Smart Controller Project

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WHAT IS THE SMART CONTROLLER PROJECT?

The goal of the Smart Controller Project is to reduce both the amount of water lost due to wind evaporation and the daily peak demands on the Pressurized Irrigation system.

WIND DRIFT AND EVAPORATION LOSS
About half the city is in a wind fan area, originating from Spanish Fork Canyon. Watering during high-wind periods (e.g., late at night/early in the morning) may cause you to lose a significant amount of the water that you are trying to apply. Therefore, less water will be wasted if watering takes place during the day when the wind is at its lowest.
PEAK DEMAND
During operational months, peak demands on the Pressurized Irrigation system are late at night and early in the morning (between 12 p.m. and 3 a.m.) -- which is when most people water their landscaping. Because of the night-time demand, the City typically has to run the pumps longer and more frequently. Distributing PI water usage more evenly over a 24-hour period optimizes the PI system and reduces the amount of time the pumps need to run, ultimately providing better water pressure to our residents at a lower cost.
 

To reduce the amount of water lost due to wind drift and evaporation loss, as well as decrease the peak demand, Spanish Fork City has created the Smart Controller Program. Participants in this program receive a free Rachio Smart Controller, which automatically manages their PI usage. For example, the controller adjusts run times based on weather and the types of landscaping on the property. Furthermore, program participants in the wind-fan area are encouraged to water during non-peak periods. Initial program results indicated that homes with a smart controller used, on average, 4,500 fewer gallons of water per month.


WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

BENEFITS INCLUDE
  • The smart controller automatically manages your sprinkler system, and adjusts for weather.
  • The smart controller helps prevent over and underwatering by adjusting runtimes based on weather and the types of landscaping on your property.
  • You have complete control to override or raise the overall watering with a state of the art phone app.
  • You can also monitor water usage in real time through the smartphone app. (Android | iPhone)
  • Water conservation saves you money. A recent BYU study found that homes with a smart controller used, on average, 4,500 fewer gallons of water per month.
  • Water conservation also keeps more water in our sources.
  • Reduces peak demands on the PI water system, which increases PI water pressure citywide and reduces the wear and tear on pumping equipment.
rachio-3-16z-w-app


WHAT WILL IT COST ME?

It is easy to sign up and participation is FREE, but there are a limited number of controllers left and availability is on a first-come-first-served basis.

YOU MUST MEET THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS
  • Must live in Spanish Fork City
  • Must be on the pressurized irrigation system
  • Must currently have an automatic sprinkler system with a controller.
  • Must have a smartphone or computer.
  • Must have wireless internet (WiFi) in the home.
PARTICIPANTS ALSO RECEIVE
  • Free smart sprinkler controller.
  • Free professional installation.
  • Free sprinkler system app.
  • Free training to use app.
 

HOW DO I SIGN UP?


We are finished scheduling appointments for 2020 to set up smart controllers. If you would like to get on a waiting list for 2021, email your name and contact information to conservewater@spanishfork.org. 

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING THE INSTALLATION?

The installation process will be easier for our technician if you do the following before your appointment:
  • Locate your current sprinkler controller. They are commonly placed in basements, garages, or in enclosures in the yard.
  • If possible, determine how many stations (zones) you currently have.
  • Identify areas of your landscaping that may need special attention (special plants, dry areas, etc.).
  • Know your WiFi network name and password.
  • Download the Rachio App for your smartphone  (Android | iPhone)
By having Spanish Fork City staff do an on-site evaluation, each resident's landscaping will be evaluated to ensure maximum efficiency.


WHEN SHOULD I WATER?

The Rachio 3 smart sprinkler controllers can automatically schedule watering throughout the City so that demands on the City system are normalized. This reduces infrastructure cost and keeps sprinkler system pressures more consistent. We encourage residents to follow the schedule below to maximize the benefits of the smart controller:

Wind_Boundary_Map

INSIDE WIND FAN AREA

During the day when it is not windy. During high wind conditions there is a phenomenon known as Wind Drift and Evaporation Loss where you can literally lose to the wind a significant portion of the water you are attempting to apply.

OUTSIDE WIND FAN AREA
During the night to avoid evaporation.
 
Description  Time Block Start  Time Block End 
Outside Wind Fan Area Odd Address 3:45 AM 6:00 AM
Outside Wind Fan Area Even Address 8:00 AM 10:00 AM
Inside Wind Fan Area Addresses ending with 1 or 2 10:00 AM 3:00 PM
Inside Wind Fan Area Addresses ending with 3 or 4 11:00 AM 4:00 PM
Inside Wind Fan Area Addresses ending with 5 or 6 12:00 PM 5:00 PM
Inside Wind Fan Area Addresses ending with 7 or 8 1:00 PM 6:00 PM
Inside Wind Fan Area Addresses ending with 9 or 0 2:00 PM 7:00 PM


RACHIO SUPPORT

Support for the Rachio Smart Controllers is provided by Rachio. If you are having technical issues with your smart controller, visit Rachio's Support Page, watch tutorial videos on Rachio's YouTube channel, or contact Rachio.


SMART CONTROLLER FAQS

I'm having issues with my Rachio system. Who do I contact?

Support for the Rachio Smart Controllers is provided by Rachio. If you are having technical issues with your smart controller, visit Rachio's Support Page, watch tutorial videos on Rachio's YouTube channel, or contact Rachio

How long will the installation take?

It will take approximately 20 minutes to install the controller. Including controller setup, everything should be done in less than an hour.

How much will this cost me?

Nothing. This program is free to the resident.
The City will install the controller, at no charge to the resident, to ensure correct installation and setup for the resident's landscaping needs. In addition to better watering schedules and amounts, this program will allow users to see their usage in real-time and better adapt to more efficient watering practices.

How much is this costing the City?

About $180,000, 90% of which is being obtained through grants & state money.

Will I be shown how to use the Smart Controller?

When the installers come to your home they will show you how to use the Smart Controller as well as the app.

Do I have to have a smartphone to participate?

While we strongly recommend using a smartphone and the Rachio app, the system can be controlled with a normal computer.

My Smart Controller was installed recently and areas of my lawn are starting to die. What should I do?

This is not uncommon, as it can take the lawn a couple of weeks to adjust to the new scheduling. If your lawn continues to worsen after a couple of weeks, please contact Rachio for support.

Can I override the Smart Controller restrictions the City has set?

Yes, you have full access to water whenever you want.

How do I winterize my Rachio system?

How will I know when you are coming to install it?

Once you sign up you will receive a call to set up a day and time that will work best for you.

Do I need to provide anything?

A responsible adult (18+) needs to be present during installation. You also need wireless internet (WiFi) in your home and a smartphone to use the app.

Does the Smart Controller have a rain gauge?

The Smart Controller checks the weather through the internet, so no rain gauge is needed.

What if I need support or have additional questions after installation?

Rachio has provided a very helpful Support page with links to many articles and other resources.

How do you switch Rachio users when you move?

Rachio has a helpful support article detailing how to transfer ownership of Rachio devices if you move.