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Creating a Model of Water Efficiency
By Michael Miyamoto, LC/DBM



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The Community Lutheran Church (CLC) and Saddleback Children's Center in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., has a brand new irrigation system, thanks to many donors, church members and others. George Alonzo, owner of Advanced Patio and Landscape, completed the installation work, and was assisted by some of his employees and a large group of CLC volunteers. All of the irrigation products were donated - XFD dripline, QF dripline header system and 1800 Spray-to-Drip Retrofit Kits - to convert the old system to drip irrigation. Also installed were a state-of-the-art smart control system, including a single ESP-LXME modular controller, WR2 wireless rain sensor and IQ v3.0 central control unit.


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Compact Power Equipment Rental donated the use of a backhoe-loader to remove old plants and shrubs, dig holes for new trees, transport materials and grade and level the site. Mountain States Wholesale Nursery donated a portion of the plants and provided wholesale discounts and free shipping on the remainder. Three spots on the CLC campus were re-planted with "Ballpark Blend" sod, which A-G Sod Farms provided at a 50 percent discount. The church raised funds to cover other costs as well. The new irrigation system also features 5000 Plus PRS pressure regulating rotors, and 1800-SAM-P45 pressure-regulated spray heads with high efficiency R-VAN rotary nozzles.
Photos: Rain Bird Corp.


For years, Community Lutheran Church (CLC) and Saddleback Children's Center in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., struggled with an antiquated irrigation system that was consuming an average of 1.2 million gallons of water annually -- much of it wasted.

With California's recent severe drought, CLC's water bills were climbing, the landscape was suffering and runoff was damaging the parking lot and other hardscape. The irrigation system there was more than 30 years old.

Landscape Contractor George Alonzo was asked to help update it as he and his team at Advanced Patio and Landscape from Yorba Linda, Calif., installed the irrigation system. But first, a free commercial landscape irrigation survey conducted by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California identified all sorts of water system problems.

Pete Mowery, design director with C2 Collaborative Landscape Design, developed a professional landscape plan, also pro bono.

The landscape crew started by chasing down leaks, capping off unused heads, repairing existing valves and fixing broken pipes.

Church and community members assisted Alonzo and his workers, and in fact provided a good deal of the labor to complete the project.

An Azusa, Calif., based irrigation manufacturer donated all of the irrigation products that transformed the CLC campus into a model of water efficiency that is expected to save over 500,000 gallons of water annually.

A tractor loader-backhoe from Compact Power Equipment Rental was provided to remove old plants and shrubs, dig holes for new trees, transport materials and grade and level the site.

Mountain States Wholesale Nursery donated a portion of the plants and provided wholesale discounts and free shipping on the remainder. The plant list includes Parkinsonia "Desert Museum" Palo Verde trees with green trunks, and Pink Parade hesperaloe, agave and more.

Much of the old turf grass areas were replaced with native plants and trees, but three spots on the CLC campus were re-planted with "Ballpark Blend" sod from A-G Sod Farms, which provided the sod at a 50 percent discount.

The church raised funds through donations to pay for what the above-mentioned companies did not provide, and rebates from the water district were also used to offset costs.


As seen in LC/DBM magazine, October 2016.








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