Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Smarten Up for 2017: A SWAT Training in Southwest Florida

Last week the Dukes research group conducted its third smart irrigation technology training of 2016. This collaboration with Tampa Bay Water and Florida Irrigation Society packed the Brooker Creek Preserve’s auditorium with area contractors, municipal reps, Extension faculty and local water management district staff eager to learn about water-saving technology.  

Best Practices
Following proper design and regular system maintenance, irrigation best practices also include using smart water application technology to avoid unnecessary irrigation. 
During the training, presenters covered types of smart technology and proper installation and programming. They also drew lessons from recent field experiences to underscore the importance of correct wiring to maximize device effectiveness.

Hands-on station with water-use expert Bernard Cardenas (courtesy: Dave Bracciano)
Frank Galdo explains it all
Guest presenter Frank Galdo of Pasco County Utilities (pictured above) stepped in during the latter section to discuss how two types of sensors (rain and soil moisture) can be used on one irrigation timer – a scenario his team encountered and diagnosed this summer.

In the Clouds
Seven vendors were also in attendance last week. Despite the growing popularity of the cloud-based irrigation timer sector, trainers kept the focus on soil moisture sensor and weather-based irrigation controller basics.

Fresh from Denver: team Rachio talks cloud-based tech
Vendors, however, had plenty to present on their unique interpretations of cloud-based irrigation technology – which allows for WiFi-enabled weather-based programming as well as remote access to your timer from any mobile device.

...without whom none of this would be possible
Looking Ahead
For anyone attending this year’s Irrigation Show and Education Conference (next month in Las Vegas), you know that smart water technology is continually improving. And the Dukes research team will continue to train irrigation professionals throughout Florida on these proven water-saving devices. See you in the new year!

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