Athletics Fields Stay Game Ready with IQ4
For Dustin LeVan, sports turf manager for Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces, the safety of the people using the athletics fields is his top concern. Coming in second is aesthetics. “Everybody wants their grass to look good,” said LeVan. He is responsible for the irrigation systems at the athletic fields. 21 locations currently use IQ4 Central Control for remote water management. The athletics seasons coincide with Florida’s dry season, where LeVan is reliant on irrigation to keep the fields green and in good playing condition.
IQ4 Helps Team Manage Older Systems and Save Windshield Time
LeVan faces two challenges with the irrigation systems he manages: the age of the systems and the size of the area his department is responsible for maintaining. “Most of our facilities are not new. We are operating older systems, which are prone to more leaks and breaks compared to new systems,” said LeVan. “With IQ we can monitor the flow rate and I have set up the high-flow and low-flow features allowing IQ to shut down the system when high- or low-flow is detected."
Miami-Dade is the most populous county in Florida and one of the largest, at about 1940 square miles. From his office centrally located in Miami-Dade, LeVan manages systems all over the county with IQ4. “Depending on traffic, it may take me multiple hours to go from one end to the other if I had to go there to turn a system off or on,” said LeVan. “IQ saves me, or one of my crews, a lot of windshield time,” said LeVan. “That is one of the biggest benefits—the time-saving aspect of IQ.”
Access on Mobile Devices and User-based Access
LeVan notes a few advantages to IQ4’s cloud-based platform versus the previous versions of the IQ that were only available on desktop or a local computer. “When I first started at the county, the IQ system was on a dedicated computer located in my office,” said LeVan. "If changes were made in the field, I had to reverse-sync them from the controller to the computer before I left for the day. Now, with IQ4, team members can use their phones, make changes, and sync them to the cloud.”
LeVan can limit IQ4 access by users, reducing the chance for someone to inadvertently change a setting not related to a site they manage. “The spray tech and I are the only ones that have access to everything," LeVan explained. "Each supervisor sees and can edit only the sites they manage. We can keep everything compartmentalized to prevent people from accidentally making edits to the wrong programs or controllers," LeVan added.
Water Conservation Scorecard
The athletics fields use well water for irrigation, so the cost and availability of water is not a top concern for LeVan. However, using water responsibly is still an important goal for the county. LeVan contributes water usage metrics to the county scorecard and can easily demonstrate the efficiency of the system. "As we add IQ4 to more locations, we are keeping a more accurate record of exactly how much water we are using,” said LeVan. “Water [cost] isn't a huge factor for our operations but on the conservation side, IQ4 allows us to report on how much water we are using and to demonstrate the efficiency of the system—by catching breaks before they waste water, making sure we are not using more water than we need to.”