Executive Summary

The City of Norwalk finds happiness in working with Calsense due to smooth technology transitions, coupled with great communications and phenomenal training throughout every step of the process. The Calsense Resource Management System has provided beneficial improvements to Ramona Park through achieving 24% average annual water savings, in addition to achieving a short 1.7 year ROI. The City of Norwalk has utilized Calsense to abide by the California Governor’s urban water reduction mandates established in 2015, creating a great example of water leadership in the Los Angeles county. In 2015, Norwalk installed a demo controller in Ramona Park – now there are approximately twelve Calsense controllers throughout the city.

 About 

The City of Norwalk is a connected community of over 105,000 people who maintain a small-town feel with gatherings, classes, and events utilizing their public spaces. In recent years Norwalk has grown to be the 14th most populous city in Los Angeles county. Norwalk Recreation and Parks Services Department offers programs, activities and celebrations at community gathering spaces such as the Cultural Arts Center, Teen Center, Sports Complex, and the city parks. The California Parks & Recreation Society recently awarded the City of Norwalk their 2018 Award of Excellence. Their communal care for the environment is also evident through their tree-planting, recycling, and other environmentally beneficial efforts.

Challenges

  • The city had qualms about adopting a new system- they needed to ensure operations would continue to run smoothly.
  • Frequent park visits to repair line breaks caused time and money to be wasted.
  • Governor Jerry Brown issued a mandate in 2015 to reduce California’s use of potable urban water to 2013 levels. For Norwalk, 2013 levels equated to a baseline of 3,522,332 gallons of water usage, according to their water department data.

How Calsense Helped

Calsense staff provided excellent knowledge and great communication in ensuring the Norwalk Public Services team was fully educated on our product/system, and how to use it most efficiently. According to David Sauceda on the Public Services team, the easy transition from an older irrigation system to newer technology was his favorite part about working with Calsense. Overcoming initial fears about the new system’s return on investment, the team is now happy with their decision, as the Calsense system has saved them costs in the long-term. The Public Services team used to visit Ramona Park at least once a month or more to repair irrigation breaks throughout the park. Since the installation of Calsense, the team hasn’t returned once due to benefits of the park’s master control valve and flow monitoring.

Results

Calsense has improved the efficiency of the Norwalk Public Services team through decreased time spent on labor, repairs, and more. They no longer need to be on location to turn on irrigation operations such as testing stations, as the Calsense system gives access to these controls remotely. This alone saves the team about 16-36 hours per week! The average money saved per year at Ramona Park after the installation of the Calsense demo is $3,111 in addition to a 24% savings in average annual water usage. The ROI for the Calsense system installation was a short 1.7 years. Norwalk water use just one year after Calsense installation was reduced to 72% of their 2013 levels, at 2,520,760 gallons of water (according to water department data). Despite having a hotter year with higher evapotranspiration levels in 2017, Norwalk was still able to keep water usage down to 81% of the 2013 baseline levels.