FS Grounds is responsible for the campus landscaping and management of irrigation systems. AVC has 120 acres of which includes turf areas, shrub beds, parking lots, athletic fields - some of which have artificial turf.
Since April 2015, the Grounds department has made great progress towards making the AVC campus more water efficient and sustainable. Water usage for AVC has significantly dropped due to the combined efforts of all Grounds department's water conservation measures implemented from the Governor's executive orders and our local water authority's 32% water reduction mandate. Comparing 2015’s usage to 2014 and 2013, you can immediately see the great impact of our efforts. Even though our usage has gone down 48,421 gallons per acre, our cost has actually gone up $151.88 per acre due to higher water costs and conservation fees imposed by our water district. However, without the great efforts or our Grounds Maintenance to reduce our usage, the cost would have been exorbitant.
Current projects that are responsible for this reduced irrigation water usage accomplishment and increased efficiency include:
- 100% implementation of Maxicom irrigation system monitoring on all our utilized irrigation controllers. The Maxicom system allows remote programming, monitoring and control of all irrigation systems.
- 100% Conversion of all manual valves to automated valves completed.
- Change all high flow head sprinklers to low flow rotor heads completed. (85% complete)
- Cap sprinklers in abandoned dirt/grass/non-landscaped areas.
- Design drought tolerant in current landscape projects including artificial turf. Landscape design changes featuring more drought tolerant plant material, more use of rock and decomposed granite materials to replace lawn areas and more effective sprinkler designs to improve water absorption rates.
- Usage of our on-site Weather Station. Sensing important indicators such as humidity, wind speed, temperature and water pressure the campus use of irrigation water is managed in an effective manner.
Future plans to improve water conservation include:
- Increase staffing to repair broken sprinklers and irrigation failures in a timelier manner.
- Replace deteriorated sprinkler systems as budget allows.
- Enhance the use of the Maxicom irrigation system. Research includes more technical soil saturation sensors and continued professional development in water reduction seminars.
- Continue drought tolerant landscaping enhancements campus wide as budget allows.