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Irrigation in parks

Wire repair-fill pipe

The City works hard throughout the spring and summer months to keep our parks and greenspaces healthy and viable.

The irrigation timeline

In April, we deliver irrigation training to seasonal staff and turf maintenance begins. We also turn on and fill up water truck sites for tree irrigation and complete an initial park fertilization.

In May, we begin pressurizing, repairing, replacing, and troubleshooting irrigation systems, and park irrigation services commence. We also begin mowing, re-seeding and cultivating parks, as well as baseball diamond maintenance.

In June, July and August, park irrigation continues, as does mowing, re-seeding, cultivation and pest management. We also begin new irrigation installs, including pipe lines, main lines, digging trenches and so on.

In September, we begin winterizing irrigation systems and fertilizing parks. We also start the fall clean-up of parks by removing litter and leaves while continuing to mow, weed and cultivate them. Central control irrigation programs cease in winterized sites.

In October, we continue winterizing irrigation systems, fertilizing parks and cleaning up our natural areas for next season.

Operational goals

When it comes to water management, The City strives to:

  • Use less water per hectare of land
  • Protect and enhance horticultural assets
  • Increase lifecycle for irrigation systems and reduce operating costs
  • Implement an effective drought management plan to address water restrictions
  • Become compliant with requirements of ISO 14001-2004
  • Apply the Environmental Management System program to water management
  • Build partnerships to increase knowledge and learning around best management practices

In 1997, Parks and Water Services partnered to meter the existing 2000 irrigation services as well as begin metering all new park developments. Meters were evaluated by Waterworks for billing suitability and accuracy as well as low flow accuracy of 40 GPM (gallon per minute) on 150 mm (6 inches) for leak detection in the future centrally controlled systems. In the end the City of Calgary settled on Hydrometers (meter / master valve combination) by ARAD. To date, 1,867 hydrometers have been installed in Parks.Some parks use non-potable water for irrigation.