The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Photo credit: Nick Shockey /
A letter from the editor
February 6, 2024

City College responds to the drought

Early morning sun rises in the east over the fountain located in front of the Auditorium of City College. Jason Van Sandt | [email protected]

Living in California, residents are accustomed to the possibility of a summer drought. However with 2014 being the hottest year California has experienced in over a century, there is cause for greater concern. Earlier this year, Gov. Jerry Brown issued a State of Emergency and informed state officials to take action and prepare for the continuation of this year’s drought.

According to director Gregory Hayman of the Operations Office, City College is taking the necessary steps to solve the problem.

“The [City College] fountain does recycle the water it uses,” said Hayman. “The flush toilets on campus are low-flow models – using only .6 & 1.0 gallons of water in the urinals & toilets respectively.”

Hayman also supplied two informative documents giving more information about the water-saving policies that the Los Rios Community College District is setting into motion.

One of the documents, written by California Community College Chancellor Brice Harris, states that “districtwide, we have 12 facilities that we maintain; the landscapes, sports fields and irrigation systems.”

However, most of the irrigation systems being used are on old timers that are set to water those areas on pre-determined days and times; the only way to change the schedule is to go to the site and do it manually.

The up side to this is about three years ago a “SMART” irrigation timer was installed at all Los Rios campuses.

“These timers take into account the soil type, plant species, exposure, type of sprinkler and root depth of the plant,” according to Harris. “The controller is hooked into a local weather station and can automatically adjust the watering as it receives the weather data.”

The timer typically gets updates daily from a local weather station and will then adjust the watering schedule depending on the weather.

Projects containing new irrigation technologies are also being implemented around the Los Rios Community College District. According to the 2014 Landscape Irrigation Water Conservation report, these include water flow sensors, master valves, water conservation sprinkler nozzles and CalSense Smart Irrigation controllers.
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The main idea of these systems is to frequently monitor and control the flow of water. As a bonus, the CalSense controllers can identify if there’s a problem, or if the irrigation breaks, and completely shut the system down to prevent using too much water. These systems are currently in place at City College’s new stadium south lot.

Unlike the old irrigation systems, the CalSense controllers can be monitored and adjusted from a central location, instead of having to go to each location and alter them manually.

Laduan Smedley, vice president of Administrative Services, confirmed the updates to the irrigation system and said that low-flow faucets and shower heads were installed as well.

Smedley also confirmed that the water from the fountain is recycled and that if the drought doesn’t improve, he’s thinking of turning it off.

Normally the school pool is drained and replaced. This year the fountain wasn’t drained because it takes thousands of gallons of water to refill it, according to Smedley

Smedley stated that he is taking precautions to make sure there are no cracks in the pipes flowing through the school to prevent leaks and wasted water.

“I think we are doing a very good job, district-wise,” said Smedley.

In addition, Smedley said the grass in the stadium is artificial, therefore requiring no water, drought-tolerant plants will be installed soon that won’t need to be watered as often. Furthermore, he has implemented measures to make sure sprinklers don’t leak onto the concrete, to prevent wasting water.

“We’re able to manage our resources wisely. And that’s what water is. Water is a resource we have to manage wisely,” said Smedley.

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