SMART Watering Systems’ simple solution makes a splash with building owners and operators.
The concept is simple: synchronize and monitor irrigation systems to use water more responsibly. Yet somehow, it still manages to slip under the radar of most irrigation distributors. SMART Watering Systems’ founder, Chris Le Conte, explains that despite the logic, it’s still such a new idea that many people don’t even know that they don’t know about it.
“Most property and operations managers don’t even realize that there are problems with their current system unless something dies or drowns,” Le Conte says.
This was the case for Dennis Nazareth, former operations manager at Toronto’s Yorkdale Mall and currently at the Scarborough Town Centre.
“Within two years,” Nazareth says, “the cost of the upgraded system has paid for itself.”
At Yorkdale, SMART Watering Systems did a complete irrigation retrofit, installing new nozzles and sprinkler heads as well as a weather station on the roof of the building to adjust the watering schedule accordingly. The end result? Yorkdale used 85 per cent less water for irrigation. At the Scarborough Town Centre, phase one’s complete system upgrade has just been completed. Next year sees the beginning of phase two, which will monitor flow patterns to virtually eliminate waste and maximize the building’s water conservation.
As environmental responsibility becomes a higher priority across the country, SMART Watering Systems has expanded from Ontario into British Columbia, and has become a leader in providing environmentally sound water irrigation solutions. In just four years of business, the team has already saved clients millions of litres of water by updating irrigation systems to include new controllers, master valves and flow sensors, tracking weather systems to adjust flow accordingly, and making recommendations for collecting and redistributing rainwater.
“We thought we were doing great, but they’ve really brought us over the finish line in terms of water conservation,” says Michelle Brown of Bentall Real Estate Services.
When SMART Watering Systems finished with one of their corporate properties in Mississauga, they were using 72 per cent less water.
“They were also a great conduit for municipal incentives,” Brown adds.
In fact, SMART Watering Systems has been working closely with Peel Region, Ontario to establish a pilot program offering financial incentives to local businesses that actively reduce their water consumption. In addition to helping set the qualification standards for the program, they also assist clients in meeting these criteria to maximize their cost savings.
“Most regions are looking for smarter ways to use water, but not many are offering financial incentives just yet,” Le Conte says. “We’re helping municipalities improve their understanding of the irrigation market.”
As SMART Watering Systems assists individuals, businesses and municipalities in improving their water conservation methods, the company’s momentum shows no signs of slowing. Nazareth attributes this to Le Conte’s dedication. “When you talk to him, you can see how passionate he is.” — Jessie Davis