By Susan C. Galentine | Directorate of Public Works sustainability specialist
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Fort Carson continues its water-saving posture this summer through maximizing the use of reclaimed water and smart irrigation control systems for landscape watering needs.
Though local water storage conditions do not require formal irrigation restrictions this summer, as a Colorado Springs Utilities customer and partner, the installation supports community water conservation efforts.
Using reclaimed water (treated wastewater) for irrigation has been part of the post’s conservation toolkit since the 1970s for maintaining Cheyenne Shadows Golf Course. Projects to expand reclaimed water use to irrigate all large turf areas, including parade fields, began in 2014.
Roughly 60 percent, or 180 million gallons, of the post’s treated waste water is used to irrigate priority turf areas during the watering season, said Vince Guthrie, Directorate of Public Works Utility Programs manager.
By using reclaimed water, the installation saves close to 90 percent on annual irrigation costs over drinking water, said Guthrie, which equates to more than $1 million.
Complementing the use of reclaimed water use is the post’s high-tech irrigation control system, designed to ensure water is only dispensed when needed.
While Colorado Springs Utilities does not limit the use of reclaimed water, all Fort Carson’s irrigation systems are connected to a system that tracks weather conditions, said Scott Clark, the Directorate of Public Works Base Operations Branch chief. The internet-based controls monitor weather patterns and precipitation to determine the best times to water usually at night and to minimize use of water.
“If you see irrigation during the day it is usually because the maintenance contractor is working on the system and needs to see it running to address issues such as overspray,” said Clark.
Water-focused efforts help Fort Carson reduce use and serve as a beneficial community partner. One action is military units using the Central Vehicle Wash Facility (CVWF) near Gate 20 to wash vehicles rather than motorpool wash racks. The installation saves between 60 and 70 million gallons of water a year through use of the CVWF, which filters and reuses water.
Individuals can support post water conservation by reporting faucet leaks, constantly running toilets and irrigation overspray, which add to substantial water waste and increase utility costs.
To report water leaks for repair in non-family housing facilities, call in a service order to the DPW operations and maintenance contractor at 526-5345. For water leak repairs in Fort Carson Family Homes, call Balfour Beatty Communities, LLC, at 719-579-1605.
For more information about water conservation efforts on post, call the DPW at 526-4320.