Moisture system makes ground ‘smart’

Sprinklers add water to the already flooded field at Marshall JUnior HIgh. Staff photo: Eric Kluth

By Tova Fruchtman: CNJ staff writer

In an effort to save taxpayer dollars and conserve water, the Clovis school district is testing a new moisture control system on its athletic fields, Assistant Superintendent Lonnie Leslie said.

The system — purchased from a 3-year-old California-based company called H20 Solutions, Inc. — places “moisture sensor probes” into the ground that cut off the sprinklers if the field is sufficiently moisturized, said Kathleen Hellmers, president of H20 Solutions, Inc.

The sprinklers will water the field until the probes measure a preset moisture level inside the ground.

“Basically, we make the ground smart,” Hellmers said.
Hellmers said she also hopes to improve turf quality. She said kids enjoy playing on the fields with sensors more because the grass is growing and healthy.

H20 Solutions has sold similar systems to city and county governments and farmers in California, Colorado and Florida and is just beginning to sell in New Mexico, Hellmers said.

“The company estimates that the savings could be at least 30 percent of water usage,” Leslie said. “If it works we will expand it to other fields.”