Since 2002, the University has invested thousands of dollars in the improvement of many of our old irrigation systems, striving to install new systems that reduce runoff, that do not water sidewalks or streets, and that will give real savings in both water and money.
For the past ten years the University has been building the foundation for an irrigation system that can be standardized across the entire campus. That foundation consists of the installation of 27–plus Signature Constellation Controllers.
Once these software based controllers are networked through radio/cell phone, our irrigation technicians will be able to make any program modifications from any single controller on campus. This will reduce time and money that would be spent traveling back to a Central computer. Water Conservation is the primary benefit of this system.
This irrigation system will utilize weather station ET data to help save water and time by automatically adjusting the watering schedules. Weather station ET rate information can reduce our overall water usage by at least 30%.
By the end of the summer of 2012, the campus irrigation was 100% automated; allowing us to optimize our irrigation schedules and monitor environmental impact.
Xeric Gardens emphasize on the selection of native and low water-use plants and the use of drip irrigation systems, which contribute to the primary goal of water conservation.
The Landscape Master Plan includes a directive that requires at least 20% of new landscape designs be Xeric, or low water use, in nature.
The recent Butler Hancock Addition was awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold, due to its low water use landscape plants and drip irrigation systems in our Xeric Landscapes.
About 8% of the total landscaped acreage at UNC is composed of xeric landscapes.
Campus Non-Potable System
The University is fortunate to own water rights, and we utilize raw water from the mountains to water all our sports fields and most of our turf on the west campus.
The total acres covered by non-potable water currently stands at nearly 64 acres. Not only does it save millions of gallons of valuable drinking water, it also saves the University thousands of dollars each year.
We have a non-potable pump house on west campus that utilizes irrigation ditch water (raw water) to irrigate the Athletic fields and other areas on west campus.
In the summer of 2007 UNC, with a joint venture with the City of Greeley, added another non-potable pump house to the Jackson Athletic Facility on 6th avenue and 18th street. This area is approximately 14.5 acres.
There are tentative plans to add another pump station for Central Campus.
In anticipating this, the university installed a 4-inch mainline for irrigation for future use and designed the lay-out to accommodate a point-of-connection to the proposed future pump station location.
So we are ready to connect once the City decides to construct a new pump-station. Nearly 60% or 21 acres of Central Campus would be irrigated with raw water.