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*The City of San Ramon complies with all current EBMUD and DSRSD Water Regulations & Restrictions. If you are interested in finding out how you can conserve water, please click on the links above.

San Ramon’s Automated Irrigation Control System

Recognizing that water is a limited resource and a major utility expense, San Ramon has consistently taken a responsible approach to water management. In 1989, the City began installing the Calsense irrigation management system which has the ability to adjust watering automatically based on weather conditions and can be monitored though a centralized computer system by Public Services staff. This allows staff to more precisely apply irrigation water. The system detects changes in flow or other problems such as broken heads and sends alerts to the central computer on a daily basis. Staff then can make repairs or correct problems efficiently and quickly, often before it is noticed by others thus saving water that would otherwise unknowingly be going down the drain. Today, the City has over 400 Calsense irrigation controllers in the field running through two centralized computer systems at the San Ramon Service Center. One of the most important features of the Calsense system is the use of evapotranspiration (ET) data. ET is a measurement of the moisture in the soil that evaporates and water that plants transpire into the atmosphere (see Illustration 1). ET is measured by special gauges in the field. The ET information is shared with all of the controllers via the centralized control system. The controllers then automatically adjust the run times based on the ET data, thereby minimizing overwatering or under watering. Another feature of the system is the reporting capabilities. Staff can create water budgets based on ET, monitor use relative to the water budget and prepare informative reports, track water use and indicate any water savings realized by using the ET system.

Illustration 1
ET Illustration

In addition to using a sophisticated irrigation control system the City has converted many parks and landscape areas to recycled water, greatly reducing the amount of potable water used for irrigation purposes. Eventually, much more of the City’s existing landscaping will be converted to recycled water as it become available in the future. To reduce water use in city facilities, staff installed low flow nozzles on many of the sinks as well as automatic shut off faucets and lower flow flush valves and toilets.