Upgraded irrigation system and switch to reclaimed water

Most HOAs know that the bulk of its operating budget goes to the water company to ensure that the landscape looks green and beautiful. However, Governor Brown declared California to be in a drought at the beginning of the year. How do you save money and cut back on your water consumption, yet maintain a green and beautiful landscape?

In 2004, Pacific Green Landscape began working for Westview Neighborhood HOA in Mira Mesa. At the time, water bills for the property including its nine acres of slopes, two acres of planters and half acre of turf were in the ball park of $16,000 a month. “With help from Pacific Green Landscape, we paid only $3,000 last month,” said John Kalas of Castle Breckenridge Management the property manager for the HOA.

One of Pacific Green Landscape’s first steps for Westview was to upgrade the old irrigation system to the central style “Smart Controller” system. The smart controller system is much more efficient allowing Pacific Green Landscaping’s managers to control it remotely – adjusting the system daily based on the weather and other data acquired online. “The new irrigation system would save the HOA money and conserve water, but the board was a little hesitant due to the cost,” said Mike Regan, owner, Pacific Green Landscape.   Fortunately, Pacific Green Landscape keeps up on the latest trends and is knowledgeable about the best products and various cost saving offers available – including rebates. “Pacific Green Landscape knew about a rebate program through the local water agencies and was able to secure rebate money to help lower the cost for the system upgrade,” added Kalas. “The rebates and the help from Pacific Green Landscape to secure them was a big selling point for the board and made the upgrade much more affordable and well worth the investment.”

As Pacific Green Landscape worked on upgrading the irrigation system, the HOA’s board began working with the City of San Diego to explore the possibility of using reclaimed water for its irrigation. In 2007, the city began installing reclaimed meters and Pacific Green Landscape began the paperwork and installation of the infrastructure for the use of reclaimed water throughout Westview. The city installed its last meter in 2011 and Pacific Green Landscaping finished Westview’s reclaimed system at the beginning of 2012. Now, all of the landscape is irrigated using reclaimed water. According to the City of San Diego, there are only 39 HOAs in the City of San Diego using recycled water.

With the installation of smart controllers and the use of recycled water, the Westview HOA has reduced its water consumption by about 40 percent and cut water costs in half, according to Kalas. In fact, the 12 month actuals for the cost of water show that the board spent $53,611 in 2011 and only $21,107 for the 2014 fiscal year. These savings have not only allowed the HOA to replace some of the older landscape with more attractive and water-friendly plants, but have enabled Westview HOA to continue operating without raising monthly homeowner dues in a very long time.

“Pacific Green Landscaping was a huge factor in this project. From the paperwork to the installation – they helped us with it all,” added Kalas. “Westview HOA is proof that if you have a good landscape company like Pacific Green Landscaping and your board and property manager work closely with them – you can have beautiful landscape and spend less money on your water bill anytime of the year – even if you are in a drought”.

If your HOA would like to discuss how it can save money and maintain a beautiful landscape, call Pacific Green Landscaping at (619) 390-9962 or visit www.pacificgreenlandscape.com. Castle Breckenridge Management can be reached via phone at (619) 697-3191 or by visiting their web site at www.cbmgmt.com

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