Denver Public Schools

Client Overview

The Denver Public Schools (DPS) is the public school system in the City and County of Denver, Colorado, United States. DPS operates 207 schools, including traditional, magnet, charter and pathways schools, with a current total enrollment of about 92,331 students.

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1. Client Challenge

The school district had a substantial population of irrigation systems and controllers at the 29 schools included in the phase 1 of the project.  Most of the irrigation controls were conventional timer based and the sprinkler types included fixed spray, rotary, bubblers and drip.  With just about a 22-week irrigation season and an annual effective rainfall percentage of 25%, Envocore’s irrigation survey revealed annual consumption of over 66,500,000 gallons of water and over $336,000 in annual spend for water used in irrigation.  The survey revealed that installing smart irrigation controls, flow sensing, and making necessary repairs would lead to substantial savings for the school district.

The audit team evaluated 3,980,203 square feet of irrigated landscape.

2. Water Solution 

Working with an ESCO that bundled other energy efficiency measures into a larger project and coordinated financing and a savings guarantee, Envocore designed and built smart irrigation upgrades at these 29 schools.  The audit team evaluated 3,980,203 square feet of irrigated landscape, 956 control valves, and 12,928 sprinkler heads.

The scope included the installation, testing and commissioning of 47 controllers with integrated flow sensors, master control valves that use local weather and climatological data to ensure the irrigation system only applies the necessary water to the plants.  Additionally, Envocore installed flow sensing meters to assist with detecting system problems, such as pipe leaks, stuck control valves, and damaged sprinkler heads and more.  In the end, all of the smart irrigation controllers and devices are networked and available for real time management via a web-based application.

3. The Results

The project resulted in over $85,000 and over 17,800,000 gallons per year in savings.  Beyond that, it provides the irrigation manager with the ability to globally manage all 47 controllers from a central dashboard from his/her office or from the road. With the scarcity of water in the western part of our country becoming more critical, this project is a major contributor to the region’s effort to conserve this valuable resource.

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