Lakes, an active retirement community just outside Sun City, AZ, offers residents a long list of activities and miles of beautiful grounds to enjoy. While the activity list is constantly updated, the community’s irrigation system was stuck in the 1990′s and water bills were pouring in at modern-day rates.

The HOA was in search of a water management solution to update their irrigation. With the approval of the Ventana Lakes Board, ValleyCrest identified a test section on the property and retrofitted the old traditional irrigation controllers with smart controllers. In addition to adjusting the amount of water on a daily basis according to the weather, these controllers are also configured to coordinate with the soil type, plant type, slope and sun exposure. The end result of the irrigation update is a modern irrigation system finely tuned to meet the needs of the plants and prevent over-watering.

Within six months Ventana Lakes saved $5,200 on their water bills just by using smart controllers on the sample area alone. The grounds were healthy and the board was happy—so happy they authorized the installation of smart controllers throughout the Ventana Lakes property. And with every smart controller installed, the savings on both costs and water continue to grow.

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Eric Santos

Eric Santos has over 17-year of experience in landscape irrigation and has focused on irrigation technology and recycled water retrofits throughout his career. As the Division Leader for Irrigation and Water Management, Eric provides oversight and support of irrigation operations for the maintenance division and leads the division’s rigorous irrigation training program. Eric holds every Irrigation Association Certification in landscape irrigation and serves on the Irrigation Associations Education Foundation’s Board of Trustees and as Vice Chair of the Irrigation Associations Contractor Common Interest Group.


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  1. Tuesday, 7:39 Larry Englerth

    I am assuming you are speaking of the installation at the corner of 109th and Beardsley. If this is correct, this installation was completed by ET Water and was done with a grant from the City of Peoria. Valley Crest is managing the system but did not install this system. Valley Crest previously installed smart controller as a part of various projects and all have been disconnected as ineffective and to costly to run. I am also curious where the dollar savings amount was developed since I have been involved in this project and was not privy to this number.

  2. Wednesday, 4:29 Larry Englerth

    From the information provided I am assuming that this article deals with the installation of the smart receiver on the lot at the corner of 109th and Beardsley since this is the only smart receiver recently installed. Based on this assumption, I would point out that the installation was completed as part of a City grant program by ET Water and did not involve Valley Crest. I am also curious where the cost figures were derived from since I have data from ET Water that provides an overview but does not match what has been presented. If my assumption is correct, I believe this magazine needs to publish an acknowledgement to ET Water and acknowledge the inaccuracy of the information.

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