By: Robert Burns
COLLEGE STATION – Computer-controlled ‘smart’ irrigation controllers have gotten smarter the last few years, but they still require professional training to install and monitor them, said a Texas AgriLife Extension Service expert.
The “Weather-Based ‘Smart’ Irrigation Controllers” short course is designed for irrigation and landscape professionals, and will be held from 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. July 24 at 317 Scoates Hall, College Station.
“The Smart Controllers course is essential for anyone responsible for designing or managing irrigation systems on urban landscapes such as residential lawns, sports fields, parks, commercial properties and golf courses,” said Dr. Guy Fipps, Texas AgriLife Extension Service irrigation engineer, College Station.
Fipps and his colleague, Charles Swanson, AgriLife Extension landscape irrigation specialist, have been testing smart irrigation controllers since 2005.
Both Fipps and Swanson will teach the course.
Registration for the course is $155. Licensed irrigators will earn eight hours of continuing education units approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. To register, go to https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu and enter the keyword “smart” or call 979-845-2604.
The course will cover controllers that get their evapotranspiration data from a remote station as well as sensor-based units that measure parameters such as rainfall, sunlight and heat at the site, Fipps said. Students will learn how controllers produce irrigation schedules and will receive hands-on instruction on controller operation and set-up.
“The class will also cover smart controller bench testing protocols and related issues,” Fipps said.
For more information contact Swanson at 979-845-5614.
More information on the irrigation scheduling and other courses conducted by the Texas A&M school of irrigation can be found at http://irrigation.tamu.edu.