The world may be unpredictable, but one thing we can count on is hot and dry weather in our Texas summers. This year has been no different, and has put our Irrigation team to the test. Our department’s goals are to be good stewards of the University’s groundwater resources and to repair problems and leaks as fast as we safely can. In the spirit of becoming more efficient and proactive, we have made a few changes to our department.
Our first change to the department’s structure was the promotion of Daniel Martinez and Ben Freeman to Supervisor positions. They are the go to resources for our team, and we are proud of their accomplishments on campus. Campus has been divided into two with Daniel over Main Campus and Ben responsible for West Campus and RELLIS. They are each responsible for a team of irrigators. You will also notice a lot of new faces behind our masks. The team is expanding to allow us to be more proactive inspecting our system to save water and reduce downtime.
We also made a change to the responsibilities of our irrigators on the team. Previously, each team member had a small area of campus that they were responsible for, leaving some areas with little coverage. This method presented some staffing challenges when major problems occurred in different areas of campus. Going forward, the Irrigation team is working off of work orders that are assigned by Daniel and Ben, giving them flexibility in managing the irrigation system. They also will be inspecting their portions of campus and scheduling work in the most efficient way they can.
We have been busy finding wet areas on campus and correcting the issues to save water. Not only does this reduce our reliance on groundwater resources, it makes it easier for the entire Grounds department to do their jobs and keep the campus as beautiful as we expect it to be. We also have been busy implementing more of the smart features of our Weathermatic control system. These changes are slowly rolling out over the entire campus allowing us to become more hands off with day to day changes in water needs. These changes allow us to be more precise in our irrigation amounts and allows for changes to happen more frequently.
As we finish out the season, we will continue to work on reducing irrigation consumption where possible and fixing problems as quick as we safely can. If you see problems, let us know! We welcome the input and want to be the best stewards of the campus’s water resources as we can.