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Irrigation

Colorado College irrigates its grounds typically from April 1st to November 1st, from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. As of 2006, all landscape zones are irrigated with City of Colorado Springs-supplied non-potable water, a combination of raw water from a local reservoir and treated domestic wastewater. Total irrigated turf is approximately 35.5 acres. The College also maintains additional non-turf gardens. The only landscaped area not irrigated with non-potable water is the the Northeast parking lot gardens, a 27,000 square foot area on potable drip irrigation.

Since 2000, irrigation controls have been computer-based, with a controller clock in each zone connected to satellite clocks. Irrigation is dictated by information provided by an on-campus weather station installed in the fall of 2007 at Stewart Field. This station monitors humidity, rainfall, temperature, and wind speed. It also feeds evapotranspiration (ET) data to the irrigation computer, which sets an order and duration for watering in each zone accordingly. The irrigation crew monitors the effectiveness of the program, occasionally overriding the automated system if observation indicates over or under-watering. In addition, Grounds plans to install a series of soil humidity sensors to compliment the ET system of control. The crew is also responsible for constantly monitoring the system to detect leaks and conduct regular maintenance. A thorough assessment of all zones occurs approximately once every one and one half weeks.

The Grounds department is in the process of replacing old irrigation heads without pressure regulation with new 40 lb. pop-up heads. This is a water conservation measure intended to reduce evaporation associated with misting, which occurs when high-pressure water fails to drop to the ground.