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'Smart' sprinklers to combat runoff in Newport

City receives grant to install controllers that reduce harmful urban runoff and can lessen water bills.

November 01, 2006|By Alicia Robinson

The city expects the controllers to work because they've already been tried through a pilot project that included about 70 homes, and about 85% of them saw a significant reduction in water use.

"Several homeowners have called me and said the gutters in front of their house … have dried up, and their patios are dry now," Wade said.

A controller that operates 12 watering stations would cost $679. Through Newport Beach's program, homeowners get a controller for free, and the installer will inspect the irrigation system for leaks, though the homeowners have to pay for repairs if they decide to make them.

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Homeowners who use the controllers may cut down their water bill while keeping their landscaping lush and green. But the biggest benefits, city code and water quality enforcement officer Shane Burckle said, will be conserving more water and slowing the gush of runoff into the ocean to a trickle.

For information about the city's smart controller program, call the city code enforcement office at (949) 644-3215 or go to www.cleanwaternewport.com.

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