Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120

Perris Continues to Lead in Embracing Innovative Solutions

Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Yarbrough, Councilman Al Landers and Perris Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO Shelly Yarbrough salute during the Pledge of Allegiance at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Perris Gateway Project
A new WaterSmart sprinkler in action at City Hall.

Perris continues its commitment to the environment by installing a WaterSmart demonstration garden that will cut water use by up to a third and will become a model for the way residents, school districts and cities irrigate their land.

Located in the heart of Riverside County, Perris is the award-winning city that is a leader in powering its public buildings with solar energy and fighting the foreclosure crisis by painting lawns to improve curb appeal of foreclosed homes. 

Last year the City received the prestigious Helen Putnam Award from the League of California Cities for its Solar Shine project that covered the City Hall’s parking structures with photovoltaic cells.

“This latest effort shows that Perris continues to be a leader in embracing green, environmentally friendly technology,” said Councilman Al Landers. “We continue to apply innovative and creative solutions to solve the tough problems, and we will do well into the future.”

The last 12 months have been busy for the mid-sized city.

In addition to the demonstration garden and Solar Shine project, it restored its historic rail depot and a 100-year-old bank building, instituted a business façade program and implemented an internationally recognized home and lawn rejuvenation effort to improve curb appeal of homes affected by the foreclosure crisis.

Unveiled July 30, 2009, as part of SMART Irrigation month, Perris’ WaterSmart garden in front of City Hall features state-of-the-art equipment from The Toro Company. Toro’s Intelli-Sense irrigation controller and it’s Precision Series Spray Nozzles that are expected to cut water use in the one-acre garden by as much as 632,000 gallons a year.

“The WaterSmart irrigation showcase garden is another example of how the City of Perris has turned to strategic partnerships, in this case with Toro, to address the challenges our city faces,” said Mayor Daryl Busch. “We shared the same vision. If we can show residents how to save water, together we can meet the water needs of our community.”

Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Yarbrough said the water-wise garden proves another example of the City’s ability to work with private enterprise for the betterment of the community and country. Perris worked with Honeywell to develop the solar-power project. The new partnership with Toro will prove equally beneficial, he said.

“The strength of the City of Perris is its partnerships,” Yarbrough said. “We are committed to becoming a green-technology leader, not only because it is good for our residents, but because it is the smart and responsible thing to do. Water is a precious resource, one that we are committed to using as wisely as possible.”

Yarbrough said he would like the new system expanded to Perris schools to bring about further savings.

The advanced irrigation system comes at a time when cities throughout Southern California are wrestling with ways to cut costs and are trying to cope with reduced water allocations due to the drought and environmental issues in the Bay Delta.

“Most Southern Californian’s don’t realize that two-thirds of our water comes from 200 to 500 miles away, said William Steele, Area Manager for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. “We have to be smart about what we put in the ground. Demonstrations like the WaterSmart garden goes a long way in showing what people need to do.”

City leaders, irrigation industry experts, the Toro team and representatives from the water industry were on hand Thursday, July 30, in front of City Hall to learn about and discuss Toro’s Intelli-Sense irrigation controller and its Precision Series Spray Nozzles.

The system’s Intelli-Sense is a weather-based controller that automatically changes its irrigation schedule in response to changes in the weather, ensuring that individual landscape zones receive precisely the correct amount of water. By monitoring each zone, the controller adjusts to allow the soil to partially dry out to encourage deeper healthier root growth.

The Precision Series spray nozzles incorporate H2O Chip Technology which enables a stream of water to oscillate within a specially designed chamber at 200 cycles a second. Detectable only under strobe light, the spray pattern is far more consistent than conventional nozzles, resulting in up to a third less water use than traditional sprinkler nozzles.

And if a nozzle is broken, no geysers! The sprinkler head will shut off if its nozzle is damaged, saving 30 to 40 gallons a minute that can occur when damaged conventional sprinkler heads go unrepaired.

“We are privileged to have a forward thinking city such as Perris as a partner in showing residents, contractors and other municipalities that there is a better way to water,” said Mike Baron, Toro’s National Specification and Sales Manager.

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