Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Ongoing skill training keeps operations efficient

Responsible for maintaining landscaping and irrigation systems at more than 180 locations is a big job for any team, and San Diego Unified's staff holds regular training sessions to keep up on the latest techniques, including a recent session conducted by material and equipment suppliers.

Landscape technicians learned by doing with representatives of Eagle Industries, Hunter Irrigation, Rain Bird Irrigation and Hydroscape, bringing them up to date on the latest technical advances in irrigation systems, valves, PVC fittings, solvents and gluing techniques.

"This is the kind of skill set training in the Landscape Operations world that is most comparable to that provided to teachers and principals to keep them up to date in the latest instructional methodologies," said Drew Rowlands, Executive Director, Auxiliary Services. "The Landscape Department strives to assure the most efficient approaches are applied to reduce water waste, maximize resource utilization, and reduce environmental impacts.

Gluing PVC is actually a chemical welding process what melts the PVC pieces together to form a solid bond. General plan reading, operation and troubleshooting are a part of the curriculum for Irrigation Training Modules provided by the vendor instructors. The Oct. 4 session included staff from throughout the district.

"Resolving common challenges as we move away from old technology and equipment in an effort to improve the delivery system for irrigation is the foundational goal," said Jonel Smith, Landscape Services Supervisor, Scripps Mesa Zone.

For more information, contact Smith at