Home > Site Reports > Council Systems > City of Greater Geelong (Vic)

City of Greater Geelong (Vic)

Council Systems Site Report

Project Facts

In January 2004, the City of Greater Geelong (South West of Melbourne) with assistance from Greg Sinclair from Rural and Turf, began the installation of the Rain Bird “Maxicom Central Control System” to an initial eight sites within the municipality with an additional 130 sites to be brought online over the upcoming years.

The system chosen was a “Hybrid” system utilising existing landline phone communications as well as GSM modem communications to the harder to get to sites.

Along with the initial eight sites, the City of Greater Geelong also installed a Rain Bird weather station at the Anakie Road Depot located in North Geelong where the main Central Control Computer is located. The weather station chosen was a direct connect version, connected directly to the Central PC.

This has enabled Richard Dilenna, Parks Supervisor from the City of Greater Geelong, to commence with ET (Evapotranspiration) based irrigation scheduling. This type of scheduling enables the user to supply the “correct” amount of water to the plant type, based on crop factors, soil type and the prevailing weather conditions rather than time based scheduling.

During the second half of 2004 another eight sites were brought online as well as a second weather station being installed at the Belmont Rd Depot (South Geelong). This weather station is connected to the Central via a landline modem that phones in its information twice daily.

The City of Greater Geelong covers a very largearea (approx 600-700 km2) with many different soil types from sand to clay based and with careful ET based programming the council is now starting to see the massive savings in not only water but also labour costs that Maxicom can provide.

The Central Control Computer and software were set up with the assistance of Bob Payne, RBA Technical Support Specialist. The database and other relevant information entered into the system was a team effort by Greg Sinclair, Bob Payne, and Richard Dilenna.

The on-site training was also provided to Richard and other key council staff. Installed at the majority of the sites are ESP-MC Site Sats using either a landline or GSM modem communication, with two of the larger sites utilising CCU’s. Several of the existing sites have had the existing controllers upgraded for Maxicom communication.

All the sites have also had installed electronic Rain Buckets for immediate localised rain suspension or shut down if needed. Also, electronic Flow Meters will be installed to most sites over the period of the roll out.

Some of the key sites to be brought online have included the Kardinia Park (Shell Stadium) surrounds incorporating the Victorian District Cricket Oval and the Western Beach foreshore that incorporates some of Geelong's beautifully presented foreshore in the heart of the city.

To assist with “Peace of Mind”, the council opted to take up Rain Bird Australia’s “Global Service Plan” for a period of three years. This is like an insurance policy giving the City of Greater Geelong 24 hour, seven days a week back up and assistance from RBA Tech Services.

This program covers everything from the PC hardware to the database ensuring that the council is covered for any unforeseen events in that period.