Nicknamed “Bionic Valley,” the University of Utah Research Park has been Utah’s epicenter of scientific research and invention since 1968. Located at the University of Utah’s campus, the entire Research Park spans about 320 acres in the Salt Lake Valley, and is comprised of buildings, pathways, and landscape detailing. The Research Park houses almost two dozen research companies, which are dedicated to furthering science and healthcare and offering new green solutions to Utah and the world.
Water is one of the most important resources we have on this earth. And for the University of Utah Research Park, water was also important for clean, beautiful, and healthy campus landscaping. However, commercial irrigation system issues prevented water from being used responsibly and increased costs unnecessarily. In fact, they were paying 200% more for water than they should have been. Sprinkler heads, water lines, and main lines sometimes broke, causing massive water loss. And because there was no system in place to report these issues, they often went unnoticed by the property manager for some time.
These irrigation issues went against the Research Park’s commitment to new technology and sustainability, not to mention their budget constraints. The property manager knew that there had to be a better way to efficiently manage water usage on the commercial property — and advanced irrigation technology was the solution.
Smart Rain offers some of the industry’s most advanced commercial smart irrigation technology, so a partnership with the University of Utah Research Park made perfect sense. To decide which Smart Rain technology would work best for the Research Park, Smart Rain visited the property and evaluated their existing irrigation system. After seeing how water was being used, the Smart Rain team developed a water management plan to improve the status quo.
Smart Rain’s commercial smart irrigation controller and sensors were installed on a few properties at the Research Park. These systems replaced the current faulty irrigation with high-quality sprinklers and a transparent look into water usage. Smart Rain’s system was also built to identify breaks or emergencies, after which it would shut down and notify the property manager as soon as possible. This streamlined system would significantly decrease water waste, usage, and bills for the Research Park.
MEETING WATER CONSERVATION AND BUDGET GOALS
University of Utah Research Park’s investment in Smart Rain’s commercial smart irrigation technology paid for itself within the first season of use. While the controller and sensors were initially installed on a few properties on the Research Park, Smart Rain now covers 55 acres. With Smart Rain, the Research Park has saved 25 million gallons of water and $120,000 on water bills. These savings have put the University of Utah Research Park in line with their water conservation goals, as well as their water budget.